Blackboard Course Migration to Brightspace

This faculty guide will walk you through the steps you can take now to prepare your course for the upcoming migration to Brightspace. Taking the actions outlined in this document will help to make your migration to Brightspace as smooth as possible.

We are highly recommending that you do not work in a live course when completing these steps. We have created a form for requesting a Blackboard Migration Sandbox specifically for preparing for the migration. This is covered in more detail below.


Requesting a Migration Sandbox

The first step to cleaning up your course is to make a copy of your course in a sandbox that does not contain student data. We are referring to these sandboxes as “Migration Sandboxes” as they will contain the version of your course that is ultimately imported into Brightspace. Since you will be deleting files in upcoming steps, working in a copy of the course that is not being accessed by students (or contains student data) is critical.

To request a Migration Sandbox for your course, please fill out the request form. A blank sandbox will be created for you in which you can copy the version of the course you plan to clean up for migration. Be sure to use the copy of your course in the Migration Sandbox for the remaining steps in this document! 

Deleting Unneeded Files - The Content Collection

The Content Collection is the “behind the scenes” repository that stores all of the files you have uploaded to Blackboard. You may be surprised to know that when you add and update files in your course each semester (ex: your course schedule or syllabus) Blackboard retains the previous version of your file in the Content Collection. This adds to the overall file size of the course and can cause issues when it comes time to migrate your course to Brightspace.

Accessing the Content Collection

The Content Collection can be found in the Course Management area of your course. When you expand the Content Collection dropdown, the first option listed will be the ID of the course. Click this ID link to access the Content Collection window:

content collection

The Content Collection will open and display all files and folders that are saved in your course. You will most likely notice duplicates of the same file, or files from previous semesters that you no longer need saved in Blackboard. These are the files that you will be deleting.


Determining Files Not Being Used

Step 1: Is there an Accessibility Gauge for the file?

The Blackboard Ally Accessibility Checker can assist you in determining which files in your course may not be in use. If a file in the Content Collection has a colored gauge icon displayed in the Accessibility column, it typically indicates that the course contains a link to that file. Likewise, the absence of a gauge typically means that the file is not being used and is ok to delete. As you can see in the example below, there are several copies of the course outline that are not being used in the course.

Step 2: Double-check for links in the 360° View

While the presence or absence of the Ally Accessibility gauge is a good first indicator of whether a file is being used in a course, you should always double check to make sure there are no links to it prior to permanently deleting it from the course. This can be accomplished using the 360° View for the file. To access this view, click the drop-down arrow next to the file and select 360° View.

Scroll down in the 360° View window until you see the Links section. If there is something listed in that section, then the file is actively being used in the course and it should not be deleted. If nothing is listed in the Links section, then it is safe to delete the file, as it is not being used.

Example of a file that SHOULD NOT BE DELETED:

Example of a file that is OK to delete (Not being used in the course):

Deleting Unneeded Files

Once you have determined that a file is no longer needed, deleting the file is very easy. Simply put a checkmark next to the file in the Content Collection and click the Delete button.

If the file is not linked anywhere in the course, you will receive a confirmation prompt to make sure you really want to delete the file. Click OK.

You should be taken back to the main Content Collection listing of files.

Please Note: If you receive a second notification screen after clicking OK, it means that the file is actively linked in the course and should not be deleted. More information on this follows on the next page!


If you receive the following message after clicking delete, it means that the file is still actively linked within the course and should not be deleted! You can use the 360° View icon to determine where in the course the file is used. You should then click Cancel and not delete the file.

Folders in the Content Collection

In addition to the listing of files, you may also notice several folders within your Content Collection. Many of these folders contain unused content from previous semesters, or in some cases house artifacts left over from previous LMS Migrations (Angel, WebCt, etc.). You should open each of these folders (and subfolders) and remove the unused files within them following the same steps as above. To open a folder, simply click on its name.

When the folder is empty (or you have determined that the course does not link to any of the files within it) you can delete the folder using the same process as for deleting a file. As with the deletion of files, you will receive the option for the 360° View if the folder contains files that are currently being used in the course.

CAUTION! Be sure to check any folders for content you have used or may need before deleting the entire folder.


