I've had a number of Instructors ask me lately if it's possible to create a backup of a Moodle course. The answer is yes, it's actually surprisingly easy, and it's something I recommend all instructors do at least once a term. Moodle can create a .zip file that will be stored in your course's Files area in case you ever want to restore your course back to an earlier version -- or even restore it to a new version of the course, which is incredibly helpful if you want to teach a course again but don't want to erase old student content. You can even download this file to your computer so you can upload this to Moodle later. (It doesn't even have to be the Moodle here at WOU.)
Here's how you do it:
1. When looking at your course homepage, click on Backup on the left, under your Administration links.
2. The next screen will allow you to select what parts of your course you want included in your backup file. As a default, the backup file will include everything -- including student content (grades, forum posts, etc.) -- unless you tell it otherwise.
3. When you've got everything set the way you want, scroll to the bottom and click Continue. The next screen will show you a list of what it's going to do. After reviewing it to make sure it's what you want, click Continue again.
4. Depending on the size of your course,* it could take a few minutes for Moodle to generate the backup file. When it's finished, it will show you a message that reads, "Backup completed successfully." Click Continue.
5. You will be shown the "backupdata" folder in your Files area. Any backups you've created will be listed. From here, you can click on a file to save it to your own computer or click on "Restore" when you're ready to restore a backup over an existing course or to a new course. One note: The restore process defaults to a new course shell unless you tell it otherwise.
* Some large courses (such as those containing video files) have had issues lately with Moodle's backup tool. We're working on resolving this.