At the end of the semester, instructors should download two things from each of their courses in Desire2learn: a .zip file containing their course content and a spreadsheet copy of their gradebook. This is for several reasons:
- All courses in Desire2Learn are purged five years after the end of the semester in which they were run. This is a lot of time, but some instructors find themselves returning to teach a course after such a long period. Although they will likely change things, having the old course data is a useful start for instructors to prepare the course again.
- More generally, it’s always a good idea to back up digital data! As with paper, the survival of any single piece of digital information is never assured but duplication greatly increases its chances.
Here’s a video showing how easy it is to download the entire course as a data package that, in future, could be reinstalled in Desire2Learn.
Here’s another video demonstrating how to use D2L’s gradebook export tool to either export grade data (such as your entire gradebook) or simply a course roster. The resulting file is readable MS Excel, or could be converted to a Google Sheet.
Once you have this data downloaded, consider how to store it for long-term safekeeping. A personal USB-connected external hard drive is one option. We recommend your Canisius College Google Drive, since it is a safe space for student data, and is less likely to suffer accidental loss.
Submitted by: Mark Gallimore, PhD, instructional designer, COLI