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Teaching & Learning: Moodle T&L

Moodle courses

Course generation/removal schedule

There are three kinds of courses available to instructors in Moodle:

For example, an instructor who teaches NURS 141 will see these NURS-141 courses listed:

  • Master course NURS-141
  • 16FA_NURS-141-D
  • Master Collaborative NURS-141 (once you are added by another NURS-141 instructor)


Master courses

Instructors are provided with a Master course (course shell) for each course they teach. Master courses are never deleted.

  • Instructors should develop their courses and store their curriculum content in their Master courses, then IMPORT the content into their semester courses.
    • Go to the empty semester course > from the Admin block click "Import" > follow the steps through the import process.
  • There is not a dynamic connection between your Master course and individual semester courses/sections. Because they do not mirror each other, once you have imported the Master into semester courses/sections, all new additions, deletions and changes will need to be made within each course/section.


Collaborative Master courses

Collaborative Master courses are available for courses with multiple sections/instructors to provide a space for developing and sharing curriculum content.

  • Instructors can use their Master Collaborative to develop their course together, then IMPORT the content into their individual semester courses/sections.
    • Go to the empty semester course > from the Admin block click "Import" > follow the steps through the import process.

If you do not see a Master Collaborative course: Search for the course from the Search bar at the top of the Moodle home page to locate the course and assigned instructors.

  • If an instructor is listed: Contact the listed instructor to add you to the Master Collaborative.
  • If no instructor(s) is(are) listed: Contact the HelpDesk to request you be added to the Master Collaborative course.
  • Once you've been added, you can add other instructors to the Master Collaborative course.


Semester courses/sections

Semester courses are generally only available for the current semester (which includes a short time before/after each semester). Semester courses in Moodle are automatically generated, populated, disabled, and deleted based on the conditions and schedule below.

At the beginning of a semester

  • Instructors are added to semester courses by the Registrar's Office.
  • Students will not be able to see a Moodle course until the instructor manually makes it available.
    • Go to the Admin block > click Edit settings > change Availability to "Show" > Save changes.

At the end of a semester

  • You can save a semester course using BACKUP > RESTORE to copy the course back to your Master, or you can simply make a backup file to archive/save in another location.
  • We strongly encourage all instructors to backup a copy of your gradebook (at minimum).
  • Faculty (only) can request access to a course be extended beyond the removal date.
  • Extended semester courses will still be deleted from the server according to the table below.


Course generation/removal schedule
Semester Courses generated* Students register Courses disabled
Courses deleted
from server**
Fall May 1* Spring Advising February 10 November 1**
Interim October 1* Fall Advising February 10 April 1**
Spring November 1* Fall Advising September 10 April 1**
May Interim October 1* Mid- to late-Nov. September 10 July 1**
Summer March 1* March 15 September 10 July 1**

* Once all three (3) of the following conditions are met (per course), the assigned faculty will be able to see the course in Moodle.

Condition: Course shell is generated (on date listed on table above).
Condition: Faculty is assigned as instructor of the course in Colleague by the Registrar's Office.
Condition: A minimum of one (1) student has registered for the course.

* If you do not see a Moodle course (for faculty)

  • Step 1: Confirm you have been assigned as the instructor for the course. You can do this by:
    • Checking your course list in the Calvin portal (login required).
    • Contacting the Registrar's Office to confirm you are listed as instructor in Colleague.
  • Step 2: Once this is updated in Colleague, your Moodle course should display within 24 hours.
  • Step 3: After 24 hours if you still do not see the course in Moodle, contact the CIT HelpDesk for assistance.

** All semester courses will be completely removed (and not recoverable) approximately fourteen (14) months after the beginning of the course. For example, a 15/FA course will be completely deleted from the server on November 1, 2016.

See also: Faculty Technology Checklist



Condition: To see a course in Moodle, your instructor needs to make the course available to you. Once they make it available to students, all enrolled students should be able to see the Moodle course.

* If you do not see a Moodle course (for students)

  • Step 1: Contact your instructor to make sure they have made their course available to students.
  • Step 2: If the course is available to students, but you still do not see it in Moodle, contact the Registrar's office to confirm you are enrolled in the course.
  • Step 3: Contact the CIT HelpDesk for assistance.