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Frequently asked questions

What about copyright restrictions on course materials?

From a document access perspective, the Annotate server is very much like a Moodle server. It hosts copies of resources and gives authorized students access to them. It can be installed on hardware in the same physical location as Moodle, and, in general, anything that is authorized to be hosted on Moodle can also be put on Annotate.

Can you restrict Annotate to particular courses?

Yes. The plugin configuration screen has a range of options for matching particular courses and even for selecting particular file types on a per-course basis.

What operating system does it need?

Annotate is available for both Linux and Windows servers. It can also be run on a virtual machine via VMWare or VirtualBox.

How big a server does it need?

It runs fine on mid-range hardware for most applications. When estimating the memory requirements it is bet to allow 0.5MB per page and 2MB per student.

When several students access the same resource in Annotate, can they see each other's notes?"

No. They each have their own Annotate account, and their notes are private within that account. Internally, Annotate saves space and work by only transferring and processing each document once, but this has no effect on how it appears to the student.

What is the plugin exactly, and how do you install it?

Technically, the plugin is a Moodle filter. It is configured via a settings screen like a normal filter, but it doesn't depend on the Moodle filter mechanism to run. Instead, it can either be called by adding simple (three line) pages in the "customscripts" area for those pages where it should be applied, or by adding a single line to the Moodle PHP directly.

After a page has loaded the plugin uses javascript to identify annotatable resources and add the appropriate links.

For more explanation of how the plugin works see the design discussions (and even the source code) on the download site.