Moodle: copy, backup and restore courses

This tutorial shows how to create a backup of a course in MIN-Moodle and how to restore it as a copy in another course category / semester.

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V1.1 ENG 02-2022 | Christian Kreitschmann | DL.MIN | University of Hamburg

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Table of Contents & Navigation

Below you will find a chapter overview. You can jump directly to the corresponding chapter by clicking on the individual tiles or go to the next section by clicking on the ᐅ arrow at the top right. For an explanation of the other navigation and menu bar elements, click on the ❔ help icon at the top right.

Course import: create course copy in new semester

The course import is the easiest way to integrate an existing course (or individual contents) into a newly created course, e.g. to reuse a course copy in a subsequent semester. The import function can also be used for adding individual contents of a local backup (e.g. collection of questions) to an existing course. To be able to import content from courses, you must have the necessary rights within the course category (role 'course creator' within course category, role 'teacher' within the single course).

Long-term course backups in MIN-Moodle

Courses can be saved and restored as backups in MIN-Moodle. The ability to backup, restore or import existing courses into new courses can be used for different purposes:

  • Backup of a ready-made course right before the course starts, as a template for later reuse
  • Backup of a completed course, for later editing and subsequent reuse
  • Import of an existing backup (course copy), as a basis for a new course

Saving a course before the course starts is useful if you are conceiving a new lecture / seminar and will be offering it (or the same type of event) regularly. As a template such a backup could already contain the most important elements for future lectures or seminars: e.g. named sections for adding resources, a section with basic information on the organization of your event, a section for communicating inside of the course (Forum, BigBlueButton-meetings) or sections with initial content (documents, quizzes, videos) that you will use regularly. At the beginning of the semester, you can then import this template into a new (empty) course by restoring its backup there. A course template for hosting Take Home Exams (THE) in MIN-Moodle can be found in this tutorial: Take Home Exams mit Moodle durchführen (DE).

You can backup a completed course if you want to reuse your course or individual sections and therefore back them up (locally) for yourself. In MIN-Moodle, completed courses are deleted after two years; due to this a backup on your computer can make perfect sense. Participants' data is not exported in this context. The backup of the course can be restored later within another existing or an empty new course.

To copy an already completed course to a new semester (course copy), you could use a backup and restore it within an empty course in the new course category / semester. In MIN-Moodle there is a simpler way to do this using the 'Import' function (see above).

A backup of running courses ('to be safe') is not necessary and puts unnecessary load on the server. In MIN-Moodle, automated backup processes take place continuously in the background. Should there ever be a major problem in MIN-Moodle, there is always a backup of the system that could be restored.

You do not have to actively take care of long-term archiving exam-relevant data of your courses either - as an LMS, MIN-Moodle is not the right place for that.

Create a backup

Restore backup within an existing course

This section describes how to restore a backup saved locally or at the course level within an existing course. Possible use cases are for example:

  • Restore a previous course version by restoring a manually created backup of the course.
  • Restore individual elements of a locally stored backup (such as tests) to integrate them into an existing course.