Moodle: Annotate with Perusall

Before You Start, you may need access to the following:

Perusall is a tool that lets students collaboratively annotate passages and answers each other's questions. Instructors can upload their own files to the service or use its library of open-source and commercial e-textbooks. Perusall accounts are free for instructors and students. Students may still need to pay for access to textbooks and other copyrighted materials. 

Add a Perusall Activity to Your Moodle Course

  1. Log into your course and toggle the Edit Mode switch.
  2. Click an +Add an activity or resource in the section where you want to place the activity.
  3. Select Perusall from the menu.
  4. Type in a unique Activity Name (e.g. "Perusall course page", "Readings", etc.) and then Select Content.
  5. A window will open. Select Build my Perusall Course. This will open Perusall's website in a new browser tab. Select Library and Add Content to put materials or assignments into the course's library. 
  6. Return to Moodle and select the materials you want to include in the activity.
  7. Click Save and display to create the activity. It will launch on Perusall's site in a new tab.

Creating this activity and launching it for the first time will create a new blank Perusall course that is connected to your Moodle course.

Note: If you have already set up course materials and assignments in a different Perusall course, you will need to move them into this course to give your students access.

Configure Grade Settings

  1. On your Perusall course page, click Settings, then the General tab.
  2. Scroll down to Analytics and choose the appropriate option: 
    • Automatic grading and engagement analytics (default): this will give students a grade based on how much they interacted with the text.
    • Manual grading and engagement analytics: use this option if you want to manually grade assignments. 
    • Disable grading, but provide engagement analytics: use this option if you want all assignments to be ungraded, but you still want to capture engagement data.
    • Disable all analytics: use this to turn off grading and analytics 
  3. Click Save changes.

Note: See the Instructor Guide on the Getting Started tab of your Perusall course Home page and Perusall's Scoring and Grades documentation for detailed information on how uses engagement analytics to automatically calculate grades. When automatic grading is on, you can click on a grade in the Gradebook to see how it was calculated and click the (edit) icon to override it. In particular, you can use the threshold scoring option for credit/no credit assignments.

Disable or Change Grade Syncing with Moodle

  1. On your Perusall course page, click Settings, then the General tab. 
  2. Scroll down to Grade sync to LMS and choose the appropriate option: 
    • Do not sync grades back to the LMS. Scores on Perusall assignments are not sent to Moodle.
    • Manually sync individual assignment scores back to the LMS. You choose which Perusall assignments are added as grade items (columns) in the Moodle Gradebook.  
    • Automatically sync individual assignment scores back to the LMS. Perusall adds all course assignments to the Moodle grade book as separate grade items (columns).  
    • Automatically sync students' average scores to LMS. Perusall adds a single grade item to your Moodle Gradebook and reports each student's average score for all Perusall assignments. 
  3. Click Save changes.

Set Up Your Perusall Course

  • Your course Home Page initially opens to the Get Started tab, with numbered steps for setting up a course, including a link to a Getting Started for Instructors guide.
  • Click the Library tab to begin adding content to your course.
  • Once you've added content, click the Assignments tab to create assignments that require students to interact with that content. 
  • By default, Perusall randomly assigns students in large classes to smaller discussion groups conducive to collaborative annotations. See Perusall guide to Groups for more information.

Launching Perusall for the first time creates a new, blank Persuall course that is connected to your Moodle course. You only need to add one Perusall activity to your Moodle course to give students access to your Perusall course and sync grades back to Moodle (either as individual grade items or a single summary grade, depending on your settings). However, once you have created an assignment on Perusall's website, you can use the "deep link" feature within the Persuall activity to directly link to that assignment on your Moodle page.

"Deep Link" to Perusall Assignments (Optional)

  1.  Turn editing on if it isn't already. 
  2. Navigate to the section where you want the link to appear and click +Add an activity or resource
  3. Select Perusall.
  4. Type in a unique Activity Name (e.g. the assignment name).
  5. Click Select Content.
  6. Choose the Perusall assignment.  
  7. Click Save and display or Save and return to course.

Videos & Further Reading on Perusall


If you have any additional questions or problems, don't hesitate to reach out to the Help Desk!

Phone: 610-526-7440 | Library and Help Desk hours
Email: help@brynmawr.eduService catalog
Location: Canaday Library 1st floor