Sunday, 25 February 2024, 11:01 PM
Site: Unitec Online
Course: Guide to Moodle (Guide to Moodle)
Glossary: Guide to Moodle

Adding a link to a resource in a page

Sometimes you will want to add a link to a file or other Moodle resource inside a Moodle page - like your Assessments page or your Welcome page.


  1. Go to the resource on your Moodle course page
  2. Right click it and choose "Copy link"
  3. Go to the page you want to edit (add the link to)
  4. Edit the page (often by clicking "Edit settings" in the administration menu)
  5. Type a sentence that the link will be attached to (like "Click here for this file")
  6. Highlight it
  7. Click the link button on the Moodle toolbar (it looks like a chain)
  8. Paste in the link you've copied into the URL field (you can use control+v (windows) or command+v (mac) to paste)
  9. Click Insert
  10. Save!

Enable JavaScript on browsers

Google Chrome

  1. On the web browser menu click on "Customize and control Google Chrome" and select "Settings".
  2. In the "Settings" section click on "Show advanced settings..."
  3. Under "Privacy" click on "Content settings..."
  4. When the dialog window opens, look for the "JavaScript" section and select "Allow all sites to run JavaScript (recommended)".
  5. Click on the "OK" button to close it.
  6. Close the "Settings" tab.
  7. Click on the "Reload this page" button of the web browser to refresh the page.


Internet Explorer

  1. On web browser menu click the "Tools" icon and select "Internet Options".
  2. In the "Internet Options" window select the "Security" tab.
  3. In the "Security" tab click on the "Custom level..." button.
  4. When the "Security Settings - Internet Zone" dialog window opens, look for the "Scripting" section.
  5. In the "Active Scripting" item select "Enable".
  6. When the "Warning!" window pops out asking "Are you sure you want to change the settings for this zone?" select "Yes".
  7. In the "Internet Options" window click on the "OK" button to close it.
  8. Click on the "Refresh" button of the web browser to refresh the page.


Mozilla Firefox

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
  2. Click "I'll be careful, I promise" if a warning message appears.
  3. In the search box, search for javascript.enabled
  4. Toggle the "javascript.enabled" preference (right-click and select "Toggle" or double-click the preference) to change the value from "false" to "true".
  5. Click on the "Reload current page" button of the web browser to refresh the page.


Apple Safari

  1. On the web browser menu click on "Edit" and select "Preferences".
  2. In the "Preferences" window select the "Security" tab.
  3. In the "Security" tab section "Web content" mark the "Enable JavaScript" checkbox.
  4. Click on the "Reload the current page" button of the web browser to refresh the page.

Enable Java on your computer

Find the Java Control Panel on Windows


Windows 8 


Use search to find the Control Panel

Press Windows logo key + W to open the Search charm to search settings
Drag the Mouse pointer to the bottom-right corner of the screen, then click on the Search icon.

In the search box enter Java Control Panel

Click on the Java icon to open the Java Control Panel.


Windows XP


Click on the Start button and then click on the Control Panel option.

Double click on the Java icon to open the Java Control Panel.



Find the Java Control Panel on Mac


Launch the Java Control Panel on Mac OS X (10.7.3 and above)

Click on Apple icon on upper left of screen.

Go to System Preferences

Click on the Java icon to access the Java Control Panel.


Change Security settings:


Security tab: Allows you to configure various settings related to security such as grant permissions to content, alert users about site certificates, enable trusted publishers and blacklist revocation checks.


How to Enable Java on your browser



  1. Open the Firefox browser or restart it, if it is already running
  2. From the Firefox menu, select Tools, then click the Add-ons option
  3. In the Add-ons Manager window, select Plugins
  4. Click Java (TM) Platform plugin (Windows) or Java Applet Plug-in (Mac OS X) to select it
  5. Check that the option selected is Ask to Activate or Always Activate or on older Firefox versions, click on the Enable button (if the button says Disable, Java is already enabled)



  1. Click on Safari and select Preferences
  2. Choose the Security option
  3. Select Allow Plug-ins, then click on Manage Website Settings
  4. Click on the Java item, select an option (Ask, Allow or Allow Always) from the pull-down list When visiting other websites
  5. Click Done, then close the Safari Preferences window


Compression PDF File

Not all files will benefit from compression. If it is already optimized, you may not be able to reduce the file size any more than it is.


Using Online Tools: SmallPDF (

This website will compress PDF files and quickly return them to you. There is no limit of the size of the file, or the number of times you can use the service.

You can drag and drop the file into the box on the website. Wait until the file is uploaded and compressed. The compression may take a few minutes, especially for larger files.

Once the compression is complete, the website will send you the new file.


Using Macintosh Preview

Click File and select export. In the options, click the Quartz Filter menu, and select "Reduce File Size."

Save the file. Select your desired location, then click Save. Your file will be saved in a much-reduced size. This may result in a noticeable drop in quality.


