At Sussex we maintain Moodle courses for the students’ programme duration (see this post). This means that each academic year we create new empty Moodle courses for academics to develop. Unsurprising most academic want to copy their courses from the previous year. However the native tools for doing this (import and backup-and-restore) are over complicated.
We were impressed when in UK 2011 Moodlemoot the University of Kent demonstrated the solution they had implemented. This was a simple tool to schedule a rollover from another course. Unfortunately they were not able to share this tool and so we have endeavoured to recreate it.
When a tutor comes to an empty 2011/2012 Moodle course site they are given the option to copy an existing site into it by scheduling a rollover. When the rollover is successfully completed the academic is informed via email. If there are problems with the process the e-learning team is informed so they can resolve the issue before the academic is aware of it.
Unlike the University of Kent we based the Sussex rollover tool on the existing Moodle backup and restore functionality. This means that it has not removed the unreliability of the process caused by PHP memory issues, but we should be able to hide some of the issues from the academics.
For a demonstration of the recent updates feature please view our video. Please note our Moodle install is called Study Direct and we call each Moodle course a “site”.