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  • Which format should I use for my document in Moodle?

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Moodle Page

Moodle Book

PDF

Word processed or slideware document

What is it?

Page is a single html web page authored directly in Moodle.

 

Book is a collection of related html web pages either authored directly in Moodle or imported from other web pages. Content exists in sections with navigation.

PDF is a read-only document format which can be uploaded to Moodle. To open it launches a PDF reader software (or depending on settings, within a web browser).

These (e.g. Open Office, Pages, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint) can be uploaded to Moodle. Opening them entails launching dedicated software or (on mobile devices) a reader app.

Summary

Good for short reference docs which may be accessed from mobile devices.

E.g. instructions; explanations; wrapping some commentary round a multimedia resource e.g. video.

Good for longer reference documents, longer pieces of writing, or collections of multimedia with commentary - anything that needs to be handy (including from mobile devices) but which is subject to change.

E.g. course handbooks; bespoke instruction manuals (optionally with different media), tutor-authored textbooks.

Use for docs which don’t change, where control over appearance is important, which are likely to be printed.

E.g. articles, digitised manuscripts.

Use word processed documents for anything you want students to be able to edit.

E.g. Coversheets or workbooks.

Accessibility

Seamlessly opens in web browser. Font size, colours, backgrounds fully configurable via web browser, including on range of mobile devices. Text-to-speech available.

Seamlessly opens in web browser. Font size, colours, backgrounds fully configurable via web browser, including on range of mobile devices.  Text-to-speech available.

Depending on viewer’s browser settings, a potentially disorientating jump between software. PDF readers PDFs are not readily editable by readers, so they can't apply their own fonts, spacing or backgrounds. PDF Reader software tends to have variable accessibility support depending on how document is formatted.

Requires separate software to access, which may not be installed. Once open, tends to be readily editable, so readers can apply their own fonts, spacing or backgrounds. Variable accessibility support depending on software used and how document is formatted.

Ease of editing

Direct in web browser (no special web skills needed).

Direct in web browser (no special web skills needed).

Entails creating new PDF and uploading again to overwrite the current version, ensuring no links from elsewhere are broken.

Entails uploading again to overwrite the current version, ensuring no links from elsewhere are broken. However, sophisticated formatting may be easier.

Version control

Good, there’s only one version, accessed online. No risk of out-of-date copies.

Fair, viewers encouraged to access online version, though can download as PDF.

Limited – can be downloaded. Risk of people referring to out-of-date copies.

Limited – can be downloaded and edited. Risk of people referring to out-of-date copies.

Save for offline access

Possible but not encouraged. Entails saving a web page.

Yes, if download PDF.

Yes.

Yes.

Mobile device support

Yes.

Yes.

Has to download rather than access online; attempts to launch separate app; may be hard to find again.

Has to download rather than access online; attempts to launch separate app; may be hard to find again.

Multimedia support

Yes, a wide variety of embeds.

Yes, a wide variety of embeds.

Text and images.

Text and images.

Print to hard copy

Possible, but not intended.

Yes, download PDF version.

Yes.

Yes.