How Big Is My Course?

Due to some recent disk space issues, we’ve had to make some adjustments to how big content copies can be from course to course. Currently there is a limit of 500 MB per course (which is still quite a bit of space!).  If you attempt to copy a course that is larger than 500 MB, you will receive an error. In order to copy your course, you’ll need to make sure that you get it below 500 MB. The instructions provided below will show you how you can check your course size BEFORE you copy.


Steps to Check Your Course Size:

  • Log into Blackboard and go into the course that you want to check the size of. From the Control Panel, select Packages and Utilities –> Export/Archive Course


  • Click on the EXPORT PACKAGE button


  • Click on the SELECT ALL button so that all content in the course is selected (leave all the radio button options at the top as they are at their default setting)


  • Click on the CALCULATE SIZE button. The number that appears in this area is how large your course would be if you attempted to copy it.  (You do not need to continue with the export process after using the Calculate Size function – you can back out of this screen after you get your course size number.)


From here – if your number is less than 500 MB, you will be able to copy your course with no issues. However, if your course is larger than 500 MB, you will need to adjust the files in your course to make that number go down!  You can view a list of files in your course, and their sizes, by going to Control Panel –> Content Collection –> (First Link on the list).  The very first link under the Content Collection heading is the COURSE CONTENT list. That is the one you want to look at.


When looking at the content collection, you’ll see a column called SIZE. If you click on this column once, it will sort all of the course files in order from smallest to largest (ascending). If you click on this column again, it will sort the files from largest to smallest (descending). Make sure you sort from largest to smallest so that all of your large course files show up at the very top! When you look at your large course files, you will likely see lots of .mp4/.mov/.wmv extensions. These kinds of files need to be removed from the course, placed into TechSmith, and then relinked in the course via TechSmith.  See example image below.


Bonus: How to Move Videos to TechSmith

From your content collection, you can click on each video that you have and then click the button for DOWNLOAD PACKAGE. You will get a .zip file of all the media files that you selected. You will need to unzip/extract this file to be able to see the individual files.


Go to and log in with your TechSmith Relay credentials. [If you don’t have an account set up, you’ll need to set one up! Need help creating an account?  Click Here.]  After you log in, on the left side of your screen, look for the blue CREATE button. It will give you an option to UPLOAD MEDIA.

The upload media area will allow you to drag and drop multiple files for upload at once. FILES MUST BE IN .MP4 FORMAT TO BE UPLOADED. If your videos are in a different media format (for example, .MOV or .WMV), please contact either myself or Julie and we would be happy to help you get those converted to an .mp4 format.


Once you have uploaded the media to your TechSmith Relay media library, you can go back into your Blackboard course and start re-linking to your videos using the Blackboard LTI connection for TechSmith Relay.  In any content area of your course, with Edit Mode ON, you can select Tools–> TECHSMITH RELAY and link your videos from there (Additional instructions on how to link videos using the LTI tool can be found here: How to Add a TechSmith LTI Link to Your Blackboard Course) .


Frequently Asked Questions About Course Sizes:

Here are some frequently asked questions about course sizes:

  • Do student assignment submissions count against my course size? 
    • NO. Student assignment submissions are stored in a completely different area of Blackboard and do not count against your course size (you wouldn’t want to be copying old student work to a new term course anyway!)
  • Why is my course size so large?!
    • Typically courses that are large in size are the result of instructor-users uploading and storing large video media files directly into the course. Common large video file extensions that have been found include .MOV, .MP4, and .WMW.  If you are uploading video files directly to Blackboard, PLEASE STOP. You need to be using TechSmith Relay for all your video storage needs (and you can use the convenient Blackboard LTI connection to Relay to easily link those videos to your course!)
  • Why can’t I / shouldn’t I upload video files directly to Blackboard? 
    • There are several reasons for this. The first reason is that video files tend to be very large (several hundred MB+). This takes up space on our Blackboard server end – and space is limited and expensive! We (Odessa College) pay considerable amounts of money to make sure that our server data is backed up. The more server data we have, the more expensive it is to back up. We encourage users to use TechSmith Relay for video storage because space with them is hosted and UNLIMITED. We aren’t charged for space (just by active user). Relay integrates seamlessly with Blackboard – there is no reason for you not to be using it!
    • Uploading videos directly to Blackboard is inconvenient for your students. If you upload or embed videos directly into Blackboard, students either have to (1) download the file to their local computer to view or (2) buffer the file in order to view. Anyone with a poor internet connection will struggle to download/buffer a large video file. Also, some students may not have a media playing software on their device that is capable of playing your media file.  By having your video on Relay, students can watch the video directly in the browser (no need for an external media player) and the buffering process is handled much better because they videos are offered in a player designed to stream media.
  • I’m feeling overwhelmed and lost! Can you help?
    • Absolutely! Julie and I are happy to help you get your courses down to a manageable size that can be copied. If you are feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start, send us an email and we’d be happy to help you!