Using Hypothesis Social Annotation with Large Courses, Part 2

By Christie DeCarolis | 7 December, 2023


We’ve already introduced five tips to use Hypothesis social annotation in your large courses. Here are a few more tips on how you can both structure your Hypothesis assignments and manage grading when implementing social annotation in large courses.  

1. Use the group integration in Blackboard, D2L Brightspace, and Canvas along with the tag feature in Hypothesis in order to manage annotation volume and easily filter by certain questions/topics.

While this tip shows up frequently in our tips for large courses, it’s worth noting because it’s essential to making your course’s annotated documents manageable. Breaking your students up into groups of fifteen to twenty students and allowing them to annotate together throughout the semester will provide them the opportunity to form a smaller community in your large course. 

Asking students to add tags to their annotations can also enable you to quickly find questions when they are raised in annotations. If you ask your students to use the tag “question,” you can search “tag: question” in the annotation search bar to view only these annotations and use them to drive your in-class discussion.

2. Assign a group leader in each annotation group to summarize annotation contributions and participation. Only review and grade student group leader contributions. 

The group leader for each group can rotate for each annotation assignment. Student groups of fifteen would work well in a fifteen-week term; each student would serve as group leader once provided weekly annotation assignments. 

This can reduce the number of assignments that need to be reviewed and graded each week to the number of overall groups in the course. Consider having group leaders report out the most pressing questions and topics during in-class discussions.

3. Rather than grading every annotation assignment, assign a single, overall annotation participation grade for the semester. Use the Hypothesis notebook to review each student’s annotation contributions at the end of the term. 

The Hypothesis notebook displays all of an individual student’s annotations in a course group over the course of a term one on page. You can quickly review the number and content of the student’s contributions to assign one grade for their annotations after the students have completed all of their annotation assignments for the term. 

Using these strategies together allows instructors of large courses to use Hypothesis social annotation to promote active learning and greater learner engagement, which can be challenging in large course settings. 

Use the resources below to help you implement the strategies mentioned in this post:

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