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Improving Moodle import. Part 3: The application

We have developed a new import tool for importing materials from one course to another. The advantages over the Moodle import are:

  • it is easy to use
  • it is reliable
  • it is fast
  • it only imports questions used in the quiz while maintaining question category structures that are used
  • it shares many similarities with our custom rollover tool
  • clicks to import materials is a minimum of 3 compared to the standard moodle which has a minimum of 6
  • it imports embedded files without bringing all files (unlike Moodle 1.9 import)


Technical stuff

Anyone with experience of Moodle’s import, backup and restore features will know that reliability is an ongoing problem. If you are in any doubt try following the backup and restore discussions.

Further to this it is still a bit clunky to use. For example, it takes too many clicks, it brings all questions in quizzes whether they are used or not in the quiz you are importing (see bug tracker issue) and, in our version, it does not bring embedded files or images.

Our import does not rely on the backup and restore functionality. This means it does not create a temporary zip of an xml representation of the course and associated files which is useful when transferring courses between Moodle installs and keeping course-based backup, but inefficient when importing materials between courses within a Moodle install. Instead it copies records within tables and data files. As  a result our import is fast and reliable where, in our experience, the standard Moodle import hasn’t been.

Please feel free to ask any questions!