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I have my college students upload PDF documents to Moodle (learning platform) for various assignments.

Numerous students had issues uploading their PDF documents to Moodle -- Moodle gets stuck in an infinite upload or rejects the upload altogether.

I've troubleshooted a bit, and I determined that all students who failed to upload had originally used Google Docs to create their PDF. After some tinkering, the first (and so far only) method I've gotten to work for them is to follow these (kind of silly) steps:

1. Go to the google doc and “save as” a word doc.
2. Open the word doc.
3. Then go to “save as” and go to “this pc”, change the file to PDF and save again.
  - It will ask to open it in a different web page. Use chrome.
4. After the doc shows up again, save the file again.
5. After the final save it should be accepted by Moodle.

I'll note that my students aren't so great at reporting details concerning their attempted procedures or upload issues, so if this post comes across as vague I apologize -- this is as best as I can piece together.

Note: We determined that neither OS nor browser made a difference.


I'm left with 2 major questions:

1. Are not all PDFs created equally?

  • Every student who had upload problems tried to upload a PDF, but only with my alternative approach above was their second attempt's PDF accepted.

2. Is there a known bug in Moodle concerning PDF assignment uploads?

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