VLE Backup and Archive for Moodle


This is the copying of data to facilitate recovery in the event of a system failure or other catastrophe.

Three levels of backup are identified:

  1. Disaster Recovery (DR), the recovery from a major system failure
  2. Course Recovery (CR), the recovery of all of or a significant part of a Moodle Course.
  3. Resource Recovery (RR), the recovery of individual items within a course


In detail:

  1. Disaster Recovery: the recovery from a major system failure.  IT Services are responsible for maintaining and implementing the disaster level of recovery.  Whole system backups are made overnight on a once nightly basis. Moodle will be restored to the last available good backup.  The time to effect such recovery will be dependent on the nature of the disaster and may be significant if replacement hardware is to be procured. This provision is only available if the whole Moodle site requires to be restored and is not available for individual courses.


  1. Course Recovery: the recovery of all of or a significant part of a Moodle Course.  There is no central provision for this and the onus is on course leaders to organize this with their local Moodle support if this is required. It should be noted that for data protection reasons local backups do not have student data in them. Course backups considerably impact on available Moodle file store and may be deleted automatically to maintain availability of disk space; therefore any backups should be stored securely outside of the Moodle file store.


  1. Resource Recovery: the recovery of individual items within a course.  It is the individual staff member’s responsibility to keep and maintain usable copies of all resources they upload to Moodle.


Moodle Archive

Archive pertains to Moodle Courses which are no longer live, for example no longer being run or previous years’ version.  The following statements have been approved by the Senate Office and the VP Learning and Innovation.


1. What are the expectations of the University on historical VLE access with regard to programme approval, assessment, reviews, accreditation, and QAA? (see http://www.gla.ac.uk/legal/freedomofinformation/foipublicationscheme/ and choose '8.15 Teaching Quality')

Response: The current Moodle course is the one which is required and will be looked at by review, accreditation, QA and the like.  On this basis there is no need to maintain historical versions.


2. Is there a view on students having access to their previous years’ VLE based coursework?

Response: To be determined on a course by course basis by course conveners.  Considerations may include: is the course part of a continuum or is it stand alone; if it is the resources which are important can they be distributed rather than maintaining the whole course; should the students be expected to distill the course content as part of their learning; should the course be frozen or updated; should the course be read only access or read/write access.  If such access is to be provided then the course convener will be responsible for arranging though guidance will be provided by IT Services. 


3. What is the University interpretation of the retention policy (http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_105259_en.pdf) with particular regard to 2.3: material should be kept until ‘superseded by another version’?

Response: The current position stands; material should be kept until superseded so there is no requirement to retain additional snapshots.