The Portable Document Format was created in 1990 and privately licensed until 2008. Since then, it has quickly become a standard for the storage and exchange of documents where format is essential. The ability to store images and media and to allow hyperlinks are other important selling points.
But from a technical standpoint, the format, initially designed for industrial publishing operations, is too complex for general use, including education. A post at moodle.com highlights how the Moodle Book provides the most common uses and features of PDFs for learning environments, physical and virtual alike. But within a Moodle ecosystem, functionality can be extended by linking it to other activities, such as Glossary, Forums, or Questions.
The Book’s first feature might sound contradictory: one-click “Print Book” and “Print Chapter” automatically create PDF files of the content with the multimedia stripped down. Reportedly, this is one of Moodle’s less used features.
In the Moodle Book, teachers can embed multimedia from images and videos to almost any kind of interactive content that can be embedded in a Moodle text editor. H5P content is a great example of that and of the next advantage.
Books are extremely easy to make and edit. Just write, paste, or drag and drop text and interactive elements. Moodle filters are a fantastic way to enrich a Moodle Book just by pasting a link or a code. Moodle Books can be edited at any time, even in collaboration among many users, and students will find the latest version of the document on their account instantly.
With the Moodle Mobile and Moodle Desktop apps, portability and platform compatibility are no longer an issue. You can access Moodle Books anywhere thanks to the Offline capabilities of the Moodle apps. Just download them when you’re on a network, and they will remain available.
Thanks to the increasingly comprehensive Moodle ecosystem, you can get a Moodle app in any operating system for mobile and desktop devices. Recently Moodle Mobile and Moodle Desktop announced their 100% compatibility with the Moodle Book (and the rest of the core activities).
In Moodle 3.4, the ability to add tags to individual chapters of the Book now allows users to reach relevant excerpts from search results or tag pages.
Finally, any ongoing enhancement on accessibility developed for Moodle will extend to the Book activity, ensuring students with specific format requirements will enjoy new benefits on it right away. Table of contents and easier navigability are some recent usability enhancements.
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