6. Quick guide for teachers

6.15. Automatic course deletion process

In January 2023, TUNI Moodle introduced an automatic deletion process for unused courses. At first, there was only one deletion criteria: the course end date specified in the course settings. Since February 2024, unused courses will be deleted  based on the last time the course was visited. If you as course teacher want to avoid automatic deletion of a specific Moodle course, you need to do two things:

  1. Edit the course end date in the course settings, up to a maximum of 2-3 years in the future, or disable the end date altogether if you need the course longer. Do not select an end date of 2030, for example, because an end date far in the future will break Turnitin tasks, among other things.
  2.  Visit the Moodle course pages at least once every two years.

If you have student role, you can't change course end date. Instead, please contact the course teacher. 

If you receive an email from Moodle that your course has been moved to trashbin or your course was deleted:

  • If it is less than a month since the course was moved to the trashbin: find the course in Moodle and restore it from the trashbin using Managing tools block's button "Restore from trashbin". Remember to edit the end date in the course settings. 
  • If it's been more than a month since the course was moved to the trashbin and you received a "course deleted" message: contact the IT Helpdesk, tell them the name of the course and ask them to restore it from the trashbin. 
Reasons and a more detailed description of the removal process

The recommendation is to create a new Moodle course for each implementation of the course. This results in a large number of obsolete Moodle courses from past implementations that have not been used for a long time, and a large number of courses with the same name. It can be difficult for students to find the right courses. It therefore makes sense to regularly close and remove obsolete and unused courses in a centralised manner. This will also clarify the list of your own courses in Moodle.

According to the TAU and TAMK Information Management Plans, the retention period for student work is 6-12 months after the final assessment. After this period, student work should be deleted. Deleting outdated course areas will help to meet this requirement.

For the reasons mentioned above, an automatic deletion process for unused TUNI Moodle courses was introduced in January 2023.

Courses with more than 12 months from the end date OR no visits for more than 24 months will be included in the automatic deletion process. Courses will not be deleted immediately, but teachers of the course will be informed by email. Teachers will receive two different messages at different stages of the deletion process. The stages of the process are:

  • Step 1: If the course is open to students, it will be closed so that it will not be visible to students. The course is moved to the trashbin and teachers are notified by email. Teachers can still access the course and can restore the course to the original course category for a period of one month.
  • Step 2: After one month, the Moodle course is moved to the hidden category and is also hidden from teachers. Moodle will send second email about course deletion. The restoring of the course must be requested from the IT Helpdesk within 6 months.
  • Step 3: The Moodle course is deleted after 7 months from the start of the deletion process and it is no longer possible to restore the course.

Manual deletion of courses is still possible and recommended, as a teacher you can start the same deletion process using the Move course to trashbin function in the Managing tools block.

If you want to delete the student submissions but save the Moodle course content and assignments, first duplicate the assignment activity (Turn editing on > activity Edit menu > Duplicate) and then delete the original assignment activity. Note that deleting the activity will also delete the student submission and grading data from the Moodle grading book, so do this at the earliest 6 months after the final assessment. Deleted course content can be restored for 7 days in the course's own Recycle bin.

When a teacher creates a Moodle course in Peppi or Sisu, the end date of the course area is automatically set to the end date of the course implementation in Peppi/Sisu.  If you create a course in the Moodle Other course category as staff member, the default end date is one year forward from the time of creation. As a teacher, you can edit the end date of the course 1-3 years in the future if necessary, or disable it in the case of a long term course or a custom base course from which you copy content to new courses each year.

The unused status of a Moodle course is determined from the Last access to course dates displayed in the participants list, based on the current participants in the course. Teachers' and students' visits are treated equally here. Persons who are no longer members of the course are not taken into account in this reasoning. It should also be noted that copying course content does not count as a visit, so you should visit and open your course pages at least once a year.



1. What happens to the Panopto videos linked to my Moodle course during the removal process?

The Panopto course video folder created through the Moodle course or its videos are not automatically deleted at the same time as the Moodle course is deleted. However, permissions are automatically updated at different stages of the removal process:

  • In step 1, students will lose viewing access to the Panopto folder and videos if the Share settings for the folder or videos have not been modified.
  • In step 2, teachers will also lose all access to the course video folder and its videos, unless the teacher has separately added creator permission to himslef/herself in the folder's Share settings.
  • In step 3, nothing happens to Panopto videos, they remain on the Panopto platform without permissions, i.e. only Panopto administrators can see them in Panopto, unless the default settings have been modified. Videos are removed from Panopto based on Panopto's own removal rules, see section "Panopto recordings lifecycle" on the page Panopto Video Service Instructions.   

If Panopto videos are allowed to be viewed anonymously with just a link, such direct viewing links will continue to work after the Moodle course has been removed.

2. I have copied the contents and Panopto videos of the Moodle course to be removed to the new Moodle course. Will the removal of the old course affect the new Moodle course and Panopto video copies?

In principle, it does not affect if the video links in the new Moodle course are in the new Panopto folder. An exception is if the video links made with standard Share video links are in the Panopto folder of the old course even in the new course, and you have added viewing rights for the students of the new course to the Share settings in the old folder. In this case, for students in the new course, the video links will work, but as a teacher, you may lose the creator rights to the video folder during the process of deleting the old course. To avoid this, you should change the standard Share links to Panopto LTI single video-type links in Moodle or separately add creator permissions to yourself in the Share settings in the old folder. For instructions on the different linking methods, see the IT instructions: Adding videos to Moodle course.

3. I can't find the Moodle course or Panopto video folder I need as a teacher. What should I do?

First, log out of Moodle and then log in again. In this way, you will restore the teacher role and permissions to the Moodle course, where you may have used the function "Switch role to student". After this, make sure that no filters are applied to the course listing in your Moodle dashboard view. It is also a good idea to search for a lost course by course name and code using Moodle's course search function.  If the former do not help, contact IT Helpdesk.

4. Student: The old Moodle course disappeared, even though I still need it. What should I do?

The teacher has either hidden the course from the students, or the automatic removal of the courses has done so. Contact the teacher of the course and ask him/her to publish the Moodle course back to students. Already during the implementation of the course, it is worth discussing with the teacher how long the students should retain access to the Moodle course. The default for automatic deletion is one year after the end of the implementation, but the teacher can extend the usage time by editing the end date of the course. The end date of the course is not visible to students.