Retention Guidelines

Division of Instructional Technology
Information Technology Unit
Learning Management System Course Retention Guidelines

In an effort to provide faculty and students with adequate access to past course sites and information contained in the campus-sponsored learning management system (LMS) for reference, copying and contesting grades while maintaining a stable LMS infrastructure (performance, storage and bandwidth), below are guidelines that will govern the retention of course sites.

“Course sites” refer to the space in which materials are hosted on the LMS. Course materials include files uploaded by faculty and or students that have access to the site, assignments submitted by students and grade book data.

After 2 years, course sites will be deleted from the system. Course deletions will occur on or after January 15 and July 15 of each year. For example, Fall 2010 courses will be deleted on or after January 15, 2013. Instructors will be notified via an e-mail to their GMU e-mail address four weeks prior to each deletion date and an announcement will be posted in myMason.

Content stored in other campus resources (i.e. streaming video servers) are often linked to from within the LMS. These tools may have their own retention policies and therefore the ability to access these materials is independent of these guidelines.

Retaining Course Content

Please note that it is the responsibility of the faculty member to archive and/or copy their course site. Faculty who would like to retain a copy of their course site(s) prior to deletion have 2 options:

1. Local Archive – Course sites can be stored on a personally managed storage device (i.e., computer hard drive, external hard drive, thumb drive, etc.) for future reference by the faculty member. Click here for instructions on how to archive and save a course site locally. Restoring a course archived in this manner will require assistance of DoIT staff.

2. Course Copy – Each semester a new course site is created for courses being offered. Faculty can opt to copy content from a previously developed course site to a newer course site. Click here for instructions on how to perform a “course copy.”

Contact Information

For technical assistance with course copy or archiving, or to determine when courses will be deleted, contact the Support Center.

Related University Policies

Data Stewardship Policy 1114

Note: These guidelines are effective May1, 2012 and shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually.