Academic Integrity in the Digital Age: Uncovering Moodle’s Hidden History


How might one retrieve a previous version of a webpage from a school’s Moodle platform, specifically to recover a sentence that was deleted after being cited in a plagiarism dispute? The sentence in question was part of the assignment submission instructions and was removed shortly after being referenced in communication with the professor. The Wayback Machine has no archive of the page, and the retrieval is needed to demonstrate that the sentence was indeed part of the original instructions.


: Moodle allows users to create backups of courses, which include all the activities, resources, and, importantly, the course settings where submission instructions are typically found. If you have the necessary permissions, you can restore a backup to a different location and access the previous version of the instructions.


Contact Moodle Administrator

: If you do not have access to backups, the next step is to contact the Moodle administrator at your institution. Administrators can access site-wide backups and may be able to retrieve the version of the course page that contains the original instructions.


Use Browser Cache

: Sometimes, your web browser’s cache retains a copy of the web pages you have visited. If the deletion occurred recently, you might find the previous version of the page in your browser’s cache.


Check with Other Students

: If other students accessed the assignment submission page before the sentence was deleted, they might have a cached version or even a screenshot of the original instructions.


Review Email Notifications

: Moodle can be configured to send email notifications when assignments are posted. If you received such an email, it might contain the original instructions.


Explore Moodle Logs

: Moodle keeps detailed logs of all activities. If you have the necessary permissions, you can check the logs for changes made to the course page. This won’t recover the deleted sentence but can show when the page was edited.


Legal Action

: As a last resort, if the issue escalates to a formal dispute or academic hearing, it may be possible to subpoena the institution for the records, which would include the Moodle page history.

It’s important to note that these steps require certain levels of access and permissions, which may vary depending on your role within the Moodle platform and the policies of your institution. Always approach this process with respect for privacy and institutional regulations.

In the event that none of these methods yield results, it may be helpful to document all attempts made to retrieve the information. This documentation can be presented as part of your case to demonstrate due diligence in trying to resolve the issue.

Remember, the goal is to resolve the dispute amicably and with integrity, ensuring that all parties have access to the correct information..

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