Moodle Lifecycle Process
This page describes the lifecycle of Moodle systems at the University of Minnesota.
All UMN Moodle course sites are contained inside what is known as an "instance" of Moodle. An instance is a single system and version of Moodle which is created for one academic year (AY). For example, for academic year 2017-2018, there is "Moodle for Academic Year 2016-2017 (Moodle 3.2)", also known as "Moodle AY17 (3.2)". Each Moodle instance has a defined lifecycle based on when it was created.
Creating a new instance each year allows the Academic Technology Tools service team to implement the latest features, enhancements, and security updates, while keeping existing Moodle instances relatively stable.
Moving course sites between Moodle instances is the responsibility of the instructors and designers. For more information, see the "Move Course Sites to a New Moodle Instance" section below.
A Moodle course site is preserved within its Moodle instance following the original academic year in which it was used. See below for an example of the process in action:
The phases are listed below in order:
- First, Active Use for One Academic Year: Each April, a new Moodle instance for the next academic year is opened. Instructors and designers are free to start preparing courses in it. Course sites created in the current academic year's Moodle instance have unrestricted access. Instructors and designers can hide course sites from students at any time.
- Then, Reference Use for the Following Calendar Year: After the end of the active use state, course sites can be used for reference purposes. Instructors, designers, and students have unrestricted access to course sites in the given Moodle instance. Instructors and designers can hide course sites from students at any time.
- Towards the end of the spring term, roughly five months prior to the change to phase #3 (archived), a reminder is sent to instructors and designers that their course sites are scheduled to be archived.
Until the Moodle instance is deleted, instructors and designers can request that course sites be migrated to newer Moodle instances. The life of the course site can in this way be extended indefinitely. For more information, see the "Move Course Sites Between Moodle Instances" section below.
More Information About Each Moodle Instance
- Moodle for Academic Year 2017-2018 (Moodle 3.2): Lifecycle Process | Moodle Instance
- Moodle for Academic Year 2016-2017 (Moodle 3.0): Lifecycle Process | Moodle Instance
- Moodle for Academic Year 2015-2016 (Moodle 2.8): Lifecycle Process | Moodle Instance
- Moodle for Academic Year 2014-2015 (Moodle 2.6): Lifecycle Process | Moodle Instance
- Moodle for Academic Year 2013-2014 (Moodle 2.4): Lifecycle Process | Moodle Instance
- Moodle for Academic Year 2012-2013 (Moodle 2.2): Lifecycle Process | Moodle Instance
- Moodle for Terms Summer 2009 - Summer 2012 (Moodle 1.9 and 2.2): Lifecycle Process
Move Course Sites to a New Moodle Instance
To copy an older course site into Moodle AY17 (3.2), please complete the Moodle AY17 (3.2) Course Site Request Form.
Moodle course sites can move from one Moodle instance to the next, for example Moodle AY16 (3.0) to Moodle AY17 (3.2). Or, a Moodle course site can skip a Moodle instance, for example Moodle AY15 (2.8) to Moodle AY17 (3.2). Due to changes that occur between versions of Moodle, there can be problems copying course sites from too far in the past.
Access Old Course Sites via the Moodle Kiosk
The Moodle Kiosk is a block on the Moodle My home page which displays courses that are stored in the Moodle archives. This block appears directly below the Course Overview block. For more information, see Moodle 2.8, 3.0: Access old courses from the Moodle Kiosk.
Moodle Instance Web Addresses
The Moodle instance for the current academic year is available via https://moodle.umn.edu. When you visit that web address in a web browser, you are forwarded to Moodle Academic Year 2017-2018 (Moodle 3.2), which is at https://ay17.moodle.umn.edu. The address https://moodle.umn.edu is updated every August to point to the new Moodle instance for the upcoming academic year.
Questions and Feedback
If you have questions or feedback about the Moodle Lifecycle Process, please contact Moodle Support.