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Moodle is an online tool that allows educators to interact with students outside the classroom and manage a course from anywhere. In Moodle Essential Training for Teachers, Chris Mattia shows how this program works for teachers on three levels: disseminating information, creating a forum where ideas are exchanged, and assessing the progress of students. Chris shows how to build course materials with Moodle's HTML editor, post assignments, and save time by using Moodle's grade book to evaluate tests automatically and organize scores. Exercise files accompany the course.
It's always a good idea to make backups of your materials while you're working with them. Moodle is a built-in tool for this inside of your course that you're able to manage. Backups may be being made automatically for you by your institution. You'll need to find out the specific policies and procedures for backing up your courses for within your institution. Inside of your own Moodle course, generally all instructors do have the ability to back up their courses. To do this, simply go to the Administration block on the lower left-hand corner and click on the Backup link.
Now, you're taken into a page where you can select all of the different items inside of your course that you want to back up. The default has everything selected. You can verify this by simply clicking on the link for All next to Include at the top-left, and clicking on the link for All at the top-right. Clicking on the link for None will show you which items are being selected. The right-hand column is selecting all of the user data associated with each item.
The left-hand side selects everything in your list. You want to make sure all is selected though, so that we get all of the data associated with our course. If we scroll down in the listing, you can see each different item that we've added throughout this training. As we scroll all the way to the bottom, we have some additional settings that we can choose. The first setting is for Users, and whether or not we want to back up all users or just the users inside of our course, we just want the users inside of our course. We can choose whether or not we want our logs that have been collecting all of the data of each different user's activity throughout the course of the semester to be captured as well. Generally, logs are not necessary all the time, so we'll go ahead and leave that set to off.
User Files would be any files that a user has uploaded as part of this course. We want to select this to Yes, especially at the end of the semester when we're backing up all the material for our course and we want us too our copy of that. The Course files listing is going to set whether or not all of the files that we've uploaded to our course are going to get backed up. We'll go ahead and say this to Yes as well. Then you want to make sure that you have Site files used in this course also set to Yes. If you want to keep track of all the Grade histories, you can do that here as well. It's generally not needed though, so we'll leave that set to the default of No.
Then you can back up any unique role assignments that have been made for this course. We'll go ahead and leave everything selected and click the Continue button. Next, you're given a detailed listing of everything that's going to be backed up including a backup file name at the top that you can control. The name of this document is in a format of the word backup, the short name for your course, then the date and year, month and day, and then a unique identifier associated with the file name and then a .ZIP file extension indicating that you're going to have a ZIP file that is going to contain all the data for your course.
As we scroll down through the list, you can see all the different information is being included as part of the ZIP file. We'll scroll all the way down to the bottom and click the Continue button. The backup is then created for us, as the page continues to load, we can scroll down and see that the backup was created successfully. We can then click the Continue button and we can see the file that has been backed up for us is part of our course. The size of this file is currently 38. 4 megabytes. We can then download this file if we'd like by simply clicking on the name of the file and the file will attempt to download to our system. We can click on the link for Save File and say OK and the file should download to our local machine.
We'll go ahead and minimize our browser and we can find the backup file then listed on our Desktop. We can take that backup file and put it in a safe secure place that we can use then if we need to restore our data. You can also restore the data by going inside of your course and clicking on the Restore link. We'll do that in another exercise. For now, know that your backup files are safe and secure both inside of your server and you've got a local copy on your local system. Let's go and return back to our course by clicking on the BIOL432 link.
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