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The Study Hall

Three Critical Components Every Student Data Archiving Solution Should Offer

As a higher-ed administrator, I’m sure you’re constantly thinking of new and better ways to improve your student data retention strategy. After all, current methods to archive student data and course content have become outdated. Pricey legacy LMS archiving options, read-only cold storage, and other unhelpful options are neither affordable nor easily integrated with Canvas. But with the recently announced archiving solution offered to Canvas customers through K16 Solutions and Instructure’s expanded partnership called Scaffold Archiving, that may be a thing of the past.

With Scaffold, institutions can now bask in the glory of a fully integrated and inexpensive archiving option. Good-bye, clunky, unreadable, and pricey archiving options—hello, seamless, affordable, Canvas-integrated archiving!

So what are the three critical components of an innovative archiving solution? Let’s take a look! 

CANVAS-INTEGRATED. Using a system that fully integrates with Canvas comes with a whole host of benefits.  One of the most significant benefits, of course, is that you can finally ditch your legacy LMS provider—cause you know that’s not gonna plug into Canvas. And you’ve probably got a ton of unreadable and hard-to-access student data doing nothing but just sitting around (and costing you money). So, if your existing student data archiving solution doesn’t fully integrate with Canvas, and we mean 100% integrate as in acting almost as an extension of Canvas itself, then it’s time to ditch it. With Scaffold Archiving, you can retain your student data on a Canvas-integrated solution and capture content such as enrollment information, student submissions, discussions & replies, file attachments, assignments, quizzes, feedback, gradebook, and more.
IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO STUDENT DATA & COURSE CONTENT.  There is probably nothing more beautiful (talking to all of you who have LMS responsibilities on campus) than watching student data and course content get pushed from the archives to Canvas and come out squeaky clean on the other side! That’s right: readable, understandable content that transfers over as quickly as you can hit a button simply labeled “Sync to Canvas.”  If you find yourself dreading the idea of accessing archived content with your current solution because you know how long it’s going to take and how bad it’s going to look when you push it to Canvas, then it’s time to ditch it.  Scaffold Archiving allows institutions to access archived content whenever and wherever they want and retain the option of migrating course content in the future.

AFFORDABILITY.  This was mentioned earlier, but let’s re-state. Chances are if you moved to Canvas from another LMS platform, you’ve most likely made the decision to archive student data and course content with your legacy LMS provider. You may also have chosen another route (see Component 2 above). While you and your institutional peers are likely rejoicing at the fact that your institution is now on Canvas(yay!), remember: you’re most likely still getting billed just to keep archived data on your legacy LMS (maybe even a lot). If archiving on your legacy LMS costs more than archiving with Scaffold, then it’s time to ditch it. The savings you realize with Scaffold Archiving will allow you to reinvest resources into other critical departments or areas. You can finally realign resources to support teaching and learning rather than on platform and server maintenance. 

Sounds amazing, but what do Canvas customers who are using this solution have to say?

Great question! Here’s what a couple of Canvas customers have had to say about using Scaffold Archiving:

“The content can easily move from Scaffold Archiving back to Canvas. We don’t have to download a cartridge and clean it up later on. Instead, we simply find the course, click a button, and it goes from Scaffold right over to Canvas. Our archive is now its own version of an LMS where we can easily move content to and from Canvas and Scaffold."
- Abram (Abe) Hedtke, Director of Instructional Technology, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

“We had a tremendous experience working with the K16 Solutions team in helping us migrate from Blackboard to Canvas, so when we heard about the savings and benefits of archiving student data on their platform Scaffold, we jumped at the chance. We can now use those cost savings for other critical areas within our operations or academic departments."
- Dr. Carol Ann MacGregor, Vice Provost, Loyola University New Orleans

There’s finally a better way for your institution to archive data. If you want to explore a state-of-the-art archiving solution for your institution, visit