Deleting Unneeded Quizzes, Tests, and Pools

Another focus of your cleanup should be your Test, Surveys, and Pools area in Blackboard. When courses migrate to Brightspace, it brings all quizzes, tests, and surveys whether or not they are being used in the course. It is recommended that this area be cleaned up prior to migration. The process for doing this is below.


Identify Quizzes and Tests Not Being Used

The easiest way to determine if a quiz or test is not being used in a course is to see if it is deployed to a content area or module folder. This can be done through the Tests, Surveys, and Pools area of the Course Management area in Blackboard. To access this area, expand the Course Tools menu under Course Management and click on Tests, Surveys, and Pools (it will be toward the bottom of the list).

Select “Tests” to bring up a list of all tests and quizzes in the course.

There may be several pages of tests and quizzes to display. It is best to click the Show All button in the lower right corner of the screen to bring up all tests and quizzes that exist in the course. This will allow you to easily scan what you have and determine which quizzes or tests are not being used in the course.

In looking at your listing of quizzes and tests, you may notice several that are out of date or duplicates of other quizzes and tests. If they are no longer being used, they should be deleted. Quizzes and tests that aren’t being used in the course will have the word “No” in the DEPLOYED column.

Once you determine that a quiz or test is not deployed to a content area in the course, you can click the dropdown menu next to the quiz or test name and select Delete.

Continue deleting all quizzes and tests that are not deployed in the course if you no longer need them.

Accessing the Question Pools

Like quizzes and tests, question pools will migrate to the Brightspace Question Library whether or not the questions are being used in the course. It is therefore best to clean up the pools to remove those that are outdated or will no longer be used prior to migration.

To access the listing of question pools in your Blackboard course, follow the same steps for accessing the Tests area: Select Tests, Surveys, and Pools from the Course Tools area under Course Management, but this time select the Pools option.

Deleting Unused Question Pools

Blackboard will not allow you to delete a question pool if it has questions in it that are linked to a quiz or test in the course. To determine if a question pool can be deleted, simply click on the chevron next to the pool name to bring up the shortcut menu. If you see the option to Delete, it means that no questions in that pool are being used in the course.

If the pool does contain questions that are currently being used in a quiz or test, the Delete option will not appear:

NOTE: After deleting unused quizzes, tests, and pools, you should take another look at your Content Collection. There may be additional files you can delete if your questions used images or had embedded files!



Cleaning up your Content Collection and Tests, Surveys, and Pools areas are just two of the things you can do now to prepare your Blackboard course for migration. Below are some additional steps you can take to save you cleanup work in Brightspace later on.

  • Go through all of your modules and look for any references to Blackboard and/or navigation instructions that are Blackboard specific. Update the references where you can and note the areas in the course where you will need to update instructions to students based on where things will be located once the course is migrated to Brightspace.
  • Check links to external websites and remove or update any broken links.
  • If you used Ensemble to store videos that you will need in the future, be sure to download them and save them locally prior to migration. We may not have access to Ensemble once we are on Brightspace.
  • Copy any instructions or information you may need from Blackboard Groups, Wikis, Blogs, and Journals and paste them in a Word or Google document so that you can access them after migration. Wikis, Blogs, and Journals do not migrate to Brightspace.
  • Delete all Groups, Wikis, Blogs, and Journals from the course as well as links to these tools from within the Content area (after saving the instructions in a separate document)
  • Organize all content in the “Course Content” area to be within Module folders. Courses migrate best if all information is contained within Module folders and the Course Content area does not contain direct links to individual documents or activities not associated with a module. If you have a lot of direct links in the root of the Course Content area, you can move them to a temporary folder (ex: “Extra Stuff”) and then relocate them to a more permanent location once the course is migrated. The goal is to have only a listing of folders appear when you click the Course Content link.
  • Delete any unused Grade Center columns (including hidden columns).
  • If you are using a number of third-party tools in your class –  links to third-party resources (like Pearson, Cengage, or WileyPLUS) and iClickers – the links will not transfer correctly. Links to these resources will need to be rebuilt.
  • Some question types in assessments also may not transfer correctly.
  • Assignments using SafeAssign will transfer, but SafeAssign is not currently available in Brightspace, and originality checking will not be included with the assignment. In Brightspace we use TurnitIn.


As always, if you have questions or need assistance please contact us at


Article ID: 140318
Wed 6/29/22 11:26 AM
Mon 12/12/22 8:21 AM