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LMS Class and Project Site Retention Period


Pepperdine University has adopted a retention period for class and project sites on its primary learning management system (LMS), Courses (powered by Sakai). Our Courses LMS was first piloted in 2009 and officially adopted in 2011. The LMS is available to all five schools of the University and can facilitate traditional (face-to-face), hybrid/blended/hyflex, or fully online teaching and learning. Between 2009 and 2022, we created over 82,000 class and project sites, consuming over 5.6 TB of storage. On July 31, 2022, a five-year retention period for sites in Courses was initiated. Effective July 31, 2023, project sites will be added to the removal schedule. To help our faculty and site managers adjust to the retention process, we will continue to implement the retention period in several stages. See the Retention Schedule below.


To keep our LMS system running smoothly and promote modern accessibility practices, Pepperdine University will adopt a five-year site retention period. The retention period will also promote best practices in stewardship of University resources, academic records retention, student privacy, and instructional design.

As a reminder to all faculty and staff, Pepperdine University has a web accessibility policy that must be considered when creating, reviewing, importing, or adopting class content or tools. The removal of older LMS content will reduce the likelihood of the reuse of outdated materials, especially those that may not adhere to the most recent accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.1 guidelines, published June 5, 2018).

Letters of Recommendation

Remember, student accounts are deactivated 90 days after graduation and their accounts, including assignments and grades, will no longer be visible in Courses LMS afterward. Download any student data before deactivation if needed. Else, official class grades can always be found in WaveNet.

Retention Schedule

Class and Project Site Removal

Permanent Deletion Date Creation Years of Sites for Removal Site Age At the Time of Planned Deletion
July 31, 2022 (class sites only) 2009-2014 8+ years old
July 31, 2023 (class sites), 
September 15, 2023 (project sites)
2015-2017 (class sites), 
2009-2017 (project sites)
6+ years old
July 31, 2024 (class and project sites) 2018 5+ years old

* In 2022, only class sites were removed. Starting in 2023, project sites will also be included (2009-2017). The removal time for project sites was extended from July 31, 2023 to September 15, 2023 to offer additional review time.

Beginning in 2024, the staggered schedule will be complete and the standard site retention period will be in effect, removing 5-year-old content on an ongoing annual basis each summer.

What You Need to Do

Review Old Site Content

Consider the following steps when you review content from your old sites on Courses:

  1. Do you still need it? Is this content still current or relevant to your latest class learning objectives or teaching materials? Is this project site still fulfilling the needs of my team?
  2. Is it accessible? Are students or colleagues that may need to use screen readers or other accessibility tools able to use this content?
  3. Do you already have a copy (or copies!) of it? You likely uploaded the content to the LMS from your computer. Do you have original copies on your computer hard drive or cloud storage? Or maybe you have been importing past class content each semester into your newer class sites, so you have copies there?

TIP: Find all of your sites (Class/Course and Project) and the site creation date from the "Worksite Setup" tool in your "Home" site. And remember, if you already have copies of the information on your computer, devices, cloud storage, or other LMS class sites, then you don't need to spend extra time downloading duplicate copies of older materials.

Retain Old Site Content

After your assessment of any older class or project sites, if there is content that is important to retain and you don't have other copies of it already, then it will be important to take steps to download the content or import materials to a new class or project site.

Download Your Older Content

Visit each of the old sites in the relevant retention period and refer to these instructions for the appropriate tools:

Remember, you can use the "Sites" menu of Courses to visit sites from specific academic terms. If you have hidden older class sites or want to determine the age of a project site, you can use the "Worksite Setup" tool in your "Home" site to view the Worksite Title, Type (Course or Project), Creator, Term (if Course site), Status (Published or Unpublished), and Creation Date for all of your sites. 

Import Older Content into a New Class or Project Site

It is easy to import content that is still relevant and meets accessibility standards to a current class site.

Don't have a new site yet? Consider creating your own project site. After you create a personal project site, you can import your older class content into this site for later reference or use in future classes.

Again, when you are retaining older content, be sure to evaluate all documents, web links, or other resources to be sure that the content remains relevant to current learners and also adheres to Pepperdine's accessibility and security standards. Update or delete any content that does not meet quality, security, or accessibility standards. For example, old Adobe Flash or Shockwave content should be deleted with a vengeance!

