I am trying to migrate a course from Blackboard (not sure what version) to Moodle 1.8. (The Bb version is not important for this question). It is not clear at all to me how to do this. I have searched and searched, and the best answer to my question "How to do this?" is as follows:
1) Create a new course
2) Go to new course and click on "Restore"
3) Upload .zip file to resoration directory.
4) Do restore from that file.
This seems very counter-intuitive, so maybe I am getting something wrong. I mean, do I really have to "Create a new course" just to restore it? Shouldn't the restoration process allow me to create a new course from the restoration?
Also, my understanding is that step (3) and (4) should work because the previous work done on Bb-to-Moodle migration is incorporated into Moodle now, and is not a separate module/tool. Is that also correct?
Oh, but there is a problem with step (3) -- "Max 2MB". My Bb course export is
The documentation I have found is spotty at best and does not address any of my questions, really.
- The "BB to Moodle Content Conversion Tool" mentioneed here: http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=32049 . This forum posting is over two years old -- is this functionality built in to Moodle now? Also, is CTT a stand alone tool that requires a Tomcat server to run? Also, does it get stuff out of the Bb system, and thus need to be run on the same server as Bb, or does it convert a Bb export file to Moodle? Not clear...
- Am I missing something about "Restore"? I did find one mention of the possibility that Restore ought to be present on the main course listing page but I don't have it. I don't have any administrative tools, in fact. What am I doing wrong?
The way you did it (creating a new empty course, then restoring "into" it) should work, but I agree that it is counterintuitive.
If you have course creator privileges (e.g., if you are an admin), then you do not need an empty course.
Say you were admin. On the front page of your site, click Administration -> Front page -> Front page restore, browse to your zip file, upload it, and click Restore.
You will be given the option (later in the process) to either (1) add content to an existing course or (2) create a new course.
I believe that Moodle will automatically recognize a Blackboard file. I believe the migration tool is no longer necessary.
If your Bb file is greater than your upload limit, you must increase your upload limit. See
well, at least from what i've done, i had to create a new course so when i restore with the information that i want, i do the restore by deleting the other first and putting the info on that place.
watch out, because if you have only 2mb maybe you have to edit you php.ini and put more MB! check the time that a restore have, in default it is 30 secs, but it is better to put more, like 180secs (3 mins) because if is much info it takes more!
if you have moodle before maybe you could do a backup from the course that you want to restore! then is just select the file to upload.
for the admin tools you have one the right, almost top saying "Block.." i guess, press there and choose Administrative, i think you'll get the block that you want!
I have done a lot of these conversions. I always create a "conversions and uploads" course where I upload all moodle or BB files prior to restoring them. I have wrecked my front page before by being careless when restoring (replacing the FRONT PAGE course by accident), and I find it much safer to restore out of a shell course that I use for all such activities.
In this case, you will find restore in the "restore" area in your admin menu. If you do not have this block in the uploads and conversions course (or whatever course you are using), perhaps you just need to activate it (as Miguel says, above). It shows up as a link among all the other tools.
You will need the xslt library installed, I think. Do you have that? Otherwise, the BB restore should be "built in" to moodle as of moodle 1.5. I have never had to install anything else.
I will also tell you that I usually go so far as to restore BB courses on a separate instance of moodle. The reason for this is that I had a corrupted archive once and it blew up when I restored it. My moodle was rather damaged as a result, and I didn't take that chance again. I do think that this was because my BB database was ailing dreadfully at the time, but it was rather shocking.
You may find some vagaries with your quiz pools. BB5.5 archived them differently than later versions of BB, so you might want to check your restored course to see if all of it came over. I did have to export the quiz items separately because we were using the older version.
Last, if you can't upload a file more than 2 MB, if you have server access you can FTP the file (or use the windows explorer) to place it in the uploads and conversions course area directly. It will be some folder corresponding to the course ID number in the moodle data directory. That is a way around the limit if you can't change that on your server.
So those are my stories! Maybe one or more of them will help or at least give you a new idea to try.
The one area with which I have the most problems with Open Source software is the area of documentation. Moodle is no exception -- the documentation is not as complete, comprehensive, accurate, and up to date as I would like it to be. I know, I know -- Open Source, I can help fix it, yadda yadda. And I will, if my University starts using Moodle. (This is just a rant -- no offense intended. I love and use Open Source for *everything* -- and I do mean *everything*. Linux, Open Office, Firefox, etc.)
Okay, in any case, some clarification, please:
* Is *everything* a "Course" in Moodle? It appears to be the case, according to comments and forum posts, but I can't find that described in any actual documentation.
