Course backups and archives

Course and Selective Backups

System backups

Course full backups are created weekly on Saturday mornings.

  • Details of the latest weekly backup for a course can be viewed by selecting Administration | Course administration | Restore
  • Weekly course backups include users and all course content, grades, submissions, activities. Backups can be restored by contacting
  • New backups are created only when a course is modified. Therefore, the most recent backup for your course may be several weeks ago if there has been no recent changes or activity in the course.
  • Weekly course backups cannot be downloaded! Only full Moodle administrators (our Moodle hosting organization, OpenLMS) can download these backup files due to security issues since they contain user data.
  • Weekly course backups can be used by ITS to restore all or selected content into a new course or selected content into the current course (e.g., restore an Assignment)

Personal backups

Professors are encouraged to maintain personal backups of course content for archival purposes and for convenient access. Personal backup options are available in various forms for:

  • Grades (Export) – See Export / backup grades
  • Assignment submissions (Download all as a .zip)
  • Quizzes, and
  • Course backup

Course Backup Instructions:
Select Course Navigation | More | Course Reuse, and select Backup
Select general blocks and activities
Select specific activities
Note: selected options do not include student data (no grades, submissions, posts) only your course content.
Reminder: You can only open a backup file on another Moodle site, not directly on your computer.

We can provide course backups for professors for their personal archives (e.g., personal backups, leaving Colgate, sharing with others). Submit course backup requests via

Course Archives

Starting with Fall 2016 semester

Course backups starting with Fall 2016 are stored only in Moodle and can be accessed by system administrators. Select Administration | Course administration | Restore for your latest course backup information. Backups will include any recent changes and therefore may not accurately reflect course state at the end of the semester.

Fall 2010 to Fall 2016

ITS maintains an archive of end-of-semester backups of all Learning Management System (LMS) courses BEFORE Fall 2016.

  • Backups may not reflect changes which a professor made in the course after the end of the semester.
  • Course archive backups can be restored, at least partially, upon request and in compliance with Copyright law.
  • Moodle course archives can normally be used to restore most course content directly into a course in the current Moodle system. Certain object types may no longer be supported. Student content (forum posts, assignment submissions) cannot normally be retrieved.
  • Some older archives may not be restorable.

Blackboard archives (2000 – Spring 2010)

Blackboard course archives can be used to retrieve only course documents. Some document names may be encoded.