Moodle: Annotate with Perusall

Perusall is a collaborative annotation tool designed to help students engage with and better understand assigned readings by annotating passages together and asking and answering questions about them. Instructors can upload their own files or adopt open-source or commercial e-textbooks that integrate with Persuall. Usage of Perusall is free for instructors and students; students pay only for the cost of the textbook or copyright clearance for adopted materials if needed. 

Prefer video? Introduction to Perusall 

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

Add a Perusall Activity to Your Moodle Course

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

  1. Turn editing on if it isn't already. 
  2. Click an +Add an activity or resource link. 
  3. Select Perusall.
  4. Type in a unique Activity Name (e.g. "Perusall course page", "Readings"), etc.
  5. Click Save and display to create the activity and launch Perusall in a new browser tab/window.

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 to them.

Configure Grade Settings

By default, Perusall automatically calculates grades for assignments based on student engagement analytics and adds the assignment as a grade item (column) to your Moodle gradebook once you've reviewed and released them. You can change either or both settings to control how Perusall scores are reported to Moodle. 

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 calculates 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.

Disable Grading or Grade Manually in Perusall

If you disable grading, no Perusall scores will be calculated or added to your Moodle gradebook. If you opt to grade manually, you will need also to disable grade syncing if you want to prevent scores from syncing.  

  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)
    • 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.

Tip: For credit/no credit grading, choose automatic or manual grading, then enable the threshold scoring option.

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

Launching Perusall for the first time creates a new, blank Persuall course that is connected to your Moodle course. 

Screen shot of a Perusall course with Getting Started tab visible

  • Your course Home Page initially opens to the Get Started tab, with numbered steps for setting up a course (shown in a red box in the above image, and a link to a Getting Started for Instructors with detailed info about how Perusall works.
  • 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.

"Deep Link" to Perusall Assignments (Optional)

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 grade sync settings).

However, once you have created Perusall assignments, you can create "deep link" Perusall activities to place links to those assignments in the relevant sections on your course page:

  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.

Additional Resources


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