Annotating documents within Moodle

Adding PDF annotation to course materials in the Moodle online learning environment


A university e-learning group was looking to introduce PDF paper annotation functionality, so as to make any document in Moodle available for review and discussion for its 200 staff and approximately 3000 students. For this particular higher education institution feedback was one of the most powerful influences on performance and achievement, and also provided a collaborative improvement process among teachers and assignment designers.

The Annotate Moodle integration provided an easy to use and secure collaboration tool both for students and staff. Click here to visit and trial the Moodle Plugin.


The integration between Moodle and Annotate relies on a secure API to automate logins from Moodle, and to transfer documents for annotation to authenticated users.


Integration as a standard Moodle Block: The annotate module is supplied as a ‘Moodle block’, which adds an extra menu item for ‘Annotate’ to the ‘Add a block’ menu for when customising a page.

Moodle Block

Resource with annotate block in course view: Each document for a given course is given a separate LTI link entry (four are shown below).

LTI Links

Document view on clicking a link: When students or tutors click a link in Moodle, it opens up that PDF in a new window. They can highlight text to add a comment, or click on an existing comment to reply. Comments can be tagged, and it is also possible to set the ‘To’ field to ‘All viewers’ or to specific users.

Document View

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