* I cannot figure out how to get Administrative tools onto my main Moodle page. I have only one user, "Admin". I stuck him in the admin group. I looked everywhere. There is a slide presentation by Matt Campbell, "Converting Blackboard to Moodle.ppt" that I found on Moodle docs - http://docs.moodle.org/en/Blackboard_migration - and in the screenshots I can see that, after logging in, there is suddenly an "Administration" block with all the tools I am looking for. (see slides 14 and 15). But I can't reproduce that in my Moodle installation. Help!
I actually was able to get a Bb course loaded into Moodle, but it strikes me that the documentation on how to do this is seriously lacking. I am working on writing up the steps I took and I'll submit it to the documentation team (or however docs get updated) when I get it polished.
thanks for the help! Later...
2) The administrative tool block doesn't go on the main moodle page. I think that is because the front page is a "special" case of course and you are not supposed to treat it the same way you treat other courses/workspaces. As I said before, I have found it much more practical to create a special "course" as a workspace for managing uploads and conversions. I run a few hundred each year through that space and it works great! Your admin login allows you access to anything, so just make a course for handling your conversions and use it. You don't have to be an instructor and all that. I think, perhaps, in this one thing you are still more familiar with how BB does course restores than how moodle does them. If I remember correctly, I had a BB administrative area where the archives were stored and I restored from there. The use of the uploads and conversions course DOES represent an intermediate step that you might not have had before. But on the other hand, it works just as well once you get used to the idea of using a course as an archive repository.
3) I encourage you to add to the documentation in the wiki. You are in an excellent position to really zero in on things that a person ought to know in order to streamline this process. I, for example, have long since developed the "expert's blind spot" and take too many things for granted. So I think you can make a real difference in this regard!
I have added some documentation to the Moodle Docs Wiki. Thankfully I didn't have to jump through any hoops -- some Open Source projects make you jump a bit before you can add documentation. See it here: http://docs.moodle.org/en/Blackboard_migration
I can definitely appreciate the "expert blind spot" thing. I have not used Moodle before this week -- in fact, I hardly know anything about LMSes in general -- and so far I am strongly wishing for a descriptive page(s) in the documentation that explicitly states a lot of little things that "experts" take for granted.
I for one have never used BlackBoard before, ever, so the assumption that I am more familiar with the BB way of restoring things is not quite right -- it is just that restoring courses seems to me like it should be a separate function outside the scope of "Creating a New Course".
Do you have any idea why "restore" was implemented this way? I really don't understand it -- it strikes me as incredibly unintuitive.
I think a "design philosophy" page in the documentation or similar would be great. Does that exist?
Take, by way of analogy, the Unix file system (in the general sense). In a Unix file system, everything is considered a file. Devices, ports, files, everything. Once you know that underlying design philosophy, it makes a LOT of things about using Unix easier to understand.
Allrighty, thanks, seeyalater...
 I am a Web Developer; that is my experience and background. I am not an instructional designer, teacher, etc. Before I started this job, "CMS" to me meant "Content Management System" not "Course Management System", and because of that I try to say "LMS" instead of "CMS" whenever possible.
I can only guess that the reason you restore courses THROUGH a course is because Moodle was always built to allow instructors to have as much control as possible. Naturally, as admin, you can disallow some of that, but I have instructors who prefer to upload an archive into an empty course shell and take care of the restore themselves. I can't remember doing that in BB, but it works just fine in Moodle.
As a complete Moodle novice, I've been handed a Blackboard zip file to import. Yesterday I updated to Moodle 1.8 (I never saw the Restore function during course creation in 1.7).
When uploading the Blackboard course during a Restore, I get a "A required parameter (id) was missing" error. Looking at a Moodle xml file, I see lots of <ID> tags used to identify items in the course. Looking at the one XML file included with the Blackboard zip, it seems like BB uses <item> tags instead. Seems like Moodle could overcome that if it knows how to handle BB courses. Perhaps a problem with the BB export?
Any wisdom/suggestions would be greatly apprciated!
Go to the front page of moodle.org and enter the following string
into the search box on the upper right side of the page. You will see quite a few discissions. One of them may have the answer.
Most of the time the error you got means that the file you were trying to upload is too large. Could that be your problem?
I set my upload limit (at least I think i did) large enough to accommodate the file. However, I found a thread (thanks John) that led me to put the file in the backupdata folder for an existing course. That way I skipped the upload process and the file was restored!
I imagine the file limit increase didn't take because I needed to stop and start PHP - ya think?
I understand that you wrote this some time ago (2007), but I am hoping you can provide me with info about migrating Bb 8 content into Moodle 1.9.
