Moodle Data Retention Policy

Policy

Active Courses

ITS retains academic courses on the Moodle server for 7 years after the course end date.  After 7 years, courses are deleted from the server. Instructors who wish to store a local copy of their course can Export or Backup a Moodle Course any time before 7 years.  Faculty will be reminded annually of the course backup and deletion schedule. 

Course Backup Files

ITS takes a snapshot of each academic course at the conclusion of the semester and stores the backup file for 10 years. The backup file can be used to restore the course if content is inadvertently deleted or an instructor moves to another institution using Moodle. Ten years after the end of each class, course backup files are deleted. Prior to deletion, instructors may request access to a backup file by submitting a ticket at support.swarthmore.edu

User Accounts

  • Deactivated Swarthmore user accounts with no Moodle enrollments (typically non-academic staff) are deleted in July of each year.

  • Deactivated Swarthmore user accounts with Moodle enrollments are deleted 7 years after the last Moodle login date.

  • Manually created Moodle accounts without activity for 2 years are deleted in July of each year.

Activity Logs

Moodle maintains a log of all user activity. Instructors can view actions happening within their Moodle courses using activity log reports. These logs are retained for 120 days.

Rationale

Digital housekeeping is important. By regularly removing older courses and inactive user accounts, Moodle becomes easier to navigate, performs more efficiently, and incurs lower storage costs. ITS also recognizes that content created by faculty and students is their property and should not be retained indefinitely, especially once they are no longer affiliated with the College.

The policy sets a seven-year retention period for courses on the Moodle server. This duration was chosen specifically to support faculty members who are seeking tenure—enabling them to access all their class materials, including course evaluations. Additionally, this time frame ensures that courses offered only occasionally are readily available. Active users are retained for a similar time in order to preserve responses in course evaluations.

ITS maintains a separate, individual course backup for 10 years in case of inadvertent deletion or modification of content on the Moodle server or for special cases in which a professor requires access to their older course content.

Ways you can contact ITS or find information:

ITS Support Portal: https://support.swarthmore.edu
Email: support@swarthmore.edu
Phone: x4357 (HELP) or 610-328-8513
Check out our remote resources at https://swatkb.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/remote/overview
Check our homepage at https://swarthmore.edu/its