Conversionthingy2 update: Convert Moodle backups from 1.9 to 2.0

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Peter Friesen, creator of ConversionThingy2 has just released an update which makes this tool much more useful to Moodle users than ever before.  Previously CT2 was designed to specifically help Angel users managed their course conversions to Moodle a little more easily.  According to the site CT2 now,

converts their course content into native objects in Moodle 1.98 and Moodle 2.0 backup files

For more information or to download this great resource visit http://www.conversionthingy.net/.

This newest release however can convert Moodle 1.9 backups files (zips) to Moodle 2.0 backup files (MBZ).  It’s a great tool which might save teachers and schools 100s or 1000s of hours of conversion time as they can see (in a minute or two) what aspects of a course do not convert, convert with issues or which modules are incompatible.

I’ve tested the backup converter from a Moodle 1.9.9 course to Moodle 2.0 and was thrilled to see that 90%+ was converted and needed no other action.  Knowing what complete conversion will take is a great thing to know if you’re contemplating a migration/upgrade from 1.9 to 2.0.

Here’s a quick video that highlights the process [direct link: http://screenr.com/t9z]:

Important to note that a complete replica of the course was not created, but many of the individual pieces of the course (resources, labels, activities, even images) were ported over (though not necessarily in the same order within each topic).  The original course did use some 3rd party tools which are not supported on Moodle 2.0 yet (primarily the Attendance activity which was installed at the Moodle of origin) which also did not convert.  Finally the sole lesson activity which was in the last topic area did not convert.

That said, the majority of information was easily converted and was available to update and edit without any issues.  Even the quiz and question banks made the conversion successfully.  Below you can see two images of the before (1.9) and after (2.0) courses.

  • Marc

    So, bottom line is that like Moodle 2 itself, this “almost” works….
    Great news, indeed!

  • Joseph Thibault

    yeah…for a 1st release of a free to use conversion tool I think it’s great news. Stay tuned for more!

  • Hi Joseph

    Thanks for this thoughtful article. This tool will certainly save people a lot of work.

    What happens to the files that were formerly stored in the course files?

    Cheers

    KerryJ

  • Joseph Thibault

    Kerry: an excellent question for which I do not yet know the answer. The files are intact for the “link to a file/resource” which were converted but it’s not clear where the files now exist. I have to keep diving into the Moodle 2.0 version of the course to see what I can find.

    As another update: Conversionthingy2 worked fine on my computer (which is running Windows7) but it may not work on other OS or without some other Windows/Microsoft programs which are required.

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  • Hi Joseph:

    I thought I’d offer up some quick notes on the recent changes to to the program, to make it “almost work” even better… Previously omitted activities (Choice, Database, Glossary, and Lesson) are now being processed, as is the “Directory” resource (which translates to the “Folder” in 2.0).

    The “Lesson” object, although it can now be converted, will probably not work as it should before the resolution of http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-25553. I’ve added a switch to the ConversionThingy 2 configuration options to allow users to decide whether they’d like to include “Lesson” activities in the conversion of Moodle 1.9x files. It may be possible to manually reconstruct the links in spite of the current bug. That said, and given the present inability to test whether the output works as it should, the “Lesson” option is turned off by default, and for the moment at least, should probably be avoided by the squeamish or faint of heart.

    Thanks, by the way, for the video and review.

    Peter

  • Joseph Thibault

    Peter thanks. It all makes sense. Just a note to teachers converting courses, recreating a Lesson activity is much easier if you have access to the Lesson already setup in Moodle 1.9. It’s a small price to pay if you MUST make the move and want to save some time in the conversion process.

  • Wenceslao

    Great Job!!! It saves a lot of work!

    Unfortunatelly it does’t keep user data, so when you export a glossary, for example, you need to import entries from a xml file and things like that.

    Anyway I prefer this rather than upgrade a whole platform everytime I need to upgrade a course 😀

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  • Derek

    Just for your interest:
    As of today, the Moodle in Schools 1.9 > 2.0 convertor is now freely available without an account:

    http://www.moodleinschools.org.nz/courseconverter

    -Derek

  • AbdelMonaem

    Thank you Derek, it is working well.

  • Thanks for the program and the video they have been useful. Just one more question: why do I have to unceck the user data?
    Will I loose the grades and the quiz attempts? What if I want to keep them?
    Thanks

  • Joseph Thibault

    I haven’t tested whether or not userdata can be ported from 1.9 to 2.x using ConversionThingy. If you’re interested in saving that data, testing it out should be relatively easy and it would be a great boon since userdata is not supported in restoring courses from 1.9 to 2.x currently. I did check out the docs for ConversionThingy though and it mentions that userdata is not supported for some activities http://www.conversionthingy.net/technotes.aspx

  • I’ll give it a try with the user data on!

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  • joaquin

    Hola.

    No puedo pasar los modulos SCORM de 1.9 a 2.0

  • joaquin

    I can’t convert SCORM modules from 1.9 to 2.0

  • Joseph Thibault

    Joaquin, while the scorm might not be possible within the back up file conversion, have you tried just downloading and uploading the SCORM zips?