Course Rollover

Support for staff
We recommend that until further notice you roll over Moodle courses using the import method.

A course administrator may copy a course for archiving, backup or rollover purposes using the course backup feature.

The administrator can choose whether the backed up course includes user details such as assignment submissions or forum posts etc. — all these details would be included for archiving, or to restore a course in the event of it being damaged during Semester. However, they would not be included when a course was being rolled over from one semester to the next.

It may be tempting, in order to transfer course settings from a faculty template course to an official teaching course, to use the restore method and select "Overwrite the course configuration" in the Schema page. However, there is a high risk that in doing so you will inadvertently rename a course with the name of the course template. If you do this, confusion will arise with regard to the wrongly named course, but more seriously, student enrolment information will not be transferred from the Student Information System, because SIS will not recognise the destination course under its new name. Because of this risk, we recommend that you always use the Import method to apply a faculty template, and recreate the course settings in the Edit settings page of the destination course.

What's the difference between IMPORT and BACK-UP-AND-RESTORE?

There's a difference in data transfer and in the number of steps involved.

Data transfer—If user details are not required in the new version of the course, you can transfer content into a new course in a single operation, using the import process. To include user details, you must use the restore method.

Number of steps—If legacy course files have been used in the course, importing is completed in a single operation compared to restoring a course where it is completed in 2 steps: the course itself, then the legacy course files for that course.

When should I import, and when should I restore?

  • You would use course import when, for example, you were creating a new course from an old one (or parts of an old one).
  • You would restore a course when, for example, the original course had become corrupted and you needed to get the course up and running again, including all the user details.

IMPORT a course

Importing a course is similar to backing up and restoring it, except that:

  • the transfer is accomplished in a single operation, and
  • no user data is transferred into the new course.

You can import an entire course into the new course, or only elements (for example, a single activity) of the source course.

Do not attempt to import a course from one Moodle category into another category unless you have either Instructor or TELT Administrator access to both courses. The import process will appear to function, but no course content will display in the new course. Rather than creating new sub-categories for each term or session, add term or session details to the course title, to tell courses apart when rolling them over at term/session end.
  1. On the Moodle My home page, click the course name of the new semester's course shell.
  2. On the course home page, in the Settings block, click Edit settings.

    course rollover 1.2.png
  3. On the Edit course settings page, open the Course format section and select the course home page Format. If you selected Weeks or Topics, select a Number of weeks/topics that is greater (perhaps 2 more) than the number of weeks or topics in the source course, to maximise the likelihood of a successful import.

    course rollover 1.2.png
  4. Click Save changes.

    course rollover 1.2.png
  5. On the course home page, in the Settings block, click Import.

    course rollover 1.2.png
  6. On the Find a course to import data from page, locate and select the source course and click Continue.

    course rollover 1.2.png
  7. On the Initial settings page, select whether to include activities, blocks and filters. Select Include legacy files if you want to import legacy course files from the original course. (See note above about the current known issue relating to this option.) Click Next.

    course rollover 1.2.png
  8. On the Schema settings page, deselect any course elements you wish not to include in the import. (If the source course contains Turnitin assignments, Blackboard Collaborate or Media Collection assignment activities, read the Note at step 7 of the Restore a course instructions below.) Click Next.

    course rollover 1.2.png
  9. On the Confirmation and review page, check that the correct check boxes are selected. (If they are not, return to the previous pages and correct your selections.) Click Perform import.
If your course import fails, it may be that just one item in the source course is causing trouble. Repeat this import procedure, excluding likely activities or resources one by one to see if the import completes successfully.

course rollover 1.2.png

  1. When the import is complete, the message displays: "Import complete". Click Continue to return to the course.
  2. Check whether the content in section 0 has been copied over—you may need to manually copy the code from the old course's section 0 into the new course's.

What happens to LTI based tools once imported?

The LTI standard powers many of our Moodle integrated tools, and thus knowing how a course roll-over affects LTI tools is important to knowing whether your tools need additional configuration to work across semesters.

There are three general types of LTI connections, which depend on how the particular service interacts with Moodle.

1) Generic LTI links

These links do not link to anything specific in the target system, and instead access a generic page.

  • myExperience
  • Lynda
  • Virtuala

Result: Once the course roll-over (via import) is completed, these will continue to work without changes needed.

2) Specific LTI links to lessons, sections, etc

These links link to something specific within a target system, such as a lecture recording, audio file, online quiz or course lesson.

  • Adaptive eLearning (Smartsparrow)
  • Lecture Recordings+
  • QMP
  • Voicethread (TBA)

Result: Once the course roll-over (via import) is completed, these links will be outdated and must be updated to remain accurate/viable.

3) Auto-configured LTI links

These links auto-detect the course that they are in, and use this information to link to something specific within a target system.

  • Bluepulse
  • Collaborate Ultra
  • Leganto

Result: Once the course roll-over (via import) is completed, these will continue to work, and will point to the new content automatically.

BACK UP a course

Backing up your course is a 2-step process. The first step is to make a copy of your course by creating a backup file.

