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University of Toronto

30 October, 2021
Introducing the software, Arun Jacob facilitated the first CDHI Praxis Workshop of 2021-22: Social Annotation as Scholarly Practice. is a social annotation software for collaboratively reading, commenting, and annotating online texts. Used through a Chrome extension or bookmarklet, allows users to engage directly with all manner of digital or digitized texts—from websites to uploaded pdfs.


23 June, 2021
In this study, 44 first year undergraduate students were involved from a Singaporean university. they took part in a 13 week writing programme, using “to respond to questions in their tutorial handouts for a period of two weeks.” Working in groups, students responded after “group discussions of 10 to 20 minutes on average” with annotations analysed and coded. In the literature review, research suggests that online social annotation tools are helpful for evidence-based tracking; teachers can gain an insight into how students process information; can reinforce learning; enhance student motivation (with an Internet connection) and in a collaborative context, provide other points of view and co-construction.


18 April, 2021
Hypothesis is a free open-source platform that not only provides students with a different way to demonstrate they’ve done the reading but more importantly allows students to work together to share information and build on the work of others.

IDEA Knowledge

15 April, 2021 is an open source tool/plugin for social, collaborative asynchronous annotation. Collaborative annotation is an effective methodology that increases student participation and engagement, expands reading comprehension, and builds critical-thinking skills and community in class. Annotation can also increase faculty, student and cognitive presence in classes. Annotating together makes reading visible, active, and social, enabling students to engage with their texts, teachers, ideas, and each other in deeper, more meaningful ways.

Duke Learning Innovation

19 March, 2021
The documents the class has annotated with are diverse, ranging from book chapters and published articles, to websites and video transcripts, to even their class syllabus. “Annotating the syllabus allows students to add comments and questions to the course plan,” Gould said. “Annotating the syllabus live, in-class gives us an opportunity to openly discuss any confusing bits, and it opens conversation about particular aspects of the class. Students can add values statements and clarifying points to the inclusion statement, for instance, or ask questions about the collaborative grading system.”

American Society for Microbiology

29 January, 2021
Participants annotate articles using the web-annotation tool and have access to comments from their peers. Groups are then assigned to summarize the annotations and findings, posting a synthesis for the course’s group. In parallel, students contribute to common notes. The instructor generates a weekly video discussing the student notes. The goal of these activities is to foster an environment of open annotation and co-creation of knowledge to aid in studying for deeper learning. Compiled notes can be used to create an open educational resource (OER). The OER provides an entry point for future students and the public. Based on the evaluation of annotations, notes, and assessments, we conclude that these activities encourage student engagement and achievement of learning outcomes while raising awareness of the importance of open and collaborative practices.

Ethical ELA

10 January, 2021
The 21st Century offers new options for this kind of connecting. A free, open annotation app,, offers a similar and expanded experience in the margins of digital texts. Readers can collaboratively annotate web-based content, respond to other readers, and add additional resources and links. This digital, social space offers the potential of conversations and insights into the text, which my students started referring to as a “ discussion before the discussion.”


20 October, 2020
There are other great digital annotation tools out there like Hypothesis (check out this excellent webinar) and Manifold.

University of Arizona Digital Learning

12 August, 2020
Social annotation may be what you are looking for to take make your readings more relevant, interactive, and meaningful for your students. Social annotation is taking the private notes and highlights that we make as a part of our close reading of a text and turning them public. In making the annotations public within our courses, students are able to point out areas where they are confused, make comments and observations, and have conversations and discussions in context. Social annotation tools also present unique opportunities to make connections, provide enhancements and give students some much needed writing and research support.

Crystal Rose-Wainstock

12 August, 2020
Engaging students in discussions about global issues can be challenging in the language classroom. Due to time constraints and uncertainty about how to introduce and facilitate discussions about sensitive topics, some instructors may shy away from asking students to think critically about what is happening in the world around them. Whether within the context of online classes during a global pandemic or a more traditional face-to-face classroom, social reading and annotation can be one avenue for inviting students to discuss global issues within the context of authentic online texts.