Using PDFs in a Course

If you have a PDF file prepared as a course reading, you can share it directly with Students by creating a PDF Module, and then adding that Module to your Course.

PDF Best Practices

  • When a PDF file is displayed within the module, by default it will be magnified beyond 100% for easier readability and to better fill the browser window. The Student will have controls to zoom in or out, but you may want to adjust the text size in the PDF file before you upload it.
  • We discourage the use of extremely large PDF files. We have found that Students react more positively if a PDF file is limited to roughly 30 pages. Large files can also have problems loading in certain browsers, or at certain connection speeds.
  • If you have a file larger than 30 pages, we recommend splitting it into smaller files, and creating multiple PDF modules.

In this article


The Slug is the unique URL address where your Video Module can be found. The Slug is auto-generated from the Name you give your module, but you do have the option to edit and change it if you wish.

Adding PDFs to the Media Library

The Media Library houses all the uploaded files you use for every course module in your account. All uploaded files can be found here. 

There are two ways to access the Media Library. You may upload files to the Media Library through your dashboard by navigating to Assets > Media Library. Or, you can open the Media Library directly from the PDF Module page by selecting Browse Media when adding your URL.

Inside the Media Library, you can add your PDF file by dragging your file or selecting Upload Media.

Selecting Your PDF file

To add your PDF file, you can select it from the list of files already uploaded to your Media Library. Choose Browse Media to open the Media Library, and then Select the correct PDF.

Add a Brief Description

The Brief Description area is a place to add any accompanying text you'd like to add context or instructions to your PDF module for your Students before they begin reading. The text will display directly above the PDF inside the module. By default this area is for text only, but custom HTML will allow you to insert images as well. 

Tracking Completion

In the PDF module, a Student is marked as finished with the module once they reach the end of the PDF file, either by clicking the Next Page button, or scrolling down the page to the end.

If you wish to enforce a minimum amount of time a Student is required to spend inside the module before moving on, you can lock the module and set a timer inside the Course Curriculum page. 

Allow Student Downloading

If you wish, Instructors can allow Students the opportunity to download a copy of the PDF file. The Download button will appear inside the Student's Module.


If a Student downloads the file and views it outside of your course, you will not be able to track their time or completion when reading. Those things can only be done with the PDF file inside the PDF Module.

Student Experience of a PDF Module

When a Student opens a PDF Module, they will have several buttons to control the experience:

  • Previous Page and Next Page, to advance through the PDF.

  • Zoom In and Zoom Out, to enhance the viewing experience.

  • Download, an optional button to save their own copy of the PDF.

Students will also be able to track their completion of the module as a percentage shown on the Course page.