It is important to prepare your Moodle courses for the start of the new academic year, so that things run smoothly when term starts. As a bare minimum, you need to reset your Moodle course to remove old student data and enrolments, and then modify the content of your course to reflect any changes in curriculum. You may also want to backup your course, which will allow you to retain an historical copy of your course (with or without student data). For detailed information on how to backup and reset your course please continue readiing.


This step is optional, as we now have a Moodle archive service. However, if you still wish to make a backup of your Moodle course to store locally, then do the following:

  1. Locate the red "Settings" block on the right hand side of the course homepage.
  2. Click on "Backup" under the "Course administration" heading.
  3. Make sure all of the tick boxes are selected except for "IMS Common Cartridge 1.1" and "Anonymize user information". Click on the "Next" button.
  4. Make sure everything is selected and click the "Next" button.
  5. If you want to, you can change the name of the backup file by altering the contents of the "Filename" field (make sure you don't delete the ".mbz" part of the file name when you do this). You can see what is being backed up by looking at the green ticks on the page. You should only have 2 red crosses (IMS Common Cartridge 1.1 and Anonymize user information).
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Perform backup" to start the backup process.
  7. When the "Backup completed successfully" message appears, click on the "Continue" button. You will be taken to the backup folder. The backup is now complete.

Please note: You will see on the final page there is the option to Download the backup. If you want to be extra safe, you can download the file to somewhere you will remember on your computer so that it can be quickly and easily restored at a later date.


Please note: If you run a course that stretches over 2 years or more, then you probably shouldn't reset your course. If you are unsure about what to do, please speak to us before resetting your course (email: ltt).

Resetting your course will remove all the student data from your course, e.g. forum posts, but will leave the resources and activities in place for your new cohort to use. All existing students will also be unenrolled from the course. To reset your course, do the following:

  1. Locate the red "Settings" block on the right hand side of the course homepage.
  2. Click on the "Reset" link under the "Course administration" heading.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Select default" button.
  4. Go to the "Roles" box. In the Unenrol users selection box, find and click on "Student". It should be highlighted in blue.
  5. Scroll to the bottom again and click the "Reset course" button to start the reset process.
  6. If the reset is successful, you should see lots of "OK" messages on screen. If you recieve any error messages, or the screen goes blank after clicking the button, please contact the Learning Technology team for assistance (email: ltt).
  7. Click "Continue" to return to your course home page. Your Moodle course has now been reset.


Once you have done a backup and reset, you should think about improving your course for the new academic year. The summer is the perfect time to do this.

Before you start altering content, it is advisable to hide the course from students. This will stop students accessing the course while you are editing it. To hide the course, do the following:

  1. Locate the red "Settings" block on your course home page. Click the "Edit settings" link. This will take you to the main edit page for the course.
  2. Scroll down the page until you see the "Availability" section. Select "This course is not available to students" from the dropdown list.
  3. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click "Save changes". Your course is now hidden from your students.

The following resources will help you update your course, and make it more interesting and engaging:

  • Introduction to Moodle - This self-paced online course will introduce you to the basics of Moodle (we also run this as a face-to-face workshop). Please email ltt if you're interested in taking the course.
  • Moodle activities for beginners - This online course aims to introduce you to the world of Moodle activities. You will learn how to use five different activity types. Please email ltt if you're interested in taking the course.

We are also running a couple of workshops on "Intelligent Course Design" in the Autumn term. Why not book yourself onto one of these courses?

If you get stuck along the way, please contact the Learning Technology Team by emailing ltt (add for full e-mail address). There is also extensive documentation on these processes on the Moodle software documentation website.

Last modified: Tuesday, 17 September 2013, 1:43 PM