Using the Adobe Acrobat “Reduced Size” Command

Open the PDF file you wish to reduce in Adobe Acrobat. This is not an option in the free version of Adobe Acrobat (which is Acrobat Reader).

From the File menu hover your cursor over “Save As Other…”, which will open a new submenu. Select “Reduced Size PDF”.

Select what versions of Acrobat you want the PDF to compatible with. Choosing newer versions will result in smaller file sizes, but will render the file un-openable in older versions of Acrobat.


Using the Adobe Acrobat “PDF Optimizer” Command

PDF Optimizer provides finer control for reducing the size of PDF files. For most users, the default settings will provide the best reduction in file size. Optimizer saves space by removing embedded and duplicate fonts, compressing images, and removing items from the file that are no longer needed.

From the File menu hover your cursor over “Save As Other…”, which will open a new submenu. Select “Optimized PDF…”.

Click the “Audit space usage” button to see a breakdown of what is taking up space in your PDF file. This will allow you to see if your images are making the file too big, or if your embedded fonts are inflating the size. Each aspect of your PDF will be rated by bytes and percentage of total size.

Adjust your settings. Leave as default, or fine-tune your settings as needed. You can switch to different aspects of your PDF (Images, Font, Transparency, etc.) by using the menu on the left side of the window. You can choose to not optimize specific aspects by unchecking the boxes next to each menu item. This can be useful if you want to optimize the text but leave the images unaltered.

When optimizing images, you can change color images to grayscale, compress, downsample, and lower the quality. Compression of images can result in poor quality that is not suitable for printed materials. Always check the quality of your optimization before committing to saving the changes.

When optimizing fonts,  unembed fonts that you know all of your readers will have. For example, if you are sending the PDF to people at your school, they most likely will all be using the same system to read it, so those fonts do not need to be embedded.

Press OK. Your PDF will be converted using the new settings. You can check the new size by saving the file or by opening the PDF Optimizer again and clicking “Audit space usage” button.


Use the “Save as” in Adobe Acrobat and in Microsoft Word

This will allow a huge decrease of the size of your file (for example, it can make you file go from 200 kb to 20 kb => 10 times smaller in some situations)

  1. Open your file in Adobe Acrobat
  2. Save As your file as a Microsoft Word document
  3. Open the word document file in Microsoft Word
  4. Save As your file as a PDF


Reduce Microsoft Word and PowerPoint Document File Size

If you created a Microsoft Word or PowerPoint documents but have realized that it is too large to be shared by email; or you’re low on disk space; or even can’t upload it to Moodle, don't fret! Follow this guide to get your document file size compressed.

Use compressed graphics file formats

If you have images in graphic formats like bitmap (.bmp) in your documents, you should convert them into one of the following graphic file formats: .jpg(jpeg); .gif or .png.

Insert graphics instead of copying and pasting

People like to use copy and paste to add graphics into a document. The feature is effortless, but it’s not efficient as the pasted image is a bitmap file. The differences in file sizes can be astounding especially if you’re using a file format such as JPG as your source.

Choose E-mail (96 ppi) output

Inside your document, click one of your picture, you will see a tab “Format Picture” appears at the toolbar area. Click the “Compress” button on the “Format Picture” tab; select the “Best for sending in e-mail (96 ppi) from the “Picture Quality” dropdown menu; tick the “Remove cropped picture regions” checkbox; and select the “(Apply to) All picture in this file” radio button. Then, click “OK”. This would change all the pictures used in your document to an optimal size.

If you are using the latest version of Word or PowerPoint, you can simply go to File > Reduce File Size

Insert a hyperlink instead of inserting an object

When you insert an image or a media file, you have the option to insert it either as an embedded object or as a linked file. Insert > Photo/Audio/Movie > Photo/Audio/Movie from File.. > Select the file you want to insert; tick the “Link to File” checkbox. 

By inserting it as a linked file means it will not become a part of the final document file. But you should always make sure that the linked file is with you and in the computer where you will open the document. Otherwise, the hyperlink won’t work.

Turn off Preview Picture

The preview picture is the thumbnail of the document’s first page. This thumbnail shows in the Details section of Windows Explorer when you highlight the file. Usually, this isn’t an issue unless your first page displays a graphic.

To turn off Preview Picture in Microsoft document, go to File > Properties, Select the “Summary” tab, then deselect the check box for ‘Save preview picture with this document’, click OK.

Save your document a second time

Open your document, go to File > Save As… and give it another name. Then click “Save”.

Doing this you will have a second document that often is smaller than the original copy. This is because Microsoft Document usually stores lots of redundant information such as earlier drafts and previous used images. Once you save it as another file, the unnecessary redundant information would be purged.

Reduce image file sizes

Sometimes you get a message that you need to change an image size when trying to upload a picture. You may need to resize images to make them smaller without affecting the quality

Free tools for reducing image size:

The best and easiest from Google:

Grade Me block

A block that teachers can add to courses so as to quickly find ungraded assessments.

