Two things happen which seem uncontrollable:
1). The Registrar’s Office deprovisions user IDs when a student graduates. If the student then is admitted in a graduate program, a new sourcedID is assigned to them even though the User ID is re-enabled. Now the student has undergraduate data in Blackboard Vista which will be decoupled from the User ID by changing the person account SourcedID inside Blackboard Vista to correspond with the new sourcedID in the Student Information System.
2). Every so often an Instructor will accidentally edit a previous coursesite (section level). We keep 4 years worth on the server and keep them available to Instructors for reference. If the coursesite is accidentally edited, the student data for that semester becomes suspect.
I’m thinking about doing section level backups directly after final exams each semester. This involves investment in additional infrastructure and storage, but not so onerous as to make it prohibitive. Again, however, there is a problem. A backup file of a crosslisted section does not have a file name which would facilitate restoring that content if it were ever needed.
Our current data retention policy doesn’t explicitly mention student data, but it is implied that we are saving it, along with everything else, for 4 years.