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Moodle Help Guide

Creating a Course Backup File

Course backup files provide a way to move all of the contents of a Moodle course to a new location. The file is similar to a .zip archive file, and is a way to save the information from an entire course - including student data - in one compressed package. You might want to take a backup file to another school's Moodle server, move it to a new course site on the same server, or simply keep it on your own hard drive or in your own Google Drive space for future use.  Unpacking a backup in a new location on Moodle is called doing a RESTORE. 

There is also a way to IMPORT files from one course site on Moodle to another, which moves files and activities but does not include most student data. To learn more about the difference between RESTORE and IMPORT, see Restoring a Course Backup to an Empty Course Site. If you'd prefer to use the import function, see Adding Material from Past Courses, earlier in this guide. If you're uncertain which to use, please contact the EdTech team.

Creating a Course Backup file:

  1. Go to your Moodle course> Gear Icon (to the right of the course title) > Backup.
  2. Look through the default Initial settings that are checked and check any additional settings that you want to use, then click the Next button
  3. Schema settings - Uncheck any boxes for items you don't want to include in the backup, such as empty weeks or topics, then click the Next button.
  4. Confirmation and review - Review your Initial settings and Schema setting items, check that everything is as required, then click Perform Backup 
  5. Depending on the size of your course, the progress bar may take a few minutes to complete your backup.
  6. Click "Continue."
  7. The final screen that appears is for managing your backup files.  The "Course backup area" section will show the downloadable file for the course for which you just created a backup. 
  8. Click download next to the course backup file and save to your local machine or to your Google Drive.

Previous backup files that you have created can be found by opening the Gear Menu and clicking the "Restore" option.

Restoring a Course Backup File to an Empty Course Site

The instructions below are for restoring a course using a previously created backup file. To generate a backup file, follow the instructions in Creating A Course Backup File.

A course backup file (.mbz) may be restored into any of your existing Moodle course sites: 

  1. Go to the main page of your course, click on the gear icon to the right of the course title, and then click Restore (if you have an empty course to restore into). 
  2. Upload the backup file by dragging into the Files box, or choose a file in the Course backup area or User private backup area and click Restore 
  3. Confirm - Check that everything is as required then click the Continue button 
  4. Destination - Choose whether you would like to Restore into existing course, Restore into this course, or Restore as a new course. Then click the Continue button at the bottom of the section you choose. Caution - if you have information in your course that you don't want to overwrite, be sure you don't choose the overwrite option.
  5. Settings - Select activities, blocks, filters and possibly other items as required then click the Next button 
  6. Schema - Select/deselect specific items and amend the course name, short name and start date if necessary then click the Next button 
  7. Review - Check that everything is as required, using the Previous button if necessary, then click the 'Perform restore' button 
  8. Complete - Click the continue button

Moving Materials to Another Five College Moodle Server

If you'll be teaching a course at another Five College campus and wish to transfer materials from a Mount Holyoke Moodle course site to a Moodle course site at Amherst, Hampshire, UMass or Smith, some things to keep in mind:

  • Different institutions use slightly different versions of Moodle. Many but not all materials are portable between versions.
  • For assistance, contact Moodle support at the instruction where the course will be taught.
  • Streaming videos you have requested through MHC aren't portable between Moodle instances. Contact electronic reserves staff at the target institution to request streaming videos.
MHC Accessibility Barriers Form