Moving Courses from Moodle to Brightspace
Migration Options for Faculty: Getting Started
Shifting from one learning management system to another affords faculty a unique opportunity to reflect on and review their course content and activities as well as address any outstanding accessibility issues that may exist. Before moving resources and activities from Moodle into Brightspace, please ensure that your course document files are accessible. A great place to start is to carefully review your uploaded course content. Check your Ally scores and add the Brickfield Accessibility Starter Toolkit to your Moodle course(s). Additional accessibility guidance and resources are available at the Electronic / Digital Accessibility page.
Instructors will have access to Moodle for the foreseeable future (years) so please prioritize the course(s) you are teaching in Fall 2023 for conversion to Brightspace. You will have access to all other past courses in Moodle for several years to come so you can migrate your courses into Brightspace in iterations. Please note that no new courses or enrollments will be made in Moodle after Summer 2023. Brightspace courses will open up automatically to students four (4) days prior to the course’s official start date.
It is only possible to migrate courses from Moodle to Brightspace individually. Instructors, the TLTC, CTS, or SUNY are not able to migrate courses in bulk. Individual instructors must use one of the available options explained below to migrate individual courses / course content.
- Our current Moodle instance will remain available through Fall 2025.
- To get started with Brightspace, please see the SUNY DLE Brightspace Fundamentals Asynchronous Modules.
- If you have questions about working with the system, please create a support request with the SUNY Online Help Desk.
Option 1 - (Re)Create Your Course in Brightspace
You are welcome to start over and (re)build your course directly in Brightspace. You can choose to use your previous Moodle courses as a model (or not). To facilitate this process, we recommend using the Brightspace Course Builder interface, available in all courses:
- Navigate to the desired Brightspace course and from the Navbar, click on Course Tools > Course Admin > under the ‘Site Resources’ heading, click on Course Builder.
- At the Course Builder interface, on the left side, you can build your course outline (using placeholders), add your content, and browse available tools.
- Alternatively, at your Brightspace main page, from your Navbar, click on Content to begin adding Modules and uploading files to your course.
Option 2 - Migrate Your Entire Course from Moodle to Brightspace
If your Moodle course contains various activities (e.g. Discussion forums, Assignments, Quizzes, etc.) and resources (e.g. URLs, Pages, PDFs, Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, audio/visual files, etc), you may want to backup key elements of the course and import them into Brightspace.
- Create a Moodle course backup files (.mbz) that includes select activities and resources from your Moodle course (more info about creating a Moodle course backup at moodle.org)
Important: When creating the Moodle course backup, do NOT select the following items. They will not function correctly in Brightspace. You must recreate each of the following activities within the new version of the course in the Brightspace environment:
- Course announcements forums
- Attendance activities (called “Attendance Registers” in Brightspace)
- Turnitin assignment activities
- VoiceThread activities (Home Links, assignments, etc.)
- Zoom integration Dashboard
- Perusall social annotation activities (Library, assignments, etc.)
- ThinkingStorm online tutoring connection (all students can connect to ThinkingStorm from the link in their Brightspace Navbar)
Import the Moodle course backup (.mbz file) into your Brightspace course
- Login to Brightspace and navigate to the desired course
- From the course Navbar, click on Course Tools > Course Admin > Import/Export/Copy Components > Import Components > click the Start button > drag and drop the .mbz file / click the Upload button and click Import All Components button
- The import process will take several minutes, depending on the size of your Moodle course backup file
Clean up your Brightspace course. The Moodle to Brightspace conversion process is not perfect so you may need to make adjustments to your activities and resources to suit your liking.
- One of the first things you should do is update all dates on your assignments and other dated activities to reflect the Fall 2023 semester. This includes start/end dates as well as due dates for all time-sensitive activities/resources.
Option 3 - Move Only Files from Moodle to Brightspace
If your Moodle course contains mainly uploaded file resources (e.g. PDFs, Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, audio/visual files, etc.), you can package them up and bring them into Brightspace.
- Use the “Download instructor files” feature in Moodle (Administration > Course administration > Download instructor files)
- Moodle will gather up your uploaded files and create a .zip archive.
Save the .zip file to your computer.
Note: All files will be contained in a single “flat” directory without any sub-folder hierarchy.
- In your Brightspace course, go to Course Tools > Course Admin > Manage Files > click on Upload to bring your .zip archive into the course.
- Once the .zip archive has been uploaded, click on the downward facing arrow next to it and select “Unzip” from the list to open the .zip archive to make individual files usable within the course. This process may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the .zip archive.
- From the same screen, click on the Course Builder link/tab at the top of the page. This will open up the Course Builder interface which will help you create modules (i.e. weeks, topics) and place your uploaded course files within those modules.
Save Moodle Backups and Other Files to OneDrive
Campus Technology Services (CTS) offers several Safe and Durable Computer File Storage options. We recommend using OneDrive as the best College-supported location to save your Moodle backups. All faculty and staff get 1TB of storage; this is a great option for ‘staging’ your Moodle backups and other files you want to save for use in the future.
To access OneDrive:
- go to https://www.office.com and login with your Purchase College account credentials (use your email address [firstname.lastname@example.org] as your account name and enter your Purchase College email password)
- complete the login process by confirming your account via the Duo multi-factor authentication app
- click on “Apps” on the left side and look for Onedrive in the list across the top
- alternatively, you can go to https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/signin and login using the steps above to be brought directly to OneDrive
If you need assistance with accessing and working with OneDrive, please contact CTS via the WOT system.
Help is Available!
SUNY Brightspace Help
- Brightspace Fundamentals Asynchronous Modules
- SUNY CPD Brightspace Training Recordings
- Comprehensive Brightspace Video Index
- Faculty Resource Guides
- Upcoming SUNY DLE Trainings
- Previous SUNY DLE Recordings
- Main SUNY Site for the transition to Brightspace
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Kim Detterbeck & Marie Sciangula, Purchase College, SUNY.