Request a One-Year Exception

Starting in 2023, we are providing an online exception request form for class or project sites. An exception will offer one additional year of access for interested students, faculty, and staff to download any needed materials before the site is again marked for deletion the following year. If the exception is for a perpetually-used project site that is marked for deletion, we recommend importing the existing content to a new project site so that the improvements that have been made within the last 5 years to tools and sites can be applied to your project site. This will also "restart the clock" on when the project site will be five years old and marked for deletion. If you aren't sure how old a site is, see the "How do I find the age of my site?" information in the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  What is the difference between a class site and a project site?

Course or “class” sites are officially created sites intended for academic purposes. The creation of these sites is based on data from our student information system, WaveNet. Project sites can be created by any official community member (current student, faculty, or staff) and then used to enroll members for projects, assignments, self-paced training courses, etc. Technology & Learning will work with the TechLearn Faculty Steering Committee and the community to identify project sites under review at that time so that all University employees can act accordingly.

  How do I find the age of my site?

You can find the creation date of every site you belong to by navigating to the "Worksite Setup" tool in your Home Site.

  1. Log in to Courses.
  2. Select the Worksite Setup tool on the left-hand panel in your "Home" site.
  3. A list of all your sites will be visible with "Worksite Title," "Type" (Course or Project), "Creator," "Term" (if a Course site), "Status" (Published or Unpublished), and "Creation Date." Select the "Creation Date" heading to sort either in ascending or descending order by date.

TIP: You can determine if you have edit access for a site if you see a checkbox to the left of the Worksite Title.

  Why was five years selected?

Pepperdine University has adopted a five-year retention period since the majority of academic programs are 4-years or fewer. Five years added a little extra time for review and was also generous in comparison to many other institutions that retain LMS class content for shorter periods of time.

At the end of the day, faculty need only to retain content that remains current and relevant to teaching. Instructors can and do already import content from prior terms into new class sites, reducing the need to retain multiple instances of the same content across multiple classes and terms. Importantly, reducing the storage, database, and system load on the LMS will lead to greater performance and reliability for current classes. A one-year exception is available for any sites that are used for doctoral programs that are longer than 4 years or project sites that are too cumbersome to review and update due to complex permissions or business processes. Complete the form to request a one-year exception for the site.

  What about doctorate students who may study beyond five years?

A one-year exception is available for any sites that are used for doctoral programs that are longer than 4 years or project sites that are too cumbersome to review and update due to complex permissions or business processes. Complete the form to request a one-year exception for the site. This will provide one year of additional time for faculty, staff, or students participating in those older class or project sites to retain applicable content for long-term storage outside of the LMS.

  How can instructors look back at class content in response to a former student requesting a letter of recommendation?

Professors can always review past grade information in WaveNet, which is the official location for final academic grades. After students graduate from Pepperdine, however, their network accounts will be disabled and then removed. Once alumni network account deactivation happens, their information will no longer be visible within Courses. This means that roughly 90 days after graduation, professors will not be able to view or access past class information for alumni. 

  How do I handle grade disputes if student content in Courses is removed after five years?

All schools require quick action related to grade disputes. Some require action within three weeks (14 business days) of the dispute or the posting of final semester grades. None of the schools allow disputes beyond one year (at most, two semesters for the "next non-summer term").

Caruso School of Law (CSOL)

See page 20, topic 6.32, "Modification of Grades" of CSOL's Academic Policy. Specifically, "For all examinations taken during the fall semester, any grade corrections must be made prior to the end of the following spring semester. For all examinations taken during the spring semester or summer session, any grade corrections must be made prior to the end of the following fall semester."

Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP)

See page 234, heading "Academic Dispute," within the GSEP Academic Catalog. Specifically, "... [action must be taken] within 14 business days of the dispute arising (excluding University holidays and term breaks)."

Graziadio Business School (PGBS)

See the topic "Grade Appeal" in the Academic Policies of the PGBS Academic Catalog. Specifically, "In either case, students have up to 30 calendar days from the date the grade was assigned to initiate the appeal process."

School of Public Policy (SPP)

See page 121, heading "Student Petition," within the SPP Academic Catalog. Specifically, "... student issues must be made within one semester of completion of the coursework…"

Seaver College

See the Registrar's Grade Disputes for Seaver College. Specifically, "This process must be initiated by the student before the midpoint of the next non-summer semester, which immediately follows the course in question."


See Also