Provide feedback with direct annotation of pdf files

Why use it?

PDF annotation allows markers to give feedback directly on the submitted work. This allows markers to highlight particular aspects of work and allows for more focused and clear feedback. PDF annotation can be combined with various other types of feedback including text comments, file uploads and audio feedback.

 

Step 1: Add an assignment

See our guide on adding an individual assignment for the settings. When setting up the Assignment, make sure that you have enabled ‘Annotate PDF’ in Feedback Types.

Annotation can only take place on PDF files. While Moodle automatically attempts to convert submitted files to PDFs, there are occasions when this isn’t successful. Therefore, it is recommended that students submit PDF files. When setting up the assignment, in the Submission types setting, it is possible to restrict the file types that students can submit. Under accepted file types, select pdf file. See our guide on adding an individual assignment for more information.

 

Step 2: Students submit


Step 3: View the submissions table


Once the deadline for students to submit has passed, click on the assignment. This will bring up the Grading summary which will show the number of participants and submissions. Click on View all submissions to view the submissions table.

 

 

The marking/submissions table lists all students and their submissions. If ‘anonymous submissions’ is enabled submissions are identified by a number unique to this assignment. N.B. Those with a Manager role can view student identities even when ‘anonymous submissions’ is enabled.

The table has a variety of filters and columns - see more details on the submissions table guide.

Click on the red Grade button to mark an individual piece of work. It is also possible to enter marks and feedback directly into the submissions table. For more information see our quick grading guide.

Step 4: Grade an individual assignment

Clicking on Grade will bring up a marking screen with grading options on the right hand side. If the student submitted a PDF file, the individual piece of work will appear in a window on the left hand side. If the student submitted a Word document and the conversion to PDF was unsuccessful, this window will be blank. The window will also be blank if the student did not submit anything.

 

Grade

Depending on your assignment settings you can enter a grade out of 100 or a scale.

Marking workflow state

Marking workflow is enabled by default. The marking workflow can be updated by selecting the correct option from the drop down list. E.g from Not marked to Marking completed, or In review.

NB. In review is a useful way to flag up any submissions that require moderation from a second marker.

Feedback comments

Text comments can be entered into the text box.

Feedback files

Files can be uploaded and attached for each student. For more details on bulk upload of feedback files see our guide, Provide grades and feedback with bulk upload of feedback files.

Annotate pdf submission

If the submission is a pdf file then the tool bar at the top of the page can be used to annotate directly.

Going from left to right the tools are listed below.

 

Text comment

Select the text comment icon and then click on the doc where you would like to add a text box. Click and drag the mouse to expand out the box and then you can type comments directly into the box using your keyboard. Clicking on the right hand corner will bring up the option to either delete comment or Add to quicklist. Add to quicklist allows you to save a text comment to use again.
Once you have finished click outside the text box and it will reduce down to a speech bubble which can be expanded.

Text comment box colour

Select this icon to choose the colour that you would like the text comment box to be. The drop down list includes; pink, yellow, green, blue, clear and white.

 

Hand tool

This simply allows you to move the PDF around in the window.

Arrow tool

Clicking on the arrow icon will allow you to then click and drag comments to another place on the document.

Drawing

This allows free hand drawing using the mouse. Select the colour from the colour selector icon (see below).

Line

Allows a line to be added to the document - use the mouse to place and drag it to the length required. Select the colour from the colour selector icon (see below).

Square Shape

Allows a square/rectangle to be added to the document - use the mouse to place and drag it to the size required. Select the colour from the colour selector icon (see below).

Circle shape

Allows a circle/oval to be added to the document - use the mouse to place and drag it to the size required. Select the colour from the colour selector icon (see below).

Highlighter

Allows a line of colour to be added to the document - use the mouse to place and drag it to the length required. Select the colour from the colour selector icon (see below).

Colour selector

Click on the icon to choose the colour for annotations. The drop down list includes; white, yellow, red, green, blue and black.

 

Stamp

Click on the icon to select one of the designs from the drop down list. The four options are: tick, cross, sad face and happy face. Use the mouse to click where on the document you would like to add the stamp.

 

Step 5: Save the marks and feedback

Once marks and feedback are entered for the submission. Click Save changes or Save and show next to move onto the next submission.

Notify students

 

This box is ticked by default, however if you are using marking workflow (default setting) students will not be notified until all marks and feedback are released. See our guide on using marking workflow for assignments for more information.

Step 6: Release marks

Marking workflow state

Marking workflow is enabled by default. To release the marks using marking workflow see below.

When you are ready to release marks to students, go to the submissions table. Select the submissions for which you want to use marking workflow using the Select box to left of each submission – to select all submissions, click the Select all box under Select. Scroll to the bottom of the page and, from the drop-down menu With selected…, select Set marking workflow state and Go. You will be asked to confirm, click ok.

 

Select Released from the drop down options and then Save changes. At this stage (and earlier stages) you can choose to Notify students by selecting Yes to generate an email.

Students will then be able to review their grades and feedback.

N.B. If ‘anonymous submissions’ is in use with marking workflow, the grades are released regardless of whether student identities have been revealed. However, you and other markers are likely to want to reveal identities at some point. If you cannot find the option Reveal student identities in the Grading action drop-down menu at the top of the submissions table, you will need to ask someone with Teacher (Editor) or higher access to do it.