Using to annotate in your Brightspace course

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About This Article

This article describes how to integrate the annotation tool into your Brightspace course. It is intended for instructors using Brightspace or those interested in using Brightspace in the future.

What does

From the web site: 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. Hypothesis enables students to continue this essential activity with online readings. Digital annotation also offers new affordances, enabling students to respond to text using different media and empowering them to collaborate on understanding and developing ideas about their readings. Hypothesis makes reading visible, active, and social.

Integrating into your course

  1. Within your D2L Brightspace course, navigate to Materials and then to Content. Go to the module into which the document is to be added.
  2. Within that module, click Existing Activities and then External Learning Tools.
  3. Click Hypothesis. This will create a new topic in your module.
  4. Click on the name of the newly created content topic.
  5. Click on the name of topic at the top of the page (It will likely be "Hypothesis.") and it will become an editable field. You can type in a more meaningful name and click Enter/Return.
  6. Supply the document to be annotated and then click Submit. There are three document options supported by within Brightspace:
    • Supply the URL of a live webpage.
    • Supply the URL of a PDF file on the web.
    • Select a PDF from Google Drive. A copy of the PDF will be uploaded to your course and made available for annotation.

Using to annotate will display the document in the window. To annotate the document, follow these steps:

  1. Using your mouse, hold down the left button and drag a selection over the text you wish to annotate or highlight.
  2. Select Annotate or Highlight from the popup. See below.
    • Selecting Annotate will cause the text to be highlighted and the annotation fly-out to appear. See below.
    • Selecting Highlight will cause the text to be highlighted only. If you wish to annotate the text after highlighting, click on the highlighted text and the annotation fly-out will be displayed. You will have to click the pencil icon to add an annotation.
  3. The example above shows the annotation fly-out pane. Enter the comments and questions in the text editor, click the down arrow at the right end of the post-selection box at the bottom left, select whether this is to be posted publicly (to the class) or privately (for the author only), and click the post-selection button to post.

Account creation and sharing annotations

From Support: When the Hypothesis LMS app is installed in a course site, the app will automatically create a private group for that course. The app will also provision accounts for all students and instructors in the course site when they launch the app for the first time. This means that students can begin annotating readings in the LMS without creating or logging into a separate Hypothesis account, and they won’t need to worry about switching away from the Public layer.

These LMS-based Hypothesis accounts operate differently than public Hypothesis accounts in the following ways:

  • They are domain-specific: They only work within the LMS instance in which they were created, not on the open web.
  • They are separate from regular Hypothesis accounts: Users who have created accounts through the public Hypothesis service will be given new and separate accounts for use within the context of the LMS.
  • They cannot create their own private groups: A private group is automatically generated for courses where the Hypothesis LMS app is installed. Neither instructors nor students will be able to create additional private groups within the LMS context.
  • They do not have access to Hypothesis profile and group activity pages: This is something we plan to address in the near future so that teachers and students can view their annotated comments and conversations outside of the context of a particular document.

Assessing student annotations

You can assess the student's work directly in the window. Scores given in are ported directly into the Brightspace grade book.

There are full instructions on assessing student annotations on the Support Page.

More Information

Minnesota State Knowledge Article: Integration (KA# 2113)

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