HOWEVER, I noticed that I now have 2 news forums (I chose add to existing data). I thought that was odd so I did another restore and now I have 3 news forums and 2 of each assignment, resource etc.
Am I doing something wrong or is this a bug?
I have had this problem.
The news forum is kind of special.
As Martin pointed out, the way to get around duplicating it is to set the number of news items displayed (this is a course setting) to zero in the course you are backing-up, and then delete the new forum. Then it will disappear. If you do not set this number (in the course settings) to zero then the news forum will reappear.
Alternatively if you do not need the other forums to be backed up then you can choose not to backup forums in general, or not to restore them.
Instructor teaches Course
Instructor has 3 sections A, B, C
Instructor updates section A and wants to copy the files/assignments/resources to section B & C
I would assume that the backup --> restore (add to course) would do this, but it seems that it doesn't check to see if the file exists before it "restores" it to the new class.
I understand the whole thing about Groups, but I don't think that will work for the way we want to import the users (students and teachers) into Moodle.
No, sadly, backup does not check to see if the content exists. Restore can only restore to a new course, restore completely overwriting a course, or blindly adding to a course. There is restore and merge. I use a blank course to create content that I want to use on other courses (plural). That way only the new content is added. I agree that a restore and merge command would be a nice thing to have.
Sorry I meant to write that there is NO restore and merge.
Any merge command would have to insist that the ignored activities are identical. If there were any dithering then people would be wiping out contents that is similar but not identical. If identical ness is a criterion then there would be problems with say, just having changed a spelling in a resource, leaving almost-identical activities and resources duplicated.