Social Annotation as Pedagogy: Teaching with Hypothesis

  1. Wednesday, August 18th, 20211:30pm - 2:30pm

Annotating a text -- marking it up in the margins with questions, observations, and illustrations -- has been a technique for fostering the close reading of texts for about as long as books have existed.

Now, new tools for annotating digital texts make possible "social annotation," in which readers can engage with a community of colleagues, teachers, and students in rich conversations on top of a shared text. With social annotation tools like Hypothesis, readers can provide feedback or ask questions, make connections to other sources, and even enhance a text with explanatory notes or illustrations. 

The applications for teaching are numerous. Aside from the obvious applications for building community, social annotation can make students’ thinking more visible, allowing teachers to tailor their instruction to best meet students’ needs and interests. Early research suggests that social annotation can promote attention, communication, and organization, and can contribute to improved critical thinking, metacognitive skills, and reading comprehension. 

Anecdotally, Wake Forest instructors who have used Hypothesis in the past report that social annotation seems to better prepare their students for in-class discussions and provide the instructor with a clearer picture of their students’ understanding than other methods, such as reading quizzes. Students, too, report learning benefits: they feel more motivated to read, more empowered to ask questions, and more connected to their instructors and classmates.

In this workshop, we will learn about how to design, implement, and assess effective social annotation activities with Hypothesis in Canvas. We’ll engage with some sample activities, explore various applications in different disciplines, and discuss how to avoid some common pitfalls. Instructors with experience teaching with Hypothesis are encouraged to share their experiences.

Newcomers to social annotation and/or Hypothesis are encouraged to attend. Although this will not be a technical “how-to” demonstration, no previous experience with Hypothesis is required. For those who need more basic technical training, guides and consultations are available.

This workshop will be conducted via Zoom. Participants will receive a meeting invitation in advance of the workshop.

Event Details

  • Location:
    Zoom
  • Special Notes:
    This workshop will be conducted via Zoom. Participants will receive a meeting invitation in advance of the workshop.
  • Sponsor:
  • Open To:
    Faculty, Graduate Students, Staff, Students
  • Facilitated by:
    Kyle Denlinger
  • Questions? Please contact:

    • Kyle Denlinger: