Tip: Due Date Verification

One of the most practical things about Moodle is that once you create a course, you can reuse the content with a new set of students. You can import a course that you have taught into an empty course and then update it to meet your new needs. These are the instructions we provide our faculty, to give you an idea of how this works.

You can also restore an existing course backup which is what I've done with this course: I began creating it in 2014, backed it up and have restored it each time I have participated in this MOOC (which is why it feels more like an actual course and not just a temporary repository).

No matter how you reuse your course materials, you need to update and refresh your content. One of the most important things to do is to make sure that you have updated all of the due dates related to activities. [Note: Since version 3.3, if your courses have start and end dates enabled, Moodle automatically resets the due dates for activities to reflect the start date of the new edition of the course. You'll still want to review due dates to make sure they are correct.]

Here's an easy way to check due dates, using the Activities block. (Note: Talk to your site administrator about adding the Dates plugin that allows you to update due dates for all activities at once!)

Activities block

If you haven't already done so, add the "Activities" block to your course (with editing on, use the "Add a block" block menu to select it).

All of the activities and resources visible in your course will be displayed as links.

In a prior edition of this course, I wanted to make sure that I had updated all of the assignment due dates. When I clicked on Assignments to bring up a list of all of the assignments I had posted in the course, this is what I found:

Assignment dates

Yikes! The due date for the offline activity example had not yet been updated. To fix it, I clicked on the name of the assignment, since it was a link, and edited the activity to reflect the correct due date for that edition of the class.

You can do this with any activity that features a due date (like quizzes).

Bonus tip!

Avoid including actual due dates in activity names and description textboxes if you have the option of assigning a due date in timing settings. Due dates in timing settings are always displayed to students, so you don't need to repeat them... and if you leave them out, you don't have to update them the next time you restore or import your course into a new course shell. Why create extra work for yourself?!

Last modified: Monday, 8 July 2019, 4:46 AM