D2L Course Export and Backing up Select Student Data

D2L semester courses more than two years old and inactive development/community courses may be removed from the system on a recurring basis. There will be official communication sent to affected individuals prior to any purge. See D2L Retention Policies for more detail. The following information explains how to backup content and user data for future reference. The items are prioritized to help you decide which student records are most important for you to retain.

Important Records to Save


Course Admin > Import/Export/Copy Components > Export Components 
(include course files and select all when prompted)

Exporting your course will create a compressed zip file of the content and settings. No user data is saved in a course export. When the export is finished, click on the link to download the file. This file can be imported back into a D2L course in order to restore all of the content. Keep in mind that only course files are overwritten when importing content and all other items are added to the existing content. This may cause duplication in some areas so it is best to import into a new (blank) course.


Assessments > Grades > Enter Grades > Export
From "Enter Grades," click on "Export" then select "Both," “Points grade,” "Last Name," "First Name," and "Export to CSV." 

Key Field both selected Grade Values - Points grade User Details Last Name and First Name selected Export to CSV

When the export is finished, click on the link to download the file. The CSV file is preferred if you need to import scores back to Grades at a future time.

Assignment Submissions

Assessments > Assignments > (Title of Assignment Submission Folder)
From the Assignment Submission Folders list, note if there are items in the “Total Files” column and click on the Submission Folder title. Scroll down and click the top checkbox to select all items. Then click Download. When the export is finished, click on the link to download the zip file. After extracting the files, you will see all submissions saved by student name and date.

Other Records to Consider Saving

Note: If there is no download option, you can often copy and paste the information into Word.

Discussion Posts

Communication > Discussions 
There is no direct way to download discussion posts but you can get a nice printable view by using the print option while in grid view.

First go to the Discussions Settings (upper right gear icon), change the Default View to Grid view, and click Save. Then click on a discussion topic and check the first box to select all. If you change the view to “All Posts” and Apply, you can use the pull-down menu to display more items per page before selecting. Click “Print” for a display of the selected posts. Click Print again and change the printer destination to save as PDF, or copy and paste to Word for an electronic copy.

Quiz Data

D2L does not have a user friendly view of exported quiz data but you may find some of the options below have value if you need to save data. Contact the helpdesk for potential solutions to converting the exported data into a more usable form.

Assessments > Quizzes > title (pull-down) > Grade 
To save the data from all attempts, click on “Export to CSV file” (no need to select checkboxes). 

Assessments > Quizzes > (title pull-down) Statistics 
To save quiz stats, click on each tab separately (User Stats, Question Stats, Question Details) and select “Export to CSV file” in each (decide which are useful to you).

Assessments > Quizzes > Statistics (third option over at the top)
To save a list of Quiz Averages, highlight the table, copy, and paste as text to Excel.

User Activity Reports

It could be useful to save specific activity details for students who may be contesting a grade. Use the first option below to see a user’s detailed access report. Other reports may be of use to you during the semester or for record saving.

Content > Table of Contents > Related Tools (pull-down) > View Reports > Users tab
Communication > Classlist > Enrollment Statistics (scroll down to view withdrawals)
Communication > Classlist (sort by last accessed to view recently absent students)

Course Mail

You can forward individual email messages from D2L to another address for saving long term. While in Message Preview, click on “Forward,” type your email address in the To field, and click Send. Messages can be sent out from D2L but they cannot be sent in from outside the system.

Additional Support

MSU IT Services Help Desk, (517) 432-6200 or (844) 678-6200 toll free; iithelp@msu.edu