Moodle Monday: The fastest way to prepare courses/users for next year by @timdalton

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End of the school year means start of the boring admin paperwork ready for next… This is a job I’ve just completed for one of our partner schools so I thought it was worth documenting as many others will be going through the same process at some point over the Summer break. We needed to do a few things- remove students that have left, move existing into the courses for their new year group and out of their old, and clear out all the forums/gradebooks. A couple of admin tools hidden away in Moodle make this job much less scary than it sounds.

Removing the students that have left:

We can do this in the ‘bulk user actions’ area. In the admin block on your Moodle homepage select users, accounts, bulk user actions. The trick here is to use the filters to select the group of users you are after. I did this by selecting all users that were students on the year 6 course. Add them all to my selection and from the option at the bottom hit the delete button.

Moving current students from one course to another:

This routine is slightly less slick, there may be a better way to do it using the Import part of the courses. What I needed to do was take all students listed on the year 5 page, enrol them on the year 6 page and then remove from year 5.

Again, using the bulk user actions tool I selected all students on the year 5 course. This time from the actions menu at the bottom I downloaded them all as an Excel file. We can use this list to enrol them onto the new course. Open it up in Excel, remove all the fields you don’t need (or update their details if you want), and following the instructions in the ‘upload users’ admin area create a field called ‘course1’ and give each user an entry with the shortname of the course you want to add them to.

Upload this file in ‘upload users’ page in admin, select ‘update existing users only’ and they will all be added to the new course.

Finally, go over to the old course (year 5 in my case) and remove the students from that page. Or, you can do this part at the same time as resetting the forums (see below). Repeat this process for each year group, and remember you can enrol them in more than one course at once using this method.

I found starting at the top of the school and working down was the most logical way, but as long as you keep track of who is where and pick your filters carefully all will be fine.

Removing all forum posts:

The last job for this school was to get rid of the old forum posts and gradebook entries. To do this go to the course you want to remove content from and click the ‘Reset’ option from the admin menu.

This page lets you do a few useful things, including unenroling users in bulk. But, further down the page you can choose to remove all items from the forums and gradebook. Pick what you want, click go. Easy!

And that’s it. These three simple stages have set this school up ready for the new year. Happy to try and help anybody struggling with this process, so do ask in the comments.

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