I have a production (moodle.com) and a staging (moodle.com/test) environments. Up to now, the number of students was not really significant and the courses were time-limited, which allowed me to work on the staging environment for one or two weeks when the students were not interacting with the platform and then push it to production, without losing students data because they simply didn't log in.
This has changed now: I have self-paced courses and more students, so I can't do the same way. If I work for one or two weeks on the staging and then push it to the production I will lose students data.
I suppose, the correct process for upgrading from staging to production would be: (1) upgrade the staging environment, (2) production site in maintenance mode and (3) download its students' data, (4) import this data to the staging site, (5) push it to the production site and (6) stop the maintenance mode. In general terms, am I correct? If so, what are the exact files I need for (3)?
Note: I am not a developer, I just follow Moodle documentation.