  1. In the Settings block, under Course administration, select Backup.

    course rollover 2.1.png
  2. On the Backup course - Initial settings page, select all the available check boxes, then click Next.

    course rollover 2.2.png
  3. On the Schema settings page, click Next.

    course rollover 2.3.png
  4. On the Confirmation and review page, enter an appropriate Filename, and click Perform backup.

    course rollover 2.4.png
  5. The Complete screen displays. Click Continue.

    course rollover 2.5.png
  6. In the Restore course page, under User private backup area, the backed up course displays. The Filename has the extension .mbz to avoid confusion with .zip files. From this page you can import a backup file, or download or restore the course you just backed up.

    course rollover 2.6.png

BACK UP legacy course files

The second step in the backup process is to make a copy of the legacy course files in your existing course.

  1. On the course home page in the Settings block go to Legacy course files.

    course rollover 3.1.png
  2. On the legacy course files page click Edit legacy course files.

    course rollover 3.2.png
  3. At the top of the course file window click Download all to zip the files.

    course rollover 3.3.png
  4. The zipped folder will be named according to the number of files e.g., rename the folder and save to your desktop.

    course rollover 3.4.png


RESTORE a course

After backing up your course and legacy course files, the next step in the rollover process is to recreate the course in the new semester's course shell in Moodle. You can either restore it or import it (see the earlier instructions) from the backup file.

We recommend that you use the import method. However, to include user details in a course transfer, you must use the restore method.

If you experience difficulties restoring the course from the backup file, you may find this page of backup and restore FAQs useful.

  1. Log in to Moodle and open:
  • the course to be restored (the "source" course)—for example, if you are rolling over 2013 content into a 2014 course, open the 2013 course
  • the course you want to restore into (the "target" course)—in the above example, you would also open the 2014 course.
  1. In the course home page of the source course, in the Settings block, under Course administration, click Restore.

    course rollover 4.1.png
  2. On the Restore course page, either:
    • Click Choose a file, use the File picker to upload the relevant backup file and click Restore, or
    • In the Course backup, User private backup or Automated backups area, locate the backup file you want, and in its Restore column click Restore.

      course rollover 4.2.png
  3. On the Confirm page, check that you are restoring the correct course, and that all inclusions and exclusions are correct, then click Continue at the bottom right.
  4. On the Destination page:
    • Select whether you want to Merge the restored course with the contents of the target course (recommended for course rollover into empty target course), or to Delete the contents of the target course and replace them with the restored course.
    • Select the target course to restore into (you may need to Search for the course), then click Continue.
  5. On the Settings page, make selections as appropriate and click Next.
  6. In the open target course, in the Settings block, under Course administration, select Edit settings, then on the Edit course settings page copy the Course name.
  7. Back in the source course, on the Schema page:
    • Paste in the copied Course name.
    • Copy and paste the target course's Course short name into the Course short name on the source course's Schema page.
    • Also in the target course, adjust the Course start date so that it is appropriate for the target course.
    • If, on the Destination page, you chose to Delete the contents of the target course, select Yes for Keep current roles and enrolments and Keep current groups and groupings.
    • Select or deselect course items as required.
If the course includes a Turnitin assignment, Blackboard Collaborate or Media Collection assignment activity, you should exclude that assignment from the restore process by deselecting its check box on the Schema page.

If you don't, the following error will display on the Turnitin assignment's Summary screen: "Duplicate copies of the same Turnitin assignments were found, duplicates occur when one or more Moodle Direct assignments is connected to the same one Turnitin assignment via the Turnitin API. This is known to cause issues, most notably submissions made to one of the duplicates will show up in the submission inbox of the others. To fix this you should either delete the duplicate assignments or reset the course where the duplicate assignments are. The following duplicates were found: [course name] [assignment name]"

If your course contains many Turnitin assignments, you may want to mark where to create the new links to them. If this is the case, leave Turnitin assignments in place when restoring the course—this will not disrupt the restore process. After restoring, remember to return to the new course home page and replace all the original Turnitin assignments' links with new ones.
If in step 5 you chose the Delete option and your course includes a Blackboard Collaborate activity, exclude that assignment from the restore process by deselecting its check box on the Schema page.

Once your course is restored, re-create the Blackboard Collaborate activities.
  • Click Next.
  1. On the Review page, check that you have made the correct selections. If you haven't, click Previous at the bottom left (or click Settings or Schema at the top of the page) to return to the appropriate page to make changes. When all the selections are correct, return to the Review page and click Perform restore.
  2. On the Complete page, click Continue.
  3. If, when you view the course home page, it appears to hold no content, edit your course home page settings and change the page Format from Topics to Weeks or vice versa.

Restore a course, steps 1 to 9

RESTORE legacy course files

After restoring your course, restore the legacy course files to reinstate the links to files in your course.

  1. On the course home page, in the Settings block, select Legacy course files.

    course rollover 3.1.png
  2. On the Legacy course files page, click Edit legacy course files.

    course rollover 3.2.png
  3. On the resulting page, either drag and drop your zipped legacy course files into the file box, or click Add and upload the files using the File picker. Click Save changes.


  1. On the course file page click on the zipped file and select Unzip in the pop-up window.

    course rollover 5.7.png
  2. The files unzip into the Root folder.

    course rollover 5.7.png
  3. To reinstate the links between these files and your course move the files out of the Root folder.

    course rollover 5.7.png
  4. Check your course to see that all links to files are working and Save changes.

    course rollover 5.7.png