Hypothesis at Evergreen

“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.”
~ Feedback from a Member of the Faculty 

Collaborative web annotation with Hypothesis has been available in Canvas at Evergreen since Winter 2019.  Pre-pandemic, about 2 or 3 programs and classes used it each quarter.  When we went remote in Spring 2020, usage spiked.  In 2020-2021 so far, we’ve had about 500 unique student annotators in programs and classes that spanned all academic divisions.  About 13,000 annotations were written.  Now, about 30 programs and classes have used Hypothesis, including, to name only a few,  Literary Arts Foundations /  Foundational Studio Projects in the Visual Arts / Eating in Translation / Refugees, Migrants, Borders, and Walls / Culture, Text and Language in World Societies Capstone / The Fungal Kingdom / and Mathematical Systems.

Hypothesis Updates: 

We have renewed Hypothesis in Canvas through the end of June 2022.  Also, Hypothesis has a new beta feature which is available to all right now.  This feature allows you to see all annotations across your program, without regard to which individual assignment the annotations were part of.  You can filter this view by user, so this could be very helpful as you write narrative evaluations – you can see one student’s entire corpus of annotations in your program or course without having to go from assignment to assignment.  Here is a very short tutorial on how to access this new feature [link here].

For more on Hypothesis at Evergreen, contact Paul McMillin (mcmillip@evergreen.edu) or Bridget Irish (irishb@evergreen.edu).  Hypothesis is easy to use, and you can be up and running in 15 to 20 minutes.  Paul is always happy to give a 20 minute introduction to Hypothesis to any faculty team that is considering using it for the first time, and/or to visit your program to help introduce a first Hypothesis assignment to your students.

Evergreen Faculty Present on Collaborative Web Annotation at the National CIEL Conference

In other annotation news, four Evergreen faculty presented “Annotation Lab” at the national CIEL (Consortium for Innovative Environment in Learning)  conference in April. Here is a quick visual tour of some highlights from the 4 presentations.Collaborative Web Annotation:  History and Overview (Paul McMillin) in 4 images:

The Talmud featured in a short visual history of annotation.

Investigating the intellectual origins of web annotation, Paul discussed Vannever Bush’s 1945 vision of The Memex

The Washington Post uses Hypothesis to annotate some articles, in this case, an article featuring Mitch McConnell’s speech on the certification of the 2020 election, less than an hour before the insurrectionists arrived at the Senate chamber.

Paul showed a few examples of collaborative web annotation with Hypothesis in Evergreen programs. This example from the Visual Arts Foundations program made use of tags.

Collaborative Annotating (Analog & Digital) Before & During COVID-19 (Eirik Steinhoff) in 4 images:

Eirik has used annotation in teaching from time immemorial. Here students read a John Dewey text reflecting Evergreen-style pedagogy, and students wrote annotations by hand.

Eirik described several digital annotation assignments he has used, including the use of tags. The texts ranged from a complex social science title, Milton’s classic poem, and an afrofuturist sci fi novel.

Eirik described his unique and multi-modal asynchronous slow motion seminar-in-the-margins(!)

After annotating Terrance Turner’s Caterpillars to Butterflies, Eirik’s students took the annotations and reformatted them as an annotated “Critical Edition”, in the style of Cambridge and Norton critical editions. They turned it into hardcopy and sent a copy to the author.

Preparing the Annotation Assignment:  Considerations (Joli Sandoz) in 5 images

Joli emphasized the importance of anticipating ways to make annotation assignments more equitable and inclusive

Joli focused on transparent assignment design as a key element in equitable outcomes

IMAGE: Bittle, Shauna. resilient communities games-45.dng, Evergreen Pictures, 12 Mar. 2014, https://see.evergreen.edu/evergreen_pictures_download/#/asset/627967.

Here, Joli presented the ‘why’ of annotating in the classroom.

Joli is experimenting with different ways to use rubrics to make assessment transparent.

Text is from: hooks., bell “Critical Thinking.” Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom, Taylor & Francis, 2014., pp. 7-11.
Annotations are fictional.

In introducing annotations assignments at the beginning of the quarter, Joli and students read through some example annotations prepared by Joli and discussed how they would assess each annotation. There were some interesting differences of opinion about which annotations demonstrated a good ‘grasp of concepts’, and which engaged in ‘interpretation’.  Even when these differences remain unresolved, this collaborative exercise helps students see in advance how their faculty will be assessing their annotations.

Annotating While Eating That Apple (Sarah Williams) in 4 images

Sarah provided a poetic/philosophical overview of a unique annotation assignment that centered on Annemarie Mol’s article “I Eat An Apple. On Theorizing Subjectivities.”

Using Mol’s discourse on eating an apple, this assignment asked students to use annotation in order to adapt Mol’s writing to the student’s own food: Sarah’s example was chocolate.

Here you can see that students highlighted sections of the text, and then rewrote them with their own food in mind: tobacco and tea in the two annotations pictured, dumplings further below. Students maintained much of the vocabulary and the structure of Mol’s writing, but reworked in ways appropriate to their own food.

Here are three examples extracted from the annotations students made on Mol’s text. The black type is Mol’s original. The text below that in each case is the student’s adaptation. In the last quadrant is the title page of one student group’s “I Eat a Dumpling” presentation.

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