I believe my options are to use beFree just to have access to my files outside of Bb, but not as a conversion tool from Bb to Moodle.
I can redo my course in Moodle with my files I have on my desktop (either I have them or used beFree)
Or what your talking about in this forum topic was to export a Bb course as a ZIP and somehow upload it into a shell Moodle course?????
As I am newbee, will what you said work with Bb 8 and Moodle 1.9? Are there any differences?
Does anyone know of methods for a migration of Bb 8 to Moodle 1.9?
Am I correct that beFree is just a file retrieval tool and not a Migration tool (whole course moved at once)?
Thank you for your time,
the most recent work on standard Blackboard Conversion was done by LSU - more info here:
They have a really easy to use Web based site which converts BB exports to Moodle backups - this web based version is based on an earlier version of their exporter - newer code is available but you will need to set this up/run it yourself (see links in the docs for details)
Unfortunately the LSU converter doesn't Support BB9 very well but it should work well with BB8 files
hope that helps!
We're trying to migrate from Bb 7.3 > Moodle 1.8 (latest) & get a few courses populated along with integrating our LDAP server to allow faculty to play around with it a bit & see if they like it enough to switch over.
So far, I've successfully imported three different courses from Bb archives (not exports), however each time, Moodle doesn't import the users. During each process, it will say that the users weren't found. Can anyone tell me why? Do the user accounts already need to exist in Moodle?
My question is how do I change the default setting that automatically sets it that way? It will take way too long to go into each course and manually reset each individual item.
Please help. Thanks.
I am not 100% sure I understand your question, but perhaps this is about opening each resource in a new window instead of the frameset?
That setting is in the admin menu under modules, activities, and then look at the settings for resources. Set resource_popup to "yes". Otherwise, your resource is loaded with navigation frame at the top.
I do remember that at one point, I had an enormous problem with BB files because any file that had a space in it had the filename completely garbled when I imported into moodle. This was a very long time ago, and the problem might have been fixed, but I think you might want to check a link or two just to be sure.
Good luck fixing it!
edit--I see that you posted down below and the problem has NOT been fixed. The space problem is terrible. Can you get the faculty to help fix the links? Or will they be angry that you asked? That could happen, since there is already great stress in changing systems. I feel for you!
Thanks, this has been helpful. It does appear that the spaces are a problem, and you are right about saying anything to faculty, so I'll just muddle through...
can you tell me more
which version of BB and Moodle do you have
res00388/Securing Internal Validity
I then select "choose or upload a file" and find folder 00388. Inside the folder I'll find a word document whose name is simply a string of numbers which I then choose.
So far I've had to manually fix every link to a document that has a space in it's name. Will I have to do this for every document like that in every course? You can imagine--we have a large number of courses we are moving over, and within each course a large number of such documents.
Please help. Thanks.
Maybe it will help?? I don't know the versions, and it is an older post.
I checked out this forum and did post a question about how to use the tool. I hope it works, because the method I'm currently using is very time consuming.
I am stuck migrating from BB 7.3 enterprise to Moodle 1.9
keep getting this error "course_header object missing from session"
Any ideas would be great
was told respondus would export the BB quizzes etc and format them for Moodle
My issue has been assignments in BB do not transfer over to Moodle
tried several tools - Bfree and an online translator - no luck
Have you actually succeeded with Respondus? The courses I need to migrate have hundreds of BB quizzes -- they're foreign language courses that used the BB quiz utility throughout the courses, for learning and not (primarily) for assessment -- and moving to Moodle "manually" is out of the question.
Thanks for any further insight or suggestions.
haven't tried respondus
was told by a "moodle provider" this was the way to go for exams
What I don't understand is:
- (& has been echoed throughout these forums) for a platform that is certainly an alternative to the major industry player, I'd have thought that the migration process would have been perfected by now
- if something like bFree exists, & can easily read & extract Bb archives into a very readable format wouldn't the next logical step have been to incorporate bFree's functionality, with the end result being a generation of the moodle.xml manifest file?
I think that what we're going to have to end up doing is manually inserting all of our migrated courses somehow from bFree extracted archives. I'd like to maybe look into a mechanism to generate the moodle.xml file ourselves so that MOODLE's restore process can read it, but I'm afraid that it might be pushing the limits of our time table.
1. exterior links do not come over
2. quizzes do not come over (each test has to be exported individually from Bb and imported into Moodle individually as well). Additionally, the quizzes are not rebuilt even after restore.
3. files with spaces in their names come over, but the links to them are broken.
Are these observations correct?
