Students writing on uploaded content files

Kirsty.W.463 Posts: 2 🔍
edited February 5 in K-12
In one of my courses there is a tool bar that pops down over pdf documents that allows the student to write on the file. In my other courses I do not have this tool bar and I would like it. How do I add it so that the file I upload can be edited by the students in their content spaces?


  • brad.r.503
    brad.r.503 Posts: 35

    The toolbar you're referring to sounds like an annotation tool, which is a feature of the document viewer used within Brightspace. This tool allows students (and instructors) to write on, highlight, or otherwise mark up PDF documents directly within the course content.

    To enable this functionality in your other courses, you might need to adjust the settings for how PDFs are displayed or ensure that the PDFs are integrated in a way that supports inline annotation. Here's a general guide on how you might enable or check for this functionality:

    1. Check the Document Viewer Settings:
      • Brightspace uses a built-in document viewer to display PDFs and other files. This viewer should typically have the annotation tools available. Check if there's any setting at the course or system level that might be disabling these tools.
    2. Ensure PDFs are Uploaded Correctly:
      • Make sure that the PDFs are uploaded directly to the content area of the course and not linked from an external source. Files that are viewed directly within Brightspace's document viewer are more likely to have these tools available.
    3. Check for the Most Recent Version of Brightspace:
      • Ensure your version of Brightspace supports inline annotation. If it's an older version, it might not have this feature, or it might require an update or a plugin.
    4. Enable Annotation Tools:
      • Some systems require you to explicitly enable annotation tools for each document or at the course level. Check if there's an option to enable annotations when you're uploading the document or in the document settings after it's uploaded.
    5. Consult the Brightspace Guide or Support:
      • Refer to the CITL Brightspace Guide or other support materials provided by your institution to see if there are specific instructions for enabling annotations in PDFs.
      • If you're still unable to enable the annotation toolbar, it might be a good idea to reach out to your institution's technical support or the Brightspace support team. They might need to enable certain features at the system level or provide you with a specific workflow to enable annotations.

    Remember, the ability for students to annotate PDFs can depend on the specific configuration of your Brightspace environment, the version you're using, and the permissions set for the course and the content. If you're not able to enable this feature following these general steps, institutional support will be the best path forward.