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Moodle Course Retention Policy

Picture of Leslie Harris
Moodle Course Retention Policy

Hi, Folks.

We are entering our second full year of creating all of our current courses in Moodle, and we have both those years still existing on our production server, along with a previous year when we had a much more limited Moodle pilot.  At this point, we are trying to come up with a strategy on how long to retain those courses, where to store them, etc.  In particular, we are hoping to answer the following questions:

  1. How many years of courses should we keep on our production server?
  2. How many years of past courses should we keep on an "archive" server?
  3. How do we move past courses from the production to the archive server?
  4. How do we delete (for example) a year of past courses from the production server, after we move them to the archive server?

The general strategy we are considering is to try to keep four years of courses available to students, so they have a sense of their full career at Bucknell.  We would also like to keep something like six to eight years of courses available to faculty members, to allow them to draw from their Moodle courses when documenting their teaching over the years.  We are trying to figure out how to reach those goals, and we would appreciate guidance from folks would have who have used Moodle longer than we have and who have confronted these issues.  In other words, what strategies has your school come up with to resolve the issues of Moodle course retention, and how effective have those strategies been?  

Please feel free to respond to this forum, and please feel free to respond to me privately, if you're open to my making a follow-up phone call to discuss this in detail.

Leslie Harris
Bucknell University

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Picture of Ray Morris
Re: Moodle Course Retention Policy
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I'm curious about this as well.  Here, we're pretty hesitant to delete anything, so we've been configuring things, and submitting patches, to make it work well without needing to delete information. 

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Picture of Gregor McNish
Re: Moodle Course Retention Policy

Well, we've only started doing this this year, so I don't know if it will work yet, but:

At the end of last year we went through a process

  • notified teachers courses were to be backed up and reset -- they could opt out, but default was opt in
  • we wrote a script to backup each course, and then reset it once it had successfully backed up
  • We backed up and deleted any course that was empty, or had no students in the previous year and hadn't been accessed in more than 6mo.

This set us up for the new year.

Before the process we did a full site backup (code/data/database), and created a separate instance of the site for audit purposes. We disabled student logins on that site, and made it only visible to our internal network. We also changed the site banner to indicate that it's a copy, not the real thing. 

We'll try and follow the same process each year.


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