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Upload Files from Your Apps at UMass Amherst Drive to Moodle

  • Students can copy files from Google Drive when submitting or attaching files to Moodle activities such as Assignments, Turnitin Assignments, Forums, or Databases.
  • Instructors can copy files from Google Drive to Moodle when adding Files or Folders, posting Assignment feedback files, attaching files in Quickmail, or any other time you upload files to Moodle.

Whether you drag-and-drop files from your desktop using the Google Drive App, or use the Moodle File picker to upload files from your Drive,  there are a few important practices described in this article that you should keep in mind.

Note: This article covers uploading a copy of a file into Moodle. To share a Google document for collaborative editing, simply use a link to the shared file's URL on Google Apps. See Link to a Web Page from a Moodle Course.

Add a File from Your Google Drive using the File Picker

The most reliable method for uploading files from your Apps at UMass Amherst Drive is to use the Moodle File Picker. The File Picker features the option to connect directly to a Google Drive. If adding files from a mobile device, use this method (drag-and-drop upload, described below, is not available on most phones or tablets).
Note: The Google Drive integration in Moodle only allows access to documents you own. you must go directly to Google Drive, download the file from to your computer, and then upload the file.

  1. On any upload or submit page in Moodle, click Add... (at top-left of File upload area). 

    The File picker pop-up opens.
  2. Click Google Drive (at left).  A Log in button will appear.
  3. Click Log in.
    • The first time you Log in, the Request for Permission pop-up opens where you must tell Moodle what Google account to connect to. Enter your Apps at UMass email address, i.e., (do not include @student, or @department in the address), and click Log in.
      (If you have not already logged in to Apps at UMass Amherst in your browser, depending on how long you have been logged into Moodle, you may see the UMass Web login screen; enter your Net ID and password to Log in.)
      Click through the sequence of boxes to allow Moodle to access your Google Drive. (You only need to give permission once.)
    • On subsequent logins, because both Moodle and Apps at UMass Amherst use UMass Amherst Web Login to authenticate, if your Web Login session is still active, you will connect directly to your Google Drive. If the UMass Amherst Web Login screen opens, enter your IT NetID and password to proceed.
  4. Once logged in, the files and folders on your Google Drive will be listed.
    Note: Only folders and documents you own are available to copy to Moodle. To submit files shared with you by others, you must go directly to Google Drive, download the file from to your computer, and then upload the file.
  5. Click folder names to locate files within them. To find files, you may also find it helpful to:
    • Use the Search box to search for a word from a document title or text.
    • Change the View to list, then sort files by Name, Last modified, or Type.
      Use "List view" to sort

      Note when using the File Picker, Moodle will convert .gdoc files (documents drafted directly on Google Drive) to an exportable file type:
      • Google (text) Documents will be converted to .rtf and will open in any common text editor or word processing application, such as MS Word, Apple Pages, or Open Office.
      • Google Spreadsheets will be converted to .xlsx and will open in a spreadsheet application such as MS Excel, Apple Numbers or Open Office.
      • Google Presentations will be converted to .pptx and will open in a presentation application such as MS PowerPoint, Apple Keynote or Open Office.
      • Google Drawings will be shown as "undefined." To upload to Moodle, open the file on your Google Drive and use Download as...  to save it as a .pdf, .png, .svg or .jpg. Then, save the new file to your Google Drive.
      • Other file types created outside Google Apps and uploaded to your Drive for storage do not require any special handling and will preserve their original file type.
  6. In the list of Google Drive files, click the icon for the file to copy to Moodle. The Select file pop-up will open. 
  7. Click Select this file. The pop-up will close and the file will display in the File area.
  8. Click Save Changes.
  9. IMPORTANT!  After using this feature on a public or shared computer, logging out of Moodle will not disconnect the Google connection;  you must quit your browser to sever the connection to your Google Drive. Otherwise if someone logs into Moodle, even with their own Net ID,  they may gain access to your Google Drive. As a best practice to protect your privacy, in public labs completely log off from the computer when you are done working!

Drag and Drop a File from a Google Drive Desktop Window

If you have installed the Google Drive Application on your computer,* you can drag and drop files from a Google Drive desktop window onto the big blue arrow in any Moodle file submission/attachment box. If you are an instructor or a Course Designer, you can also drag files onto your course page.

Be careful about file types!

  • You can use drag-and-drop to upload files saved as .pdf, .rtf, .docx, .xlsx, .pptx, or most other file formats you may have stored on your Drive
  • Do NOT drag and drop ".gdoc" files into Moodle.
    Files with a .gdoc extension are still in the Google proprietary format and can only be viewed online in Google Apps. If you upload a .gdoc to Moodle, other users will not be able to view it. To add a .gdoc file to Moodle using drag-and-drop, you must first download the file in a format that can be viewed outside Google Apps (see  Convert a .gdoc to Use Outside Google, below), or you may prefer to use the Moodle File picker (see above) and let Moodle convert the file for you.

For detailed instructions on using drag-and-drop in Moodle, see Drag and Drop Upload in Moodle.

*To download the Google Drive Application, log in to Apps at UMass Amherst and go to your Google Drive page.
Note: Drag-and-drop upload is not available on phones or most tablets, even with the Google Drive app installed.

Convert a .gdoc for Use Outside Google

To convert a Google document, use Google's Download as... command to save a .gdoc as a different file type, then upload the new file to your Google Drive.

  1. Log in to your Apps at UMass account and go to Drive.
  2. Open the Google document to convert.
  3. In the Google File menu, select Download as.... then choose a file type (Google Presentations, Spreadsheets and Documents will each have different options).
    Note: The file will download to a location on your computer or open in an Application according to your browser settings. If you have the Google Drive Application installed on your computer, you may be able to save the new file directly back to your Drive, in which case you can skip step 4.
  4. Return to your Drive page and click the Upload icon to upload the file you saved in the previous step.