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  5. Using the Hypothesis LMS App with Lessons in Sakai
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  3. Learning Management Systems
  4. Using Hypothesis in the LMS
  5. Using the Hypothesis LMS App with Lessons in Sakai

Currently, the Lessons tool is the only place where we have been able to add Hypothesis-enabled readings to a Sakai course. We are researching other places in which an external tool like Hypothesis can be added to Sakai. Let us know if you can think of any!

1. Add the Lessons tool to your course site

Some Sakai instances do not enable the Lessons tool by default. If you do not see it in the left navigation menu of your course site, you’ll need to add it manually.

Go to Site Info > Manage Tools:

Check the box next to the Lessons tool:

Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click Continue, and on the next page click Finish.

If you need assistance with adding the Lessons tool to your course site, please consult Sakai’s documentation or your institution’s LMS team.

2. Create Hypothesis-enabled Content Item

Navigate to the Lessons tool and click on the Add Content button at the top of the page:

From the Add Content menu, select Add External Tool:

Select Hypothesis from the External Tool Selector:

Give this Content item a unique Tool Title. Having multiple content items with the same name can cause issues when grading Hypothesis readings.

Edit Sakai Tool Title

Click Save and you will be brought back to your Lessons page.

3. Select a Document for Annotation

Click on the title of the Content Item.

You will have the option to enter a publicly-viewable URL or to add a PDF from Google Drive.

Hypothesis content source selector

Expand the sections below for instructions to use each option:

Click the button that says Enter the URL of web page or PDF. On the Enter URL dialog, enter a link to a public web page or PDF. Please note that the content at the link must be publicly viewable (i.e., not behind a login or paywall).

Click the Submit button.

Click the button that says Select PDF from Google Drive. You will be asked to select a Google account and/or authorize the Hypothesis LMS App to access Google Drive.

Search or browse to select a PDF to use in your reading. You may also click the Upload tab to upload a new PDF to use.

Click on the file you want to use and then click the Select button.

Google Drive picker

Note: This process will change the privacy of the selected Google Drive file to “Anyone with the link can view,” creating a publicly-viewable URL for the document. Please see our page on sharing settings in Google Drive for more information.


PDFs must have optically recognizable text in order to be annotatable in the Hypothesis app. If you can select text in the PDF, no further action is needed. If you can’t select text in the PDF, you’ll need to follow our instructions for how to OCR-optimize a PDF.

After selecting the URL or PDF for your assignment, you may need to refresh the page, or close and re-open the assignment, before you can start annotating.

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