Strategies to Reset a Course for Cohort or Refresher Training/Certification

Effective management of course completions in Moodle is essential, especially in environments requiring regular training updates or certification renewals. It’s understandable that trying to find a method to reset course completion and archive can be frustrating in Moodle. This article explores comprehensive strategies for resetting course completions, including the importance of archiving completed courses for audit purposes, and introduces available tools that can simplify these processes.

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Why Resetting a Course is Important

Why Resetting a Course is Important

Resetting a Moodle course is crucial for maintaining course relevancy and ensuring a fresh learning experience for new cohorts. It allows educators to clear previous student data, making the course ready for new enrollments without interference from old records. Key use cases include annual academic courses requiring fresh enrollment each year, corporate training programs that need periodic updating to reflect new standards or practices, and certification courses where content must be revised to stay current with industry regulations. Additionally, resetting enables the integration of updated materials and activities, ensuring that the course remains dynamic and aligned with the latest educational or professional requirements.


Understanding Moodle Course Completion

Understanding Moodle Course Completion

In Moodle, course completion is defined by specific criteria set by the course administrators, which may include completing all required activities, achieving a minimum score on quizzes, or participating in forums. Each activity within a course can be configured to have its own completion requirements, such as viewing a resource or submitting an assignment. Administrators can also set up course completion to depend on the completion of other courses, creating a comprehensive learning pathway for users. This system not only facilitates a structured learning environment but also allows administrators to track progress at a granular level, enabling effective management of educational or training programs.


Preparations Before Resetting Completion

Preparations Before Resetting Completion

Before undertaking the reset process, certain preparatory steps are crucial:

  • Data Backup: Always back up course data to prevent loss and maintain records for audits.
  • Stakeholder Communication: Inform users about the upcoming reset and its implications to manage expectations.
  • Permission Verification: Ensure you have the administrative rights needed to modify course completions and settings.


Archiving Completed Courses

Archiving Completed Courses

To preserve the integrity of past data and facilitate audits, archiving completed courses is recommended:

  • Create a Course Archive: Use Moodle’s backup feature to create a full backup of the course, including user data and activity logs.
  • Store Securely: Save the backup in a secure location that adheres to your organization’s data retention policies.
    • Our recommendation is to create a server which holds only backups so you can access it for auditing purposes.


Backup and Restore a New, Clean Course

Backup and Restore a New Clean Course

After archiving the old course, creating a clean version for new cohorts involves:

  • Clone the Existing Course: Utilize Moodle’s course backup and restore functionality to clone the course without user data.
  • Adjust Settings and Resources: Update any time-sensitive materials or settings specific to the new cohort’s needs.


Resetting Course Completion

Resetting Course Completion

Individual User

You’ve most likely arrived at this article because you’ve been trying to reset course completion and encountered the issue of enrolling the user again with all the completion still intact. Moodle as of today (April 21, 2024) still hasn’t implemented a very intuative reset UI for different situational needs. For individual users you’d have to adjust course activity completion statuses in the reports.

  • Navigation: Administrators need to access the course settings, then navigate to the ‘Reports’ section and select ‘Course completion’.
  • Manual Adjustment: Within the course completion report, every user’s progress for each activity is displayed. Administrators can manually check or uncheck the completion status of each activity for any user. This method is particularly useful for adjusting course completions in cases where a user may have accidentally been marked as complete, or if they need to redo certain parts of the course due to updated requirements.



Cohort or group resets can be difficult in some ways. Pre-planning for this situation will help ease the process. Having groups that have the same start and end date in one course is much easier than having multiple with sporatic start and end dates. Why’s that? By default, Moodle’s course reset option applies to an entire course.

  • Access Reset Options
    • In the course administration menu, find and click on “Course Management” (gear icon), which opens a panel of various settings related to the course.
    • Under the “Course settings” section, click on “Reset”. This will take you to the reset course page.
  • Select Reset Options
      • On the reset course page, you will see a list of all items and user data that can be reset. This includes:
        • Roles: Reset role assignments for all users.
        • Grades: Clear all gradebook entries.
        • Group memberships: Remove all users from groups.
        • User completions: Reset all activity and course completion data.
        • Logs: Clear logs of user activity.
        • User data: Choose to reset user data in specific activities (e.g., assignments, forums, quizzes).
      • For each section, check the boxes next to the items you want to reset. If resetting for a new cohort, you might want to select all options to ensure the course is completely refreshed.
  • Date Adjustments
    • If your course includes date-specific activities or deadlines, you have the option to shift dates for the course schedule. This feature adjusts the dates by a set number of days, which can align the course timeline with the current or upcoming session.


SQL or Plugin

For managing course completions on a larger scale, such as across multiple courses or for very large groups, Moodle supports more robust methods:

  • SQL Queries: This method involves executing SQL commands directly on the Moodle database to reset completion data. It requires a good understanding of the database schema and should be used with caution to avoid unintended data loss or corruption.
  • Plugins: To simplify the manual processes, there’s a plugin available, local_recompletion. The recompletion plugin allows to reset the course completion and archiving. You’ll need to access the database but there are ways to get access to those archived tables from the front-end of Moodle. Example: Using custom reports, you can grab the archived table for audit.


Why Hiring a Moodle Expert Can Help With Resetting a Course for Cohort or Refresher Training/Certification

Benefits of hiring Moodle Expert Developer

Hiring a Moodle expert can significantly enhance the efficiency and accuracy of resetting courses for cohorts or refresher training. With their deep understanding of Moodle’s architecture and advanced features, these professionals streamline the process, ensuring that all components—such as user data, activity logs, and course completions—are meticulously reset according to your specific needs. An expert’s involvement minimizes the risk of data loss and system errors, which can be common in less experienced hands. Moreover, they can offer insightful guidance on managing server space and implementing effective archiving solutions, ensuring your data is secure and easily retrievable. Investing in a Moodle expert not only saves valuable administrative time but also improves the overall learning experience, ensuring that your educational or training programs remain dynamic, compliant, and fully optimized for new learner cohorts.



In conclusion, effectively managing Moodle course completions, especially when preparing for new cohorts or refresher courses, demands meticulous planning, careful execution, and often, the skilled hand of a Moodle expert. From ensuring comprehensive data backups and clear communication with stakeholders, to executing the technical aspects of course resets and data archiving, the right expertise can transform the administrative landscape of educational management. A Moodle expert not only brings precision to the reset process but also enhances the sustainability and scalability of training programs by optimizing server space and archival methods. By investing in specialized Moodle support, organizations can secure a robust educational framework that is both adaptable and reliable, ensuring that learners receive the most current and effective training available.

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