Copying content from Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2.2

The majority of the staff at Glyndŵr have now logged in to our new Moodle 2.2 site, which will be live for our students from 4th September 2012, and issues of access to courses are being resolved. Our next big task is to help our staff to populate the new site, as we have started off with a fresh Moodle 2 environment, rather than upgrading. The main reason for this was because we are taking the move to Moodle 2 as an opportunity to reorganise our Virtual Learning Environment. This post outlines how we are copying across content and some of the issues we have come across.

Course backups and restores for support sites

We have begun to help staff to copy across their content from the current Moodle site  to the new one and for the student support and staff support sites we can back up a Moodle 1.9 course and then restore it in Moodle 2.2. It is then a case of advising the relevant staff members that from now on they need to start updating information on the new site and be prepared for the go-live date for students in September.

There are, however, a few things that a Moodle administrator needs to bear in mind when doing a course backup in 1.9 before restoring in 2.2:

  • There are a number of non-core Moodle modules that won’t copy across, for example the Journal, or for us, Turnitin assignments (we are moving from a basic integration to a native integration). You need to remove these elements from the list of what’s included in the backup file; otherwise when you come to restore you will simply get an error message.
  • For Glossaries and Databases, the core settings and a link will appear, but you will find that the entries don’t copy across. For both modules your best bet is to then go back to the original activity in 1.9 and export the entries. You can then import entries into the glossary or database in your 2.2 course.
  • Your topic headings from Moodle 1.9 will appear as labels in 2.2, so you will need to copy them into the appropriate places using the ‘Edit summary’ icons.
  • Staff should be encouraged to check any files and links – we have found that sometimes what displayed as a file in 1.9 will appear as a URL in 2.2, or vice versa. In particular, you need to check any links to files located elsewhere on the course, to other topic areas or to other courses on your Moodle site – some will invariably be broken.
  • Given that there is no longer a files area, and we are not using the My Private Files function at Glyndŵr, you may need to re-upload pictures (they may be fine in labels or pages, but not display correctly in, for example, quiz questions). Again, encourage staff to check.

Options for copying content across for academic sites

In spite of the issues outlined above, if you are doing a simple backup and restore to a new version of the same course, it is relatively straightforward. However, copying content across for the academic sites is not so simple, as we are changing how we organise our VLE. In our current Moodle site, different departments have organised their courses in a variety of ways, but from September we are moving to a system whereby every module delivered has a space on Moodle (one space per module code, per campus, per academic year) and there are also programme spaces for each programme delivered. Courses will be created automatically, based on the data held by Student Data Services in SITS, and students will be enrolled automatically.

There are very few courses, therefore, where we can do a straight backup and restore. One way we’ve been getting around this is to restore 1.9 content into a 2.2 programme site, and then use the Import function to copy content relating to specific modules into the relevant module spaces. (You can see a video tutorial of how to copy content from one course to another here).

Some staff, of course, are going to use the move to Moodle 2 and the reorganisation of the VLE as an opportunity to review and rethink how they present  their content and deliver their learning online, and we would encourage them to do so. However, for those staff members who want help moving their content across, we are therefore giving them two options:

  1. We can do a backup of the Moodle 1.9 course and restore this into a Moodle 2.2 space (as discussed above). This is the more appropriate option if they have resources other than files (such as links to websites, labels etc.) or activities (such as forums, assignments etc.) on the site.
  2. Download the files they have uploaded to Moodle 1.9 and then upload these to their new Moodle spaces. This is the more appropriate option if they only have files and folders on their current Moodle space, and/or if they want the opportunity to rethink how they organise their Moodle space.

The video below outlines these options to our members of staff:


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