Technical Tips & Tricks

5. Course Activities

5.3. Responding to Discussions

Cutting & Pasting Content

We’ve discovered that it may not be that straightforward to cut and paste from Word into Moodle. Some issues include:

  • Formatting either doesn’t copy over correctly or “hidden” formatting copies over but cannot be edited
  • Coding is automatically added to your post which may or may not be visible to you until you post

 As such, if you decide to cut/copy a selection and paste into Moodle, we recommend to:

  • Compose content within your normal word processing program
  • Highlight and copy/cut the content as you normally would
    • i.e., Right-click and select “copy” / "cut" or use the keyboard short for copy (Ctrl + C) / cut (Ctrl + X)
  • Navigate to where you’d like to paste the selection 
    • e.g., discussion forums
  • Paste in content as plain text
    • i.e., Right-click and select “paste as plain text” or use the keyboard short (Ctrl + Shift + V) 
    • Note: If you use the normal “paste” / Ctrl + V option, you may need to highlight your text and use the “clear formatting” feature from the HTML editor 
  • Save/post contribution as you normally would

Spell Check

When posting to discussion threads (within each topical forum), you will want to ensure your contributions are free from spelling errors. With the enhanced abilities of Internet browsers, spell check is now a common function Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Ensure you have installed the latest version of their browser and enabled the spell checker in your browser settings. We have included some directions for the most common Internet browser systems below:

  • Firefox: This is in Preferences > Advanced Settings > General
  • Safari: This is in the toolbar >  Edit > Spelling and Grammar > Check Spelling While Typing
  • Google Chrome: Settings > Languages > Language and input settings > Enable spell checking
  • Internet Explorer: Auto enabled 

Remember, spell check will only look for misspelled words, not incorrect words, so read carefully before posting!

Site Time-Outs

Nobody wants to lose what they've typed within the discussion forums, especially if it took a long time to compose a post. Our forums are set to "time out" after 4 hours (e.g., if you walk away from your computer, with a reply partially composed but not posted, you'll lose it after 4 hours). 

For longer replies to a discussion thread, it's likely a good idea to prep your response using your word-processing software (e.g., Word) that is usually set to save every few minutes. You can then cut and paste to the course site when you’re ready to post your discussion. Please see the section on cutting/pasting into the Moodle system. 

Bottom line is "computers crash" so it's always a good idea to save as you go. Another option is to post your partial message to the site. You have 30 minutes to edit any of your posts. If for any reason you need to edit your post after the 30 minutes has passed, please email your instructor with the edits.