Course Copying, Backup and Restore
Learn provides useful tools for copying course content, retrieving deleted content and making backups of course content.
It is possible to copy content and activities from one course in Learn to another. This can be done item by item, or done as a bulk process using a "course copy" approach. The most common reason for copying courses is to get your new courses ready from one academic year to another.
Make sure your new course exists in Learn
If your course is in EUCLID, make sure that the new instance of the course is marked “Yes” in the Learn enabled box. This creates a new empty course instance in Learn. Only Course Organisers and Course Secretaries as named in EUCLID can do this, and access the new course in Learn.
Two methods exist for copying all or selected components of an existing course into another course:
- Copying individual content area items
- Using Learn’s ‘Course Copy’ tool
If you have not done so recently, make a backup of your existing course (instructions at the end of this page) before creating a copy. This will help if you accidentally remove any items you had intended to keep.
Do you really need to bulk copy?
Many people bulk copy files over and don’t actually use them again, instead they upload slightly tweaked versions of what they did the previous year. However, this bulk copy into the new course adds all the old files within the course, meaning the course size is far larger than it needs to be.
Options for Copying between Courses
In your normal view of your content folders, you can copy individual folders and their contents to another course by:
- Selecting the ActionLink next to an item.
- Choosing Copy from the popup menu.
- Selecting the destination course and folder.
- Select if you want materials copied into the target course, or simply linked to
You would generally wish to leave the settings at their default. In most cases course items and their associated files are to be copied rather than simply linked to.
This process involves copying the content you want to keep, into your new version of the course created from EUCLID or other arrangement.
- Go into the course you want to copy from – normally the previous academic year’s course.
- Go to Course Management >Packages and Utilities >Course Copy
- Note that Copy Course Materials into an existing course is selected by default.
- In Select Copy Options, click Browse… to show a list of courses in which you are an instructor. Take care to select the correct instance of the course you want to copy to.
- Then click either Select All to copy all types of content (as well as settings and structures for groups, discussion forums, etc.) or individually select only the types you wish to copy.
Warning: Assessments should be created each year, selecting the option "Grade Center Items and Setting" can lead to unwanted columns in the grade centre that can only be removed by manual deletion.
There are three options for copying content from your old course into the new one. Two of these take account of files in the Course Content Collection where files you add to the course are actually stored, independently of any links you create to them in your content areas.
|Copy Links to Course Files||
No files are included in the copy. The copied course will have the same set of links and those links will point to the original location of the file in the original course. This option is only appropriate if all the content of your course exists outside Learn and is simply linked to.
Warning: If your students are not enrolled on the original course they will probably see an error message as they do not have permissions to view this linked content
|Copy links and copies of the content||
This will make copies of links and linked files. Files within the Course Content Collection that are not linked to any content will be excluded from the copy.
Option 2 is suitable for most courses, as it leaves behind out-of-date (unlinked) files in the previous year’s Content Collection.
|Copy links and copies of the content (include entire course home folder)||
This will make copies of all links, and ALL files in the Course Content Collection, whether those files are deployed via links in content areas or not. This will copy both useful files and drag forward out-of-use files that have no associated links in content areas.
Warning: If this approach is used year after year, your courses may become overly large in terms of file size
All new course instances are created from a template containing an empty “Course Content” folder (and associated menu link). Course Copy adds your other folders but does not over-write the new Course Content folder and menu item, so you must remove the duplicates – as follows:
- Remove (via their ActionLink menus) the unwanted new, empty Course Content folder and its associated menu item. Take care to remove the empty one!
- Go to Course Management >Customisation >Teaching Style.
- Scroll down to Select Course Entry Point
- Select the new (always second) Course Content (or another folder if you prefer) from the drop-down.
- Scroll to the bottom and Submit.
Copied Tools and Settings
If you choose to copy individual items instead of the whole course, this is what you’ll actually get.
What is copied
|Announcements||All announcements are copied.|
|Tests, Surveys and Pools||All tests and surveys, including questions and options for deploying them, are copied. All pools are copied. You will need to re-add tests into the content area where they are required.|
|Calendar||All calendar items are copied.|
|Discussion Board||Discussion boards , including the initial message in each forum, are copied. There are additional options available for how to copy discussions. Many people find it easier to start again each year.|
|Grade Centre Items and Settings||Columns in the Grade Centre and their settings, such as type, categories and display options, are copied. Warning: Assessments should be created each year, selecting this option can lead to unwanted columns in the grade centre that cannot be removed.|
|Contacts||All contacts are copied.|
|Goup Settings||Settings include the names of the groups, the settings for tool availability and the Discussion Board name.|
|Course Settings||Select all to copy the settings you previously had for tools, access, language packs, etc.|
Course Copy Recommendations
We recommend that all assessments are created each year, and assessments such as Turnitin must be recreated each year. For this reason we suggest that the option to copy over Grade Centre settings and columns is not used. You may need to recreate some smart views, but other commonly used settings are likely to remain unchanged.
Links through to Turnitin Assignments are course-specific, so generally you should not copy them over.
However, if you wish to copy a whole assignment section of a course, in order to retain the the structure and other content, then, in the course copy process you should:
- ensure that the content area containing the Turnitin Assignments and the "Grade Centre Columns and Settings" options are selected;
- in the new course, delete the individual Turnitin assignments and create new ones.
This is to ensure the assignment post dates and links with the Learn Grade Centre are updated correctly.
The default value to Copy links and files is the recommended option. Copying links and files creates a larger exported package, but ensures that all users will be able to access attached files.
Links to parts of a course that are not included in the copy will break when the links appear in the destination course. For example, if there is a link to a test in a course area and Assessments are not copied, the link to the test will break.
Do not select "Include enrolments in copy" as you do not wish to copy student users forward into new course.
If you have difficulty with any of the above, contact Helpline with the exact details of the course and content you are working on.
Restoring Deleted Content
We hold automated backups of courses within Learn for up to 28 days. A course is automatically backed up if there has been activity in that course that day. In order to get an older copy of your course please contact the IS Helpine, include details of the course you want restored and the date that you want the restore from e.g. two days ago.
We will then be able to restore a copy of your course into another course area within Learn, you can then copy the content you need into your live course using the instructions above.
The restored copy will be deleted after 7 days or once we have confirmation you have copied the relevant information.
Backing up a Course
It is important to backup your courses regularly as Learn is not the golden copy for course material. We advise staff to take backup of courses at the end of each semester.
To create a backup go to the your course > Packages and Utilities > “Export/Archive Course”
In the banner menu select the "Export" tab to display a list of options that you can select to configure to what extent your course is backed up.
We recommend doing a full backup; this is achieved by selecting all course materials using the "Select All" button which is displayed further down the page.
When you have selected the options to create your course backup you can start the export process by clicking on "Submit" which appears at the top and bottom of the Export page.
A zip file of your course will be created, depending on the size of your course this could take a couple of minutes. Learn will e-mail you when it is ready and available in the “Export/Archive Course” list.
All of the available backups for the specific course will be displayed in a list in the Export/Archive course page. Each backup file has a unique name, and you will be able to see when it was created.
To download the zip file that contains your course backup you can click on the filename to start the download. Your file will appear in the downloads list of the browser that you are using.
For additional options you can hover above a specific file record and use the context menu to start your download, view log information, or delete this archive. Clicking "Open" in this context menu will also download your file.
Please use the university network storage if there is not any student data on your backup file.
If you have student data within your backup file the data must be stored securely within the university network storage e.g. password protected and only access for those who need access.
Please read the “Student Information” section on this webpage for more information on storage of student data:
Further Guidance and Policies: