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Moodle has a backup feature that stores all (or selected parts) of a course to a compressed file that can be saved for future use or copied to a different Moodle site.   This can be useful if an instructor is moving to a different institution or would like to have a backup of the course for safekeeping.

When making large or risky changes to your course, such as deleting a batch of files or making changes to the gradebook, you can back up the course just in case something goes wrong.


To generate the backup, log into Moodle, go to the course. and click on the Gear Icon (top right of page) → Backup.  The backup process will guide you through what information and which activities you want to backup.  e

You can select whether to back up student information or not in the second step labeled 2. Scheme settings.  There will be two columns of checkboxes corresponding to each item in the Moodle course.  The left column selects whether that item will be included in the backup.  The right checkbox indicates whether student information for that activity will be included.  If you want to archive any student assignment submissions, forum posts, etc., leave all the right side checkboxes selected.  If you do not need any student information, deselect all the boxes with the control at the top of the right column.  

When the process completes, you will see a list of the backup files generated for this course and can download the file(s).  If you want to download a file at a later time, clicking on Gear Icon (top right of page)  →  Restore will show a list of all the backup files for the course.  

Transferring a Moodle course from Swarthmore to another institution

It may be possible to export a course from Swarthmore's Moodle site and import it to another institution's Moodle site.  Download the .mbz Moodle backup file as specified above and use the Moodle Restore feature to import it to the other Moodle site.  Depending on the versions of Moodle used, it may not be possible to transfer all the information.