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Each year, Moodle courses are refreshed to remove old student data and prepare for the next cohort of students. Current staff and students will need to take action to ensure they have all the information they need from Moodle before the refresh takes effect.

Key points

  • Wednesday 15th September and Thursday 16th September 2021.  Moodle will be unavailable ALL day on both days for ALL users.

  • We are not planning a late refresh this year as the main refresh date is after most dissertation deadlines have passed.

  • If you do not wish your course to be refreshed on the above date you can tag your course with “do not refresh”. See the “I am a Moodle editor – what do i need to do?” section below for further guidance.

We will communicate this through emails and on the Moodle home page, but do disseminate this widely, please.


 What IS removed during the refresh?
  • All student enrolments

  • Forum posts (and attachments) by students, teachers, and editors

  • Events (in the course calendar)

  • All student contributions*, including :

    • Assignment submissions

    • Choices

    • Course completion data

    • Databases

    • Glossaries

    • Grades

    • Groups (and group members)

    • Local role overrides

    • Lessons

    • Quiz attempts

    • SCORM

    • Survey answers

    • Survey analysis

    • Wiki entries, comments and tags

*contributions only, not the activities themselves.

 What IS NOT removed during the refresh?
  • Any content uploaded by editors: Readings lists, lecture notes, links to papers etc.

  • Any moodle activities: quizzes, questionnaires, glossaries, Books, echo links (see next section for details) etc

  • User accounts; staff and continuing students use the same accounts in the next academic year.

  • Forum subscriptions

  • Forum tracking preferences

  • Groupings (groups of groups)

 What happens to lecture recording links during the Moodle refresh?

Any lecture recording activities in your Moodle course(s) will not be deleted and will still link to the lecture recordings for the 2020/21 academic year so if you do not wish to make them available to students they will need to be hidden or deletedRemember that last year’s lecture recording links will not automatically exchange to the current teaching year. For new lecture recordings a new echo360 activity will need to be added to the Moodle course, see the Moodle guide for more details.

Please note that in order for Moodle to automatically link to the correct lecture recordings, the lecture recording activity needs to be added AFTER your first lecture takes place. Adding the new, 21/22 lecture recording activity before your first lecture will result in you having to manually search for the course, section and term as outlined in our Add a Link to recorded lectures from other courses (Echo360 recordings) guide.

 I am a student – what do I need to do?

From Wednesday 15 September to Thursday 16 September 2021, you will be unable to access your Moodle courses for the 2020/21 academic session. Also, ahead of this date, many departments start to edit courses in readiness for the new academic year and will start to hide content as they do so. If you will require any information stored on Moodle before any of the above changes are made, you will need to download it beforehand. Alternatively, you may be able to access the Moodle 2020/21 archive, but you will need to contact your department for permission.

If your dissertation will be submitted through Moodle, the 14th September 2021 is the very latest date it will be possible to upload submissions and download any items you may need (this is in addition to the deadline set by your department).  You will not be able to submit assignments for the 2020/21 academic year through Moodle after 14th September, and must make other arrangements with your course teachers for late submissions.

Download centre

You can download course files and folders in bulk via the Download Centre.
Go to the course you wish to download materials from and in the Navigation Block on the left hand side select the Download centre (you may need to expand the My courses and then expand the course code that you are currently in and scroll down to the bottom of the Navigation pane).

Screengrab showing location of Download centre in the navigation block

By default all available files and folders are selected – deselect any that you do not wish to download and click Create Zip archive.

Screengrab showing 'Create Zip archive' button

 I am a Moodle editor – what do I need to do?

Before the refresh

Tag your courses if you want them exempt from the Moodle refresh

If you want your course to be exempt from the 2021 refresh you will need to Tag your course in Moodle. Remember that you will need to remember to manually refresh/reset your course at a later date. To tag your course, log in into Moodle and your course, go to the “Administration” block on the left and click “Edit Settings” to reveal a fairly long list of settings. Scroll down to “Tags” and expand it. If you want your course to be exempt from the refresh, type in “Do not refresh” (see below screenshot):

Screengrab showing 'Do not refresh' tag setting

Please note that the majority of students will not have access to their 2020/21 Moodle courses beyond 14th September.  Students must have downloaded any items they wish to continue to use before 15th September, and you must have downloaded all student assignment submissions.

The exception to this is:

  • Courses that will be used again by current students, e.g. departmental and programme level undergraduate courses. These will carry forward their student data to 2021/22.

After 14th September, Moodle cannot be used to collect submissions for assignments due in the 2020/21 academic session. Separate arrangements must be made for students submitting 2020/21 assignments after 14th September.

Students can download materials in bulk from their Moodle courses, using a feature called “Download Centre” on the Navigation block (expand Courses and then expand the current course code see screenshot below).

Screengrab showing location of Download centre in the navigation block

You can also make content accessible for students by making courses available on the Moodle Archive.

After the refresh

Update and make your courses visible to new students

As part of the refresh, courses are made unavailable (hidden) to students (unless tagged ‘Do not refresh’). You will need to make the course available to the new cohort of students when ready. For more information on how to get your course ready for the next academic year, check Get your course ready for the start of term: Moodle Checklist.

If you have any questions, please contact Eden Digital.

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