Turn editing on > Add a block > Grade Me

Add Grade Me blockNothing to grade Grade Me block  Grade Me example

Reset a course

Resetting your course can be useful between lots of students to purge out old user data so that the course is fresh. Of course there are times when you wish to keep old user data (like previous forum posts for students to build on) so be careful using this feature.

You'll be taken to a settings page where you can choose what you wish to reset in the course.


If you're using weekly format (rather than topics format) this can be a good place to change the course start date so that the weeks display properly for the new semester. Be careful deleting anything else in this section unless you're really sure.

Then, depending on which activities you have in your course, you may see some other settings areas:

Other reset items

These allow you to delete the data from any of these activities. Your activities themselves remain, ready to be used by the next lot of students.

Note that you will still need to go through assignments and other items that have due dates set to make sure that the due dates are updated for the new lot of students!

Activities - Turnitin Assignment

Creates a Turnitin Moodle Direct assignment which links an activity in Moodle to an assignment / assignments on Turnitin. Once linked, the activity allows instructors to access and provide feedback for student's written work using the assessment tools available within Turnitin's Document Viewer.

Walkthrough video:


Steps: Setting up a Turnitin Assignment:

To create a Turnitin Assignment open the course home page, after logging in as a tutor click the 'Turn editing on' button. Select 'Turnitin Assignment' from the 'Add an activity...' drop down menu.

General Turnitin Assignment settings:

  1. Enter a title for the Turnitin Assignment
  2. Enter a description for the assignment
  3. Select the 'Submission Type' for this assignment, 'File Upload' which will take doc, docx, pdf, rtf, txt and html. 'Text Submission' and 'Any Submission Type' allowing submissions to be uploaded in either format.
  4. Select the number of parts to be created as part of this assignment, the start date, due date and post date are given arbitary dates of one week from the time of creation. These dates should be altered as desired on the summary screen after creation.
  5. Select the 'Maximum File Size' for submissions. Turnitin will allow up to 2MB for text only submissions and for text and graphic files 20MB is allowed.
  6. Select 'Overall Grade' from the drop down menu. This is the final grade for the overall assignment. E.g. The assignment is to be graded as a maximum of 16 marks in total, each part can be marked out of 100 but the overall grade will be represented out of 16.
  7. Select whether students can view Originality Reports

Advanced Turnitin Assignment settings:

  1. Allow Late Submissions allows students to submit work after the due date is passed. Submissions made after the due date will be shown in the tutor in-box with the date submission in red to indicate a late submission.
  2. Report Generation Speed determines how and when originaliy reports are generated. The options are:
    1. Generate reports immediately, first report is final - Originality reports are created immediately and students may not resubmit papers. Submissions must be deleted by the instructor to enable resubmission.
    2. Generate reports immediately, reports can be written until due date - The orgininality report is generated immediately. Students may resubmit as often as the student wishes up until the due date. Originality reports form the second and subsequent resubmissions will require a 24 hour delay before originality report is regenerated. Only the latest submission is available to the student and instructor. When the due date passes the originality report is regenerated and student submissions within the same assignment are included in the comparison which may result in a change to the originality report similarity index. Resubmissions are not allowed after the due date.
    3. Generate reports on due date - Originality reports for submissions are generated on the due date. Resubmissions are allowed up until the due date.
  3. Store Student Papers determines where the submission will be stored. Options are No Repository, Standard Repository and Institutional Repository.
  4. Check against stored student papers determines whether submissions are checked against other student papers.
  5. Check against internet determines whether submissions are checked against internet sources.
  6. Check against journals, periodicals and publications determines whether submissions are checked against journal, periodical and publication sources.

Once you have selected all of the required options click 'Save and Display' to be directed to the Summary screen where you will see options to configure each assignment part in more detail.

Assignment Submission Dates

After completion of the assignment settings the 'Summary' page gives you the opportunity update the assignment parts and balance the grades awarded for each part as a proportion of the overall grade. The edit the dates and grades awarded for each part click the pencil icon. The default dates for each assignment part are initially set to be one week from the date the assignment was created.

Tame your Google Gmail filter

Why I didn't receive any email from Moodle?

Unfortunately, there's no easy way for you to ensure your emails don't hit the Promotions tab. It's also unclear how Gmail decides whether an email is "promotional" or not.

Below is how to "teach" a gmail account to treat your emails as primary. 

This can be done by clicking on the email (without opening it) & dragging it to the "primary tab". You will then see a message that says:

 "The conversation has been moved to "primary".  UndoDo this for future messages from "email address x"?Yes"

If you click yes, all future emails from that address will go to the primary tab.

This will certainly work for each individual who does it, I.e.. Each person who does it, their gmail account will always send your emails to the primary tab.