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How to move forum discussions between Moodle courses

by Richard Hall on | Mar 31, 2015 | Blog, Moodle Tips, Moodle | 0 comments

During a recent course, I was asked if it was possible to move forum discussions between courses. On this person’s Moodle site, course content was contained in one course while there was actually a separate course specifically designed for discussion around that topic. This scenario had arisen because the user had posted their discussion in a forum in the wrong course. The lady was therefore asking if it was possible to move that discussion into a forum in the correct course.

Moodle provides the facility to move discussion topics between forum activities in the same course but not specifically between different courses so this has to be done via the following steps.

1.     forum1Firstly, you need to backup the Forum activity containing the discussion that you wish to move.

To do this, go into the course and the forum activity. In the Administration block, you need to select Backup under the Forum Administration menu.






2.       When configuring the backup, you then need to include user data. On the first settings screen for the Backup, you need to select Include enrolled users – this is only available to Managers and Site Administrators so you need to be logged in with the appropriate permissions to do this.


Click through the backup configuration screens and finally click on Perform Backup.

3.       You then need to restore the forum into the course in which you want the moved discussion to appear. Having backed up your Forum activity you will be immediately taken to the Restore screen. Click on the Restore button next to your newly backed-up activity.*


Select the target course when asked to “Restore as an existing course” and click on Continue. Click through the restore configuration screens and finally click on Perform Restore.

*forum4If you wish to be able to access this backup file easily from elsewhere in the site, it may be worth adding it to your User private backup area. To do this, simply click on Manage backup files beneath the User private backup area within the Restore screen and, using the file picker, select your backup file (currently this will be stored in the folder for the Forum activity). You will then be able to access this backup file easily from any Restore screen within the site.


4.       Move the forum discussion(s) from the restored forum activity into your existing forum activity. Go into the restored forum activity and access the discussion that you wish to move. Click on the Move this discussion to… dropdown list and select the target forum activity. Then click on the Move button.



5.       forum6Finally, delete the restored forum activity. Once you have finished moving any discussions, return to the course page. Ensure that you have editing turned on and select Edit > Delete to delete the restored forum activity.



To complete the job fully, as the discussion is now displayed in the forum in the appropriate course, you may wish to delete the discussion from the forum where it was originally added in error. It may also be worth adding a note in that forum to inform your students that the discussion thread has been moved to a different course.

What Next

Adding forum activities and the management of forums are covered in more detail in our Course Creator Moodle course.

If you would like to get more out of your Moodle site, we want to help. Call us on 0330 660 1111 or contact us via

Develop your Moodle skills further with our online Moodle Training 

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