WebCT: End-of-Term Course Procedures

1. At the end of each term the Distance Ed office will delete your course from the active server, approximately one week after grades are due.

2. It is the instructor's responsibility to:

back-up (make a copy) of the course and download it (save it) for safe-keeping and for re-use in future terms

3. It is the instructor's responsibility, to:

save a copy of student grades and any other desired students' work or posts

4. The Distance Ed office will maintain course archives for a period of 1 year, on disk and on the WebCT Development/ Archive server.

Please read over the following instructions and contact Janet Gubbins (jgubbins@westga.edu) if you have any questions.

2 Recommended Procedures

1. Backup your course
2. Archive/ Save student data (Grades)

3.Restoring a Backup

Optional Procedures

Archive discussion postings
Archive chat room logs
Archive calendar entries
Archive mail messages
Reset your course - once all desired data has been saved

Backup your 

Backup Your Course:

We recommend that you backup your course several times during the term. For example, after each time you enter grades into your roster. You are only allowed to store three backups, so you will have to delete old backups or download them. At the end of the term, we definitely recommend that you download your final backup. We only keep archived courses for 1 year and are not responsible for loss of archives. From the home page:

  • Click on Control Panel button (top left of screen)
  • Click on Manage Course and then Create Backup.
  • Enter a short description of the backup and then click on Create.
  • The file will be created. A message appears giving the file name, which contains the date and time the backup was created. This file is a zip file, although it can only be "unzipped" by WebCT.

    The Zip file would have to be uploaded & restored into a blank WebCT course. For this reason, if you would like to save your discussion board messages or student grades as easily viewed resources, you'll need to download these items separately. See "optional procedures" noted in document index above.

  • To download (Save) your backup to your own computer, click on the radial button next to your backup file and then choose Download from the dropdown box under Backup File Functions or the Actions list on the right of the screen.
  • You will be prompted to choose the computer directory/folder where you want the file stored.
  • If something happens to your course at a later date, you can upload this file into your course and restore it -- OR-- restore your course for use in a later term!
  • Archive Student 


    Archive Student Data (Grades):

    If you have used WebCT to manage your student's grades, you should create a file copy and paper record of your roster BEFORE resetting your course. The directions below show how to download the student records and then import them into a spreadsheet for saving & printing. To download the student records to your computer:

    • Click on Control Panel button (top left of screen)
    • Click on Manage Course in your navigation menu and then click on Manage Students.
    • Click on the Download button on the right of the screen.
    • Chose a Record Separator, such as "Comma", and then click on Download.
    • Choose the directory/folder on your computer where you want the file stored. I suggest that you name the file in such a way that it is obvious what it is (e.g., bi399roster.txt)
    NOTE: Any hidden columns will NOT be downloaded.  You must "unhide" any hidden columns before downloading your roster!

    To open this file in Excel:

    • Open Excel and click on File -> Open
    • Choose the directory where the student file was downloaded (on a PC select file type: text files). Double click on the file name. The Text Import Wizard comes up.
      Step 1 - for file type click on the delimited button -> Next.
      Step 2 - for delimiter type, click on the comma button -> Next.
      Step 3 - for column type, use the general default ->Finish. Print the spreadsheet.
    Check against your WebCT student roster to be sure all records are there. Save the file as an Excel spreadsheet when you are finished.
    Reset your 

    Resetting the Course:

    At the end of each term the Distance Ed office will reset your course. Resetting a course essentially removes all record of your student's activities. You must preserve any of these records if you used them for the purpose of grading. See below for instructions if you need to archive any student materials. If *you* wish to reset any portion of a course, from your course homepage:

  • Click on Control Panel button (top left of screen)
  • Click on Manage Course in your navigation menu and then click on Reset Course.
  • Select which parts of your course you want to reset (you may want to preserve some parts of your course).
  • Click on Reset.
  • Click on Continue when done.
  • Archive the Discussion 
    Postings (Optional)








    Optional Archive DISCUSSION POSTINGS:
    To download discussion messages for future reference you can compile all messages into a file or save postings to individual topic as files. Do this BEFORE resetting your course. Compile all messages to a file (this may be done in View or Designer Options):
    • Click on the Discussions icon.
    • Click on the All topic (or choose each topic separately if you want to only save certain postings)
    • Click on "Show all" to display all postings
    NOTE: You must expand all thread listings BEFORE compiling. To do this, click on the blue triangles, such that they are point downwards.
    • Click on Select All (on the left)
    • Next to "Apply to selected message(s)", choose Compile from the dropdown menu and click Go
    • Click on the Download button and choose where you want to save the file. Be sure to name your file something descriptive, such as "bi399discussions.txt". This a text file that can be opened in Word or WordPerfect and printed if necessary. --OR-- you can save the file as type .html and it can be opened in any browser.
    Optional Archive CHAT ROOM LOGS:
    If you have used chat room discussions for any of your graded activities, then you should consider downloading the chat room logs. From the home page:
    • Click on Manage Files
    • At the Manage Files screen, open your myFiles folder if necessary and then open the Chat folder
    • Download the chat logs you want to save. Again, be sure to name your files something descriptive.
    Calendar Entries
    Optional Archive CALENDAR:
    If you would like to keep a record of the previous term's entries you can compile the calendar and save it as a file:
    • Click on the Calendar icon from your course homepage
    • Choose Designer Options and click on "Compile or download calendar entries"
    • Select the time period over which you want to save and then click on Download
    • Choose the directory/folder on your computer where you want the file stored. Then click on Save
    Archive Mail Messages (Optional) Optional Archive MAIL:
    • Click on your Mail icon from your course homepage.
    • From the Mail Folders table, click the folder that contains the mail that you would like to compile. You may want to compile your Inbox and Outbox separately.
    NOTE: You must expand all thread listings BEFORE compiling. To do this, click on the blue triangles, such that they are point downwards.
    • Select Show All and from the list of messages, select the messages to be compiled (or simply choose Select All).
    • From the Apply to selected message(s) below drop-down box, select Compile and the click on Go
    • Click Download and choose where to save your file.

    Restoring a Backup:

    1. Click on Control Panel.
    2. Click on Manage Course
    3. Under heading titled Backup Course.. click the Upload Backup link.
    4. Click the Browse button, locate the backup (it should be a Zip file and for this workshop it should be on the Desktop),
    5. Highlight the file name and click Open... this should put the filename and location next to the Browse textbox.
    6. Click Upload button.
    7. When the upload is complete, your file name should appear listed under available course backups.
    8. Select the radial button next to the desired course backup filename.
    9. From the Restore Options on the right, select the desired Restore option...
    10. A confirmation message appears. Be sure to read the important warning.
    11. Click OK to proceed.Note: the time needed to restore a course depends on the size of the course and the speed of the server.
    12. Once the restore is complete and NOT before... you will get a Success notice.
    13. Click “Continue”.
    14. Return to the Homepage to see your course!
      Depending upon your needs, you may with to revisit the Control Panel > Manage Course > Reset Course options

    Restoring a backup and preserving student list | Top

    You can restore a backup but preserve the student list from the current course. The Last Name, First Name, and User ID fields for every student will remain in the Student Table. The students' course access and their status (whether they are an orphan user or have a global database record) will also be preserved.

    We recommend that you backup the current course and download it to your computer for safekeeping. If you don't like the changes in the restored course, you can upload and restore the current course.

    Edited with permission from the original author, Nancy Bowers
    Portland StateUniversity
    Last updated Aug 2004