Available now in Canvas: Hypothesis for Collaborative Web Annotation

(A bridge from the asynchronous to the synchronous in the time of COVID)

Hypothesis (a collaborative online annotation platform) brings students and faculty together in the margins of shared reading. Writing in the margins has always been an essential activity for students. Annotation helps in reading comprehension and in developing critical thinking about course materials. Adding Hypothesis for collaborative web annotation in Canvas supports student success by placing active discussion right on top of program readings, enabling students and faculty to add comments and start conversations in the margins of texts. Annotations provide a structured way for students to engage with each others’ comments on readings while off-Zoom, priming the pump for Zoom-based seminars. Hypothesis has also been used at Evergreen to learn how to read difficult scientific papers, to analyze poems, and to supplement explanations in textbooks. Integration with Canvas makes it simple for faculty and students to get started and to engage with the texts and with each other. Integration with Speed Grader makes it easy for faculty to evaluate student work. It takes only about 15 minutes to become a proficient Hypothesis user. Hypothesis is now available in every offering’s Canvas site. For more information, email Paul McMillin at mcmillip@evergreen.edu or Bridget Irish at irishb@evergreen.edu.

Some comments from faculty who have used Hypothesis at Evergreen:

“I would definitely use hypothesis again – and in any teaching situation – whether in-person, hybrid or remote.”

“[Hypothesis] made it possible for students to make their knowledge common, to learn from each other, to show up in ways they otherwise might not have been able to”

“I would highly recommend it as a low-stakes way to ‘get on the same page’ with your students – a minimum of framing is all it takes to get very lively and engaging writing anchored at every turn in the text. Excellent way to prime the pump for seminar, for instance.”

“I bring the zeal of the converted: my initial reaction was that I had no interest in reading students’ margin notes online, and I prefer paper texts anyway. The current reality got me into it, and now I’m a major enthusiast: Hypothesis solves problems with seminar which I’ve been struggling with for over a decade.”

“Hypothesis has quickly become an indispensable tool for our online teaching; it’s a great way for students to be able to work with text together, and we’ve built three assignments per week around it”

“This tool is a hybrid teaching gift.”

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