Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Create a course backup or export a course

You can export all or part of your D2L Brightspace course to create a backup of your course. In D2L, the course backups are a modified common cartridge formatted zip archive. This means you can unzip the file on your computer to access the files, or you can restore the backup to another D2L server or unzip them on your computer. Some other LMSes can import these files as well. Exporting your course also allows you to create a copy of your course’s design and content that can be imported into another course if you are not its instructor. An exported course does not include student data like grades, quiz attempts, submission folder files, etc.

  • What is required: A D2L Brightspace course and a device to store your downloaded zip file

Note: Not all course components can be exported. See the list of which components from D2L Brightspace can be exported.

Export Package types

  • Brightspace Package: is the standard export for Brightspace LMS, it contains all the necessary resources you need to share your course with another Brightspace site. Use this for course backups and sharing with other Brightspace users.
  • Common Cartridge version 1.3: This package uses standards for content, assessment, and digital content that allows publishers and content creators to create LMS-independent course packages. This should be used when sharing courses with colleges using other LMSes. It is an excellent option for OER resources. Features and tools specific to D2L will not get exported (e.g. Rubrics)
  • Thin Common Cartridge (Thin CC) version 1.3: The Thin CC standard is a subset of Common Cartridge developed to package Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Links, Web Links, and metadata.  It is used in rare cases where you largely link to external tools.

Steps to export your Brightspace course

  1. Go to the course you want to backup
  2. Click Course Admin from the course navbar, then click on Import/Export/Copy Components
  3. Select Export as Brightspace Package and click Start
  4. In the Select Components to Export section, choose which components you want to export:
    • To export specific components, click the check boxes next the components
      • If you want to export all items with a component, select Export all items
      • If you want to export only certain items from a component, choose Select individual items to export
    • To export all components, choose Select All Components
  5. Click the Continue button
    Note: If “Select individual items to export” for any components was selected, go to the next step; if “Export all items” was select, skip to step 11
  6. Select the individual items from the component that you want to copy
    • Select the + plus signs next to each component to expand and view all of the items included in that component
    • Select the checkbox next to each item that needs to be exported
  7. Click the Continue button
  8. Confirm that the correct materials are listed on the Confirm Components to Export page
  9. Make sure the “Include course files in the export package” checkbox is selected
  10. Click the Export button
  11. When the export process ends, click the Done button. It may take a few minutes, depending on the size of your course, before you can continue to the next step.
  12. When the export package is ready for download, a notification is generated and can be accessed from the bell icon in the navigation bar.
    Note: If you don’t see the notification icon, try to refresh your browser or go somewhere else and come back to your course.
    d2l export: bell notification-export finished
  13. Click the Export finished notification message. This directs you back to the Import/Export/Copy Components tool in your course.
  14. Click the Click here to download the export Zip package link, then save the export file, which is a .zip file, to your computer. The file will likely save to your Downloads folder. Locate the file for safe keeping. We recommend putting important backups in your Google Drive.
    Note: You must click on the link to download the .zip file when it appears. If you do not download the file from this screen, it is lost. You cannot download it later and the file is not stored in the D2L site for later download.
    d2l export: click to download export zip file

Video Tutorial: