Blackboard Tip: Course Copy (UPDATED)

If you need to get a template course (either a master or just your course from a previous quarter) into a “real” course (where the students will be), you’ll need to use Course Copy.

First, go into the course you’re copying, not the blank course. This is the opposite of ANGEL’s process, but just remember: In Blackboard, you push out, not pull in.

Then go to Course Tools > Course Copy.


Blackboard’s guides to this process mention the ability to create a new course in copying, but we have that turned off at MCC. So “Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course” is your only option. Next, you’ll click browse to find your destination course.

2Find your destination course (there’s a search bar in the popup to help), click the checkbox next to it, then click Submit in the popup window.

After you submit on the popup, you’ll see the course ID in the destination box and next will need to select the course materials that you’re actually bringing over in your course copy. I recommend clicking on the select all button and then scrolling down to the discussion board options.

All the defaults once you click select all are just fine except for the discussion one. If you’re moving from a live course into a master or to another live course (going from fall to winter, for example), make sure that you change from “Include starter posts for each thread” to “Include only the forums.”

Change the discussion settings to include only the forums.

Change the discussion settings to include only the forums.

If you don’t make this change, you will copy all your previous quarter students’ discussion posts into your new course. That can be fixed, but it’s a bit of a pain. Just remember to change this setting and you’ll be good to go.

You can leave the default file attachments setting (“Copy links and copies of the content”) as-is.


But you do not want to include enrollments. (Blackboard Support will handle all enrollment issues.) When you’re copying courses, make sure you don’t have “Include Enrollments” (at the bottom) checked.


With all your settings checked, click submit at the top or the bottom of the copy course screen. The course copy will take a few minutes to run and email you once it’s complete. I recommend not “touching” it while running; you can work on other stuff with Blackboard open in another tab.

Once your copy is complete, make sure the new course is correct, starting with the course menu.

How to Build a Course Menu

Course copy moves all the course menu items from the course you copied, but it doesn’t replace anything you had in the destination course (remember, bulk delete does not delete blank pages linked in a course menu) and it can sometimes mess up the order of the stuff you brought over. If that happens, just hover your mouse over the link’s far left side, click and drag to move the order. The home page will whatever’s on the top of the menu. (If not, check your course entry point.)

If you need to add anything to your new course’s menu, you can use the “plus” in the upper right to add content areas, blank pages, tool links or web links.


The course menu varies by program area, but here are the IDS recommendations:

  1. Home Page – blank page
  2. Announcements – tool link
  3. Syllabus – blank page (copy and paste your syllabus text and attach it as a doc or PDF; see also How to Post Your Syllabus)
  4. Calendar – tool link
  5. Lessons – content area
  6. Send Email – tool link
  7. Check Email – web link to
  8. My Grades – tool link
  9. Blackboard Help – web link to

To add tool links, click the plus, name it, then select the appropriate tool from the dropdown.


You always have to make sure it’s available. You can check this by looking at your menu for boxes next to your links. A box with a slash through it indicates that course menu item is hidden, which you may want for some things that are just for you. An empty box indicates an area without content.


Note: Make sure any web links are set to open in a new window. If you click the edit chevron and see “Set Link to Open in Current Window,” you’re good to go.



Alex is online course support technician at IDS, working to support all online, hybrid and LMS-enhanced instructors and students in using Blackboard and several media servers. She's also the administrator for the MCC Blogs network. You can reach her at

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Posted in Blackboard, Blackboard Course Prep, Blackboard Learn for instructors, Blog
6 comments on “Blackboard Tip: Course Copy (UPDATED)
  1. […] need use course copy to get your winter courses ready to go. If you made a lot of changes to your course this fall, you […]

  2. […] How to copy content from one course to another (and configure the Course Menu) […]

  3. […] with a bit of a mea culpa: I’ve given out some slightly misleading information about the course copy process and now I want to make sure that I get the record set […]

  4. […] of the time, we use Blackboard’s course copy feature to get all the “stuff” from one course over into a blank course. But you can […]

  5. […] How to copy content from one course to another (and configure the Course Menu) […]

  6. […] of the time, we use Blackboard’s course copy feature to get all the “stuff” from one course over into a blank course. But you can […]

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