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  5. Copy Annotations to a New Course

This article is intended primarily for instructors who have created a scaffold of initial annotations over multiple Hypothesis assignments in one course, and wish to reuse this scaffolding across other courses and academic terms.

The ability to copy annotations from one course into another is not yet a feature in our LMS app, though we are working to include this in a future version. You can accomplish this same task, however, using a prototype utility developed by our Director of Integrations, Jon Udell.

Note: These instructions involve using the advanced browser developer tools, and require a high level of comfort navigating and copy-pasting between multiple browser panes. We highly recommend scheduling a meeting with a member of our Support team before attempting this for this first time.

Locate your LMS username and API key using the browser Developer Tools

1. Log on to your LMS and navigate to a course which contains an existing Hypothesis assignment

It does not matter which course or assignment is chosen, only that you are logged on to your LMS with your instructor’s user account.

2. Open the Developer Tools utility for your browser:

  • Chrome: From the View menu, select Developer > Developer Tools
  • Firefox: From the Tools menu, select Web Developer > Toggle Tools
  • Safari:
    1. Open Safari preferences and select the Advanced tab
    2. Check the box to Show Develop menu in menu bar
    3. Close the preferences window, and from the now-visible Develop menu select Show Web Inspector

3. With the Developer Tools now enabled, open (or reload) an existing Hypothesis assignment

4. In the Developer Tools window, select the Network tab

(Note that screenshots are from the Chrome browser, but other browsers look similar.)

5. Locate the Filter field, and paste in the following text (syntax varies somewhat from browser to browser)

  • Chrome: //(token|profile\?authority)/
  • Firefox: regexp:/(token|profile\?authority)
  • Safari:
    1. Select the gear icon in the upper right corner of the Developer Tools to open the settings
    2. Select the General tab, and scroll down to check the box next to Regular Expression
    3. Click the Network tab, and in the Filter Full URL field paste: /(token|profile\?authority)

There should now be only two rows showing in the Developer Tools Network tab: token and profile


6. Click on the token row and select the Response tab

Locate the long string of characters after “access_token”: and copy everything between the quotation marks. This is your API key, which you will need later.

7. Next, click on the profile row

Locate the string after “userid”: Your LMS username is the string of characters between acct: and @lms.hypothes.is. Copy this username to use later.

Use the Copy Annotations tool to copy between courses

1. Open the Copy Annotation tool at https://jonudell.info/h/CopyAnnotations/

  • Check the box for lmsMode
  • Paste your LMS username (copied from step 7 above) into the user field
  • Paste the API key (copied from step 6 above) into the Hypothesis API token field. If you do not see a field for Hypothesis API token, click the link at the bottom of the page to reset API token. Note: your LMS API token is reset every hour to a new value. If too much time has elapsed since you copied it last you will need to go back and follow the instructions above to get the new token.

2. After pasting the API key, hit the return key and wait a few seconds for the group drop-down fields to populate

  • In sourceGroup select the course that you wish to copy the annotations from
  • In destinationGroup select the course that you wish to copy the annotation to
  • In maxAnnotations make sure to enter a number large enough to include all the annotations in the course

4. A new tab will load a page listing all the annotations that will be copied to the new course

Double check that this list is correct.

5. Return to the prior tab and click the copy notes button

Wait for the annotations to finish copying.

6. Return to your LMS and open the destination course that you copied the annotations into

Confirm that all annotations have copied successfully.

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In order to support easy reuse, revision, remixing, and redistribution, the entire Hypothesis Help knowledge base by Hypothesis is dedicated to the public domain via CC CC0 1.0. While we appreciate attribution and links back to Hypothesis from anywhere these works are published, they are not required. Learn more about how we made the decision to put our guidance in the public domain and let us know how you are putting Hypothesis Help to good use.