Import (Copy) Content from Previous Courses in Moodle

Remember those great documents and activities you made last semester? You do not have to recreate them each time you get a new Moodle course shell. Moodle has a great import feature for copying your content from those older courses and it handles files and folders, topics, assignments, forums, quizzes, and even your Grader Report setup. It is simple to use.

View the tutorial or follow the directions below to import content from a previous course in Moodle.

1.) In your Moodle course, click the gears icon to open the Course Management Panel

Image of the top left of a moodle course

2.) Click 'Import'

Image of "Course Settings" with the ninth option, "Import" highlighted

3.) Select your source course from the list and click the 'Continue' button

An image of selecting the course, with the continue button having an arrow pointing to it.

  • This page will only display courses you are currently enrolled in as the instructor.
  • If the course you are looking for does not appear in the list, use the search bar and button to search for the course. We recommend keeping search terms simple (e.g. "BUS201" instead of "Gateway to Business Spring of 2019")

4.) Click the 'Next' button on the Initial Settings page

An image of settings with an arrow pointing to the next button.

  • The default settings don't need to be changed here.

5.) Select or deselect content to copy over on the Schema Settings page, then click the 'Next' button

An image of the schema settings page with an arrow pointing to the next button.

  • 'Schema Settings' is an overly complicated term for 'all your stuff.'
  • If you're not copying over entire topics, deselect that topic instead of all the content inside it (this will save a few clicks).

6.) Review and confirm your settings on the next page, then click the 'Perform Import' button

An image of the perform import button, with an arrow pointing to it.

7.) Click the 'Continue' button to return to your course

An image of the completed import.

'I got a weird error message'

If you happen to see an error message saying your import was incomplete, do not worry! Your content likely did copy over, but some of it (particularly after the tenth topic or week in your course) may display as an 'Orphaned Activity.'

This happens because all new Moodle courses are set up with 10 topics/weeks by default. When you import more than ten topics/weeks from a previous course, Moodle copies over all the content, but it puts any additional topics/weeks beyond the first ten into topics called 'Orphaned Activities.' If any of those additional topics are empty, they won't display at all. 

This is very easy to fix. In your Moodle course, click Edit Settings in the Settings block on the left. On the Settings page, look for the third option underneath the textbox. It should allow you to add additional topics/weeks to your course. Change that number to match the number of topics/weeks you've copied in. Scroll down and click the Save Changes button. Your content should now appear in your Moodle site, along with any names or descriptions you may have added to the topic/week. 


Article ID: 78696
Tue 5/21/19 11:00 AM
Thu 7/21/22 8:00 AM
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