My steps for restore are now:
1. import quizzes
2. navigate to an empty course (all of our courses are created automatically from our SIS), select "restore", upload the .zip Bb file, restore by adding to existing course--if I select restore by deleting existing course, then all the test questions I imported disappear.
3. go back and fix links to documents
4. don't know what to do about the exterior links that don't come over except to fix each course manually. *ugh*
Should this be what I am experiencing? Would upgrading to Moodle 1.9 help? Is there something I need to do with Bb?
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
In reading this forum post, it looks as though the tool is supposed to help bring test questions over from Bb to Moodle. Is that correct? I am able to bring the questions over using the import tab in the question section of Moodle, and like the post mentions you still have to rebuild the quizzes. I'm not sure if the problems I'm having with restoring is what I am supposed to be experiencing, or if I am doing something wrong. The way it stands now, it is very tedious to bring a course from Bb to Moodle, and fix everything. My main concerns are as stated above--exterior hyperlinks don't come over, quizzes need to be rebuilt, and links are broken to any documents they have spaces in their names.
So if an instructor has links to external web pages in the Bb course, all those links have to be recreated in Moodle (only the name of the web site and/or description comes over, not the actual URL either). Is this what I should be experiencing?
The file you want is /moodle/backup/bb/bb6_to_moodle.xslAdd "<br/>" (no quotes... it's a line break) to the end of line 510 (with the Import tool... it might be a line or two off) to create a separator for the link and the title so it will autolink. The line should look like this before:
and this after:
After line 510, hit return and add the following line to add the "URL" value to the body of the external link description.
Hopefully this will work for you. If not, post back and I'll see what else I can do.
<!-- Creates one module-link entry -->
<xsl:template name="module_link" >
<xsl:param name="mod_number">1. </xsl:param>
In a nutshell: Is the conversion tool able to migrate Blackboard discussion boards to Moodle forums? I'm using Blackboard 6.1.5 basic, Moodle 1.8.1+ and 1.9beta.
Here's what I've tried: Create a course in moodle, upload the Blackboard course archive, choose restore to new course (or delete and replace course). I have all of the resources checked (specifically, "forum" and "user data" boxes are checked). Moodle states "Restore completed successfully" at the end. The conversion works for static resources (pdf, html pages, etc.), but all of the BB discussion forums seem to be lost; I get the error message "Could not get the course module for the forum" in moodle (this is true for both moodle 1.8.1+ and 1.9beta).
Occasionally, I also get the error "Could not adjust instances in course_modules!" and moodle states the course restore could not be completed.
Any suggestions or pointers to further information is much appreciated.
It might depend on your install whether they come over as forums or not... I've had both. Oddly enough, I've found before that the forums come over as 'resources' if you go to activities and look in there. All you have to do then is copy/paste the description of the resource into the description of the forum and give it a name.
Guess we'll keep trying...
I have been exploring the Blackboard to Moodle course conversion discussion and help information at the wiki. I have not been able to find the answer to the question...
"Does user data such as discussion posts, assignment submissions, grades etc. come across using the conversion tool?
Also is anyone out there tried a course from the Blackboard 6 version, formerly WebCT? I only see information relating to the other original BB version.
Right now I'm sitting on migration from BB 5.7 to Moodle 1.8
i have about 1500 questions from BB which contain pictures. But Moodle I cant find the way how to export bb quizzes with questions containing pictures in them?
BB gives out *.zip archive whic contain resources folder, ismanifest file and *.dat file. Usually *.dat file is enough to import, but what to dot with pictures?
Please help - I will go insane i i'll have to make these questions by myself.
Some additional functionality seems to come with the LSU conversion tool (not knocking the SFSU tool) but when converting simple course structure from Bb v 8 to Moodle v1.9.2 this tool worked better. Probably because of "work that Louisiana State University has done to make a Blackboard 6.3 to Moodle 1.8 Content Transfer Tool that works on the most recent version of
Tomcat (6.0) and Java" (http://iss-tech.humboldt.edu/mellon/ctt/). It can be found at:
We (LSU) are planning on building a converter for bb5.5, bb6, bb7, and bb8 for the world to use, but we need your help.
We need as many bb7 and bb8 course archives (no Personally Identifiable Information please) as we can get. If we don't get enough varied archives, we can't write the input plugins. We are planning to make the system pluggable, so you can write your own input plugins as well.
We have several thousand bb6 archives and bb5.5 archives and have converted almost 2000 courses from bb6.3 to Moodle 1.9 that are in use today in Moodle.
This new converter will be done sometime around the February timeframe.
Please email me if you would like to help out.