Import course content from Moodle

Last updated: January 2, 2019

Importing a course into Canvas can be a quick, convenient method for getting content you’ve already created in Moodle into Canvas. When the import process works correctly, calendar content, syllabus content, and assignment content from Moodle migrates to the appropriate area in Canvas.

However, due to differences in file structures, internal links between documents may not work and items will need to be relinked. In addition, random items are sometimes lost somewhere between the backup and the restore, so individual items may have to be manually migrated.

Before you begin

Before you can import a Moodle course into Canvas, you must create an archive of your Moodle course. To do this, you export the Moodle course as an archive (.zip file). Note: Creating an archive of a Moodle course is available in Moodle 1.9x, but not in Moodle 2.x.

Follow these steps to create an archive of your Moodle course:

  1. In your Moodle course, in the Administration menu (usually found on the left-hand side of the Moodle page), click Backup. A page containing the details of your course appears.
  2. On the upper-right corner of the page, click None to deselect all user data.
  3. Scroll down the page. Change the Metacourse drop down (if present), the User drop down, and the User Files drop down to “No.”
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click None to deselect all role assignments.
  5. Click continue. You will be taken to a screen where you can edit the file name or accept the file name suggested by Moodle. You will also see a table that summarizes the content that will be backed up. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Continue again to initiate the backup process.
  6. If the backup is successful, you will see a message: “Backup completed successfully.” Click continue.
  7. The .zip file that contains the course archive appears. To save a copy of the course archive to your local drive, click the underlined name of your new backup file. Click Save As from the pop-up menu. (To open the pop-up menu: If you are working with a Windows OS, click the right-hand mouse button, to open the pop-up menu. If you are working with a Mac OS, press the control key and click the mouse.)

Now you are ready to import course content from Moodle.

  1. Log into with your UW NetID and password.
  2. From the Courses menu, select your course.
  3. In the course navigation, click Settings.
  4. On the right side of the screen, in the sidebar, click Import Content into this Course. The “Import Wizard” page appears.
  5. On the “Import Wizard” page, click Import Content from a content package or from another system.
  6. On the “Migrate from Another System” page, from the menu, select Moodle 1.9 .zip file.
  7. Use the Browse button to navigate to and select the Moodle Archive .zip file that you want to import.
  8. When the file name of the file that you want to restore appears in the “Choose a .zip file to import” field, click Import Course.
  9. When your content is ready to import, you will receive an email confirmation. Click the link in the email message to start importing your course.
  10. On the page that you are directed to, select the items that you want to include in your course. By default, all items are checked, and you can choose to import everything.
  11. At the bottom of the page, click Import course content. Depending on the size of your course, the import process may take several minutes.
  12. In your Canvas course space, review the course content that you selected to include (such as assignments, syllabus, or calendar).