Download student assignment uploads in one fell swoop…alternative!

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A couple weeks  ago Frankie Kam wrote an article about downloading student assignment uploads for Moodle 1.9 in one fell swoop. I haven’t been able to try the hack myself but from the pictures it looks pretty cool and useful. This got me thinking though about all the users out there that use Moodle but don’t have access to hacking the code. Instructors at universities and schools are usually the ones downloading the assignments but use their school’s Moodle instance and thus have no admin access. Well don’t fret my friends because there is an alternative!

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Note: Before trying anything you are about to see in a live course, I suggest testing in a sandbox course first. You know, just in case something goes wrong… which I will then deny I ever recommended this. 🙂

Currently I know of two alternatives that any instructor can take to download all assignment uploads at once.

Method #1: Locate the parent moddata folder for the assignment and then make a zip folder that you can then download. This is the dangerous method because you are going into the moddata folder which most of the time you should avoid.


Method #2: Using DownThemAll! add-on or other add-on/plugin that allows you to do bulk downloads. Consider this the safe method amongst the two.

DownThemAll! is a Firefox plugin that is very popular among Firefox users that allows users to download all links and images within a webpage. Since all the student assignment uploads are technically links on the assignment submissions page, that means you can download those as well. The developers of the add-on boast about faster download speeds (which I can’t verify) but the coolest feature of this add-on is how you can filter the download links based on type. For example, your assignment calls for students to upload a Word Doc or PDF file. With DownThemAll!, you can filter all the links on the page to then download only the .doc, .docx or PDF links.

BONUS!! – As my primary job is working for a state university, I have to adhere to 508 (accessibility) laws for many of my daily tasks. So for both of the above videos I uploaded captions so that deaf viewers can get the same experience. Enjoy!

Happy Moodle Logooodling!

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