Search Google Appliance

Information Technology

Reuse a Moodle Course Using Import

In Moodle, you do not reset a course to reuse it. You must request a new empty course each semester you teach a class, into which you can import content from a previous course. For details on requesting a Moodle course, see Request Your Moodle Course - Overview.

You can import from a course you taught in a previous semester, or a course you have permission to copy. To copy another instructor's course, the instructor must submit our form: Allow Another Instructor to Copy Your Moodle Course.

The import function only works for courses that are on the UMass Moodle server. To restore a course from a Moodle backup file (.mbz) (e.g., a back up of a course no longer on our Moodle server, or of a Moodle course from another institution), contact the Instructional Media Lab at (413) 545-2823 or

What Gets Copied in the Import Process

You can copy most content* and most settings, or you can select particular resources and activities to import. To import only particular resources and activities, see Reuse a Moodle Activity or Resource Using Import.

Importing a course will NOT include student enrollment from the previous course, or any contributions to Activities made by members of the previous course (including students, TAs, and instructors). This means that forum posts, database and glossary contributions, and wiki content will not be included in the import. For assistance exporting such content to reuse, please contact the Instructional Media Lab at (413) 545-2823 or

*Note: If the course you are importing from contains the following item types, they will not be imported and will need to be recreated in the new course:

  • External tool activities (e.g., LTI links to OWL , MgGraw Hill, Echo360, etc.)
  • The UMass Libraries Course Materials block
  • Wiki (legacy) and Turnitin (legacy) activities
    (Note that Wiki and Turnitin activities created after May 2015 will be imported as usual.)

Import an Entire Course

Because the import process is "additive," if you are importing an entire course it is best to import into a new, empty course. Follow the steps below to copy all Resources and Activities, and duplicate the organization and most of the settings into the new course.

  1. Once you have been notified that your course for the new semester is ready to work in, log in to Moodle and, in the My Courses block, click the name of the new course to open it. (If you do not see the name of your course in the My Courses block, click Show hidden courses to access courses that are not available to students.) The new course will open with the default settings, blocks, number of sections, etc.
  2. In the Administration block, click Import. The Find a course to import data from page will open.
  3. The Find a course page will list up to 10 courses available for you to copy. If you do not see the course you wish to copy on the list, enter the course name or course number in the Search field and click Search.
    Note: Courses are deleted from Moodle 18 months after the end of the semester taught. (For details, see Moodle F.A.Q. for Instructors.)
  4. Under Select a Course, select the radio button for the course to copy and click Continue. The Initial Settings page will open.
  5. On the Initial Settings page, under Backup settings, check the types of content to copy (activities and resources, blocks, filters, calendar events, and/or question bank); all will be selected by default.
  6. Click Jump to final step. The Import progress page will open.
  7. Depending on the size and number of items to copy, this may take a few moments. You should see a progress bar as the import process proceeds. Once the import process is complete, a confirmation message appears.
  8. Click Continue. You will be returned to the new course.

Clean Up Imported Content and Recreate Certain Item Types

Be sure to attend to these important tasks, as needed:

  • Update text in labels, Section names, etc..
    For example, look for any references to dates and the term taught.
  • Update your syllabus.
  • Edit due dates for activities.
    To update due dates for activities such as Assignments and Quizzes see  Edit Dates for Multiple Activities & Resources in Moodle for information on how to change many due dates at once.
  • Set Up Groups.
    Groups are not copied into a new course. If you will use Groups in this course, in the Course Settings, select the default Group mode (separate or visible), and under Administration > Users > Groups, recreate group membership. We advise you to wait until after the end of add-drop for this step.
  • Reset Guest access.
    If you wish to have Guest Access to the new course, it will need to be enabled in Users > Enrollment methods. For more, see: Guest Access to Moodle Courses.
  • Recreate External tool links, and/or the UMass Libraries Course Materials block. 
    If the course you imported from included External Tool links (e.g., OWL, Echo 360, Mcgraw Hill, etc.) or the UMass Libraries Course Materials block, those items were not included in the import. You must recreate and configure them in the course you are copying to.
    Note: Wiki (legacy) and Turnitin (legacy) activities will not be imported and must be recreated. Wiki and Turnitin Assignment activities created after May 2015 are imported and do not need to be recreated.