KB1096 - How to archive your Moodle course

An "Archived" Moodle course is simply a backup of a Moodle course taken at a specific point in time (usually once a course has ended) which includes student records and logs. (Moodle archive files have the file extension .mbz)

If needed, the eLearning Support team can use the Archive file to restore the course in order to view a specific student record.  Because space on the Moodle server is limited, the current recommended practice is for Instructors or departments to keep Archive files in a safe place in their VCC network folder or other safe location.

If there have been no changes in your course since the last automated backup, you can simply archive the copy of the automated backup (skip steps 3-10).  However, if you've made changes since the automated backup, you will need to perform a new backup before archiving.

This video from Moodle HQ shows you how to do a course Backup in Moodle:

  1. From within the main page of your course, click on Restore under the Administration menu.
  2. Look for the most recent file under the "Automated backups" section.  If you've made changes since the most recent automated backup, then proceed to step 3.  If not, then you can use this file as your archive and skip to step 11.
  3. To make a more recent backup file, click on Backup, under the Action (gear) menu on the front page of your course.
  4. Accept all default settings. Most checkboxes should be checked, but "Anonymize user information" should definitely NOT be checked."
  5. Click on the [Next] button
  6. Scroll to the bottom and click on [Next], again.
  7. Scroll to the bottom and click on [Perform backup].
  8. After some time (the actual time depends on how big your course is) you should see "The backup file was successfully created." (If not, please contact eLSupport with a clear description of the error message you are receiving.)
  9. Click on [Continue].
  10. You should now see your backup file at the top of the list of files under the "Course backup area."  Check the date and time to confirm this.
  11. Click on the "Download" link to the right of the file you want to download as your archive.
  12. Your file should now be downloaded to your computer.  How this process looks depends on which browser you are using, so it will not be described in these steps.
  13. Locate the file you just downloaded, somewhere on your computer.
  14. Rename your file by replacing the word "backup" with "ARCHIVE."  (This isn't necessary, but it's helpful for when you look back at the file later.)
  15. Copy or move the new archive file to a safe location such as your department's network drive, your H: drive, or a USB Key that you keep in safe and secure  location. (Consider privacy concerns)

You now have an archive of your course that can be restored into Moodle with the assistance of eLearning Support. If you ever need the archive restored write to eLSupport@vcc.ca.  You will need to put the file in a location where we can access it.  eLearning Support staff will advise you on that.

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