This refers to Moodle 3.11 from August 2022 onwards

What is the Timed document release

The Timed document release allows anyone with an Editing Teacher role in Moodle to make a document (or set of documents) available to students, on or after a certain date and time.

Students do not need to refresh the browser: once the exact date/time has been reached the document(s) will immediately appear. This avoids problems with students continually refreshing their browsers, e.g., leading up to an exam, which can cause Moodle to slow down.

The Timed document release is particularly useful when adding exam papers for Moodle Take Home Exams.

Where would you use the Timed document release

  • To add an exam paper document for a Moodle take home exam.
  • To provide a document to students after a certain date and time in a way that also gives them a clear countdown until it becomes available.

How to create a Timed document release

  • In your module select the Turn editing on button located towards the top right of the screen. 
    Screenshot of the Moodle edit button.
  • Select the + Add an activity or resource link in the relevant section. 
    Screenshot of the Add an activity or resource link.
  • From the pop-up window select the Timed document release (it’s a Resource).
    Screenshot of the list of activities and resources in Moodle, with the Timed document release highlighted.
  • You will then see the settings page.
    Within the settings page enter a title within ‘Name’.
    NOTE: If adding an exam paper it is recommended to use a standardised format, e.g.,
    Exam Paper <module code> <month of exam period> <year>. This will make it easier for the student to understand that the document to be revealed is the exam paper. 
    Screenshot of the list of activities and resources in Moodle, with the Timed document release highlighted.
  • Within the ‘Release time’ section check the ‘Enable’ tickbox and then set the date and time when the document will be made available to students. Once this date and time has been reached the document will automatically be visible to students.
    Screenshot of the release date and time settings.
  • Within the ‘Content’ section add the document in the ‘Files’ section by either dragging and dropping in the ‘Files’ area or uploading it by selecting the button located in the top-left, as usual with files.
    Screenshot of the Content section where the document will be added.
  • Within the ‘Display contents’ section select ‘On a separate page’ from the dropdown menu and it is recommended all default options remained ticked.
    Screenshot of the option to have the file appear on a separate page.
  • Select the ‘Save and return to module’ button. 
    Screenshot of the save and return to module button.
  • Back on the Moodle page you will see the Timed document release set up where chosen.
    Screenshot of the Timed document release icon.

Students’ perspective

A student who selects the Timed document release will see the date and time the document will be available, a countdown timer and a message that reads:
‘Please do not refresh your browser. You will be able to access <name of Timed document release> automatically at the end of the countdown.’

The student will not see the file until the date and time has been reached.

Screenshot of the student view in the Timed document release.

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