Year-end procedures

Backup


Where Moodle is used in an academic environment, such as a school or university, it is useful to have procedures in place for removing students and teachers who have left and moving current students "up" a year while ensuring all essential work is preserved. While we talk about "year end procedures",the approach of preparing for the next intake of students for one or more courses may have nothing to do with a year-end. Some organisations might run two-week online courses every month; others might complete a qualification each term/semester, while yet others might have a self-paced, rolling programme with enrolment at any time.


Below are some suggested procedures and aspects to be taken into consideration. (Thanks to Gavin Henrick whose End of Year rollover blog post provided much of the content below.)


Contents


First thoughts


Which strategy to use?

There are a number of rolling over strategies used by schools, colleges and other organisations. Which strategy is used is dependent on a number of different criteria including:

Here are some standard mechanisms for a course rollover:


Backing up (archiving) courses

Courses may be made copied for archiving by using the Course backup feature and including user details (ie, assignment submissions, forum posts etc) (Note that this would be done by the administrator, as a regular course teacher is not allowed, for security reasons, to back up courses with user details.) The courses can then be stored either externally on a disc or within Moodle in a category named, for instance, "Archives" which can be hidden from regular users. The original course may then be "reset" for a new intake of students.


Pros:

Cons:

An alternative is to create empty courses for teachers, give them editing rights in the course and allow them to import the resources and activities from their old course into the new course. See Import course data



Resetting the courses

Once a course has been backed up for safekeeping, it can be reset by clicking the link in Settings>Course administration>Reset This removes all user data from a course but keeps the activities themselves ready to start afresh with students who will then be enrolled for the new academic year.

This can be done manually by teachers for their own courses and as such, they have control over what aspects are reset. They may for example choose to not reset certain activities that they want to keep the user content from (a forum, or a glossary or database for example). See Reset course

Pros:

Cons:


Creating a new course

A third option is where an empty course is created each year and the teacher is assigned to it. However, this requires the teacher to build it again each year with the new resources and activities. They can import if they wish but this is often done where the content has potentially changed so new versions of resources need to be added rather than last year's re-used.

Pros:

Cons:


Make a new Moodle

Another approach is to isolate each year by creating a new instance of Moodle for the upcoming student intake. Then only the needed courses, users, and resources/activities are added to this, so that it is kept as lean and as high performance as possible. If you still want your students and teachers to have access to the old course we can keep it on an archive URL so that they can still log in and use it, but it is now isolated from the new content and users.

Pros:

Cons:


Other considerations


Accessing the courses next year


See also


Useful tools