Faculty/Academic Staff FAQ
Table of Contents
- What does it mean to "purge" D2L courses?
- How do I know if I have any courses slated for deletion?
- Why are we limiting the course cleanup process to only older D2L courses?
- But I reoffer my course on a regular basis...
- I need to retain my grade book so I can review student performance several years after the course ends.
- What about my content files, quizzes, etc. in my old courses?
- Why not just leave obsolete courses on the D2L server?
- Can I archive my old courses?
- What if I do nothing?
- Who can I talk to on my campus if I need help?
To purge a D2L course refers to the complete removal and deletion of that course with no way of restoring it. To purge a D2L course is to permanently delete it. This includes all files and student records.
This site uses the term "course cleanup," or simply "cleanup" for the purging process.
Instructors can view their D2L courses in the My Courses widget of the D2L home page. Courses are identified by semester and year. Semesters with courses to be deleted will be labeled as such.
Note that instructors might need to click on the Plus icon to the left of a semester to expand and display the list of their courses in that semester. All courses listed on a semester slated for deletion will be deleted if no action is taken. Instructors should contact their site administrator if they have any questions on what is going to be deleted.
We do not delete relatively recent courses primarily because:
- Students need sufficient time to finish incompletes and challenge grades, and
- Instructors need sufficient time to reoffer their course.
Retaining recent courses is consistent with the guidelines and policies of the UW Records Officers Council.
In most cases, when a course is reoffered by the same instructor, the instructor copies some or all of the contents, files, gradebook and discussion structure from a previous offering into the new offering. Once that copy process is complete, the earlier version of the course offering can be deleted without affecting the new course offering.
If a course does not repeat for several years, steps must be taken to ensure the original course offering is not deleted too soon. Instructors in this situation should discuss this with their site administrators immediately.
I need to retain my gradebook so I can review student performance several years after the course ends.
The D2L gradebook can be exported to a CSV file that can be opened with Excel and other applications.
When downloading or saving gradebooks or student submissions, it is important to maintain the privacy of those student records. They should be saved on campus-housed, password protected network storage rather than on local hard drives.
Questions about how long gradebooks and student records may be retained should be forwarded to your campus Records Officer.
Content, course files and quizzes can be copied into a newer offering of the same course. This is very common, especially when the same instructor teaches both offerings.
Also, course files can be easily downloaded. Instructors with unusual situations should contact their site administrator immediately.
The need to establish a course cleanup policy at Learn@UW and to set up a process accordingly is imperative to our on-going smooth operation. The amount of data we have retained and its associated costs is increasing steadily since the deployment of D2L in 2003. The quantity of data has already impacted costs for storage, backups, upgrades, and support resources. Our main reason for deleting obsolete courses is to at least contain the growth of our costs in the previously mentioned areas, in addition to lessening any impact on performance and user experience as growth continues.
Instructors can export their content files, grade book and student files from a drop box folder and retain them locally.
Your courses will be permanently deleted on schedule. In most cases, you will not need these courses and do not need to take any action.
Your campus D2L site administrator is familiar with the course cleanup process and is prepared to answer your questions and provide assistance, as needed. If you have unusual needs not addressed on this web site you should contact your campus site administrator soon.