Class/Blackboard Collaborate Recording Retention Guidelines

Blackboard/Class Collaborate is built specifically for the education environment and helps you build and share engaging content, build instructor presence, and develop a learning community. While it is primarily a synchronous tool, to ability to record sessions is a critical component of any web conferencing tool, enabling students to catch up on sessions they missed or review key content from sessions they attended.

In the past, NIU has retained all Collaborate recordings indefinitely, we have finite storage available for recordings. The recent growth in the use of Collaborate has vastly exceeded that capacity. Continuing to retain recordings above our storage limit will incur significant additional charges to NIU. Therefore, reasonable limitations on recording storage must be implemented to ensure long-term feasibility and access to resources.

Effective April 30, 2022, Collaborate recordings will be retained for 6 months. If recordings are needed for re-use or longer retention, you may download recordings from Collaborate. Recordings that will be viewed frequently can be uploaded to Kaltura. Videos that are needed for long-term retention but which will not be viewed frequently should be stored in Microsoft OneDrive.

There are also benefits to storing Collaborate recordings on other platforms for long-term use or retention.

  • When courses are deleted from Blackboard, you lose access to the recording via the Collaborate Scheduler, which is necessary to download the recording, edit captions, or generate a link to view the recording.
  • Storing recordings that will be frequently viewed in Kaltura provides benefits such as automatically generated and easily edited captions, basic editing tools, the ability to embed videos within Blackboard courses or web pages, and analytics on viewing history.
  • For long-term retention of recordings that will not be viewed frequently, Microsoft OneDrive provides significantly more storage capacity. Videos can be played from OneDrive and shared with individuals or groups both within and outside of NIU.

All NIU Collaborate users are encouraged to download recordings from the Collaborate scheduler at the end of each semester for upload to Kaltura or Microsoft OneDrive. The Division of IT will send notifications to everyone with the Instructor role in a Blackboard Course or the Leader role in a Blackboard Organization prior to the deletion of the recordings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often are recordings deleted?
Recordings are deleted every six months. While specific dates will differ, recordings will be deleted in December shortly after the fall semester ends and in June shortly after the spring semester ends.
How do I download a recording?

To download a recording:

  1. Access Blackboard Collaborate in a course
  2. Click to open the menu (three parallel lines in the upper left, above the course room)
  3. Click Recordings
  4. Find the appropriate recording by using the Filter by options on the right to view recent recordings (from the last 30 days) or recordings in a date range
  5. Click the Recording Menu at the far right (three dots in a circle) and select Download

The recording will automatically download to your computer in an .mp4 format.

What should I do if I need to keep a recording as an archive?
If you need to retain a recording for archival purposes and it will not be played frequently, we recommend downloading the recording and storing it in Microsoft OneDrive. Videos can be stored in your individual account OneDrive storage or in a shared OneDrive space, such as a Team. Videos in OneDrive can be played and shared on the web and are auto-captioned.
What should I do if I have a large number of recordings that need to be saved?

If you have a large number of recordings that you need to retain for future courses (i.e., recordings that you will use as content in a future course), please contact the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning using the Ask a Question form. If you provide the course number (e.g., UNIV 101) for the course(s) that contains the recordings, we can work with DoIT to have those moved to Kaltura for you in bulk.

Unfortunately, due to storage limitations on Kaltura, DoIT cannot move recordings to Kaltura for all courses.

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