‘Interactivizing’ Printed Course Book Using Moodle


Recently, I turned one unit from our hard copy coursebook into an interactive online version using Moodle. This post is to share my know-how and also keep a record of this process for my future reference 🙂

How to make: Interactive Coursebook


  • Soft copy of your coursebook (on PDF, Word, or JPEG)
  • A screen shot software (Jing)
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Moodle (+ knowledge of making quizzes)

First, go to your course on Moodle and turn editing on 🙂 (So simple, yet I keep forgetting)

1Make sure that you have all the necessary windows open – especially the soft copy of the coursebook.

2014-04-18_2026_001This is the soft copy screen shot of the unit I worked on (below):


If you have already have a soft copy, that’s great but of course you can scan your book – even take pictures with your phone.

Next, you need to add “book” resource on your Moodle course.

2Click on “add an activity or resource”, then choose “book”:

3Give it a name and description. If you like, you can change the settings for restriction of access, etc.

46Save it, then on the course page, click on it to edit the chapters and other info.

7After you typed your chapter title, type anything in the content window and save it for now. On the left top of your window, you should see this (below):

8This shows the table of contents. Here, you can add, delete, hide and edit other chapters as well. Click on the hand icon to start editing.

9Delete whatever you typed before saving and when you have a clean content box, click on the “Toggle full screen mode” as shown with the arrow.

Below you will see the first image I added to the content window. This is from the coursebook I teach at Sabanci University. Using “jing” I took the screen shot of the necessary part. This part is something I wanted to use as it is. However, you need to edit the image before you put it there. In your folder where you keep these images, right click on the image and open it with Adobe Photoshop CS2 (download free).


Click on “alt+ctrl+I” to change the image size. Alternatively, on the file menu, click on “Image” and choose “image size”. Now, what we need is the right width for the image. Change the width as “810 pixels” and click on “OK”. Any image which has the same width on the hard copy book you want to put on your “book” resource needs to be saved as, like in this procedure – width= 810px.

10After I put the image, I had to put some written course book content. However, to make everything proportionate, I used “table” option. Below is an excerpt from the book:

11This is in Word, so it’s easy to copy. Again the 810px rule is important to have a proper formatting.

12Depending on your page design, you need to decide how many columns and rows you will need and which ones you might want to merge, etc. For example, below you can see how I made a table. There are two columns and four four rows. On the right, there should be an image (of an old lamp) – which I didn’t feel the need to edit the size in Photoshop. I merged the rows on the right and inserted the image there.

13On the left column, each row will receive some course content – mainly the instructions. Using ctrl+C and ctrl+V, you can add your content from the soft copy of your course book or any other material.

14Now, here is the important part. Because if you only put some images and texts cut and pasted from the soft copy book, it will be only an online version of your hard copy book. In order to ‘interactivize‘ your book, you need to use your knowledge of quiz tool in Moodle. The parts in your book that reads something like “Read the text below and answer these questions” can be turned into interactive activities for your learners. To do that, you need to analyze the activity and decide which quiz questions you can use. For instance, a text with true false questions can easily be turned into an interactive activity.

15For this, you need to go to “question bank” and depending on the type of questions in the book, you need to choose appropriate quiz questions.

2014-04-18_2154_001You need to prepare all your quiz questions.

2014-04-18_2154Make sure that you name the quiz questions effectively to remember and locate when necessary. Now, we can go to course page on Moodle and create a quiz. On the course page, click on “add and activity or resource” and choose “quiz”.

5You can then click on the quiz you created and add all the questions you prepared in this quiz. The next thing to do is on the “book” resource, in an appropriate place, type something like below and copy paste the link of the quiz you prepared using “insert/edit link”. Remember that your learners should not see the quiz on the course page. It should only be linked to your “book” resource. That’s why you should hide your quizzes.

15Once you save it, now your online version of your course book will interact with its users, when they click on the link they will answer the i.e. reading questions and get immediate feedback, plus you can monitor their process. Below are some examples of these questions. You can also add supplementary materials such as YouTube videos to your content. This is ideal for those who missed the class on that day and/or those who want to do revision. I’d be pleased if you let me know what you think about this post, especially if you are a Moodle user 🙂

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