Help Students Out: Syllabi as PDF or Google Drive Link

word-to-pdf-freenetworktips-800x445Do you upload your syllabus to Moodle? Is it a Word document? A Pages document? You may not realize it, but there are students who do not have these programs on their computers. Already I have spoken with two students who do not have Microsoft Word (or PowerPoint, or Excel…), but they must access syllabi that are Word documents. While I recommended they download OpenOffice or use a library computer to view the syllabus, you can help your students by using one of two simple solutions.

  1. Save your documents as PDF files and upload those to Moodle. Not only can any computer read PDF files, they are much easier to view in Moodle. Word documents are downloaded onto your students’ computers every time they click on the syllabus title. Not only is this annoying, but increases the chances that students are looking at older or outdated versions. PDF documents simply open in the browser whenever a student wants to view it.
  2. Do you change your syllabus a lot over the course of the semester? If so, consider using a Google Doc and add the shareable link to Moodle. Anthony Graesch wrote about why he made this change and explains how to do it in his post, Dish Up Your Syllabi with Google Docs.

If you have questions about posting your syllabus to Moodle, please contact us!


4 thoughts on “Help Students Out: Syllabi as PDF or Google Drive Link

  1. Sufia Uddin September 2, 2016 / 10:00 am

    Wow! Thank you for that information, Jessica. I think we need to request that students get Word. I used to post my syllabus on the Moodle site but I found it cumbersome to change every single year. As a time saver, I now just upload a Word doc. What should we do?

    • Jessica McCullough September 2, 2016 / 11:21 am

      Hello Sufia, We are exploring the feasibility of acquiring Office licenses for students. However, saving Word documents as PDF documents is really easy and it only adds one extra, very small, step to your workflow. Simply open your Word document and “save as” a PDF. Then upload the PDF to Moodle instead of the Word document. Happy to show you how this works!

      • Sufia Uddin September 2, 2016 / 11:25 am

        Thanks, Jessica. In the mean time, I will definitely begin giving students pdfs of syllabi.

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