social annotation with students using

At today’s department meeting, Donna Paparella and I talked about, an online tool for annotating texts of all kinds (Word docs, .pdfs, web pages, etc.). I’ll keep things short here but wanted to share a few things for folks who want to experiment.

First my slides: the last one contains links to a tutorial for getting started with on Blackboard, which is where most people will start: intro ACERT 10/2020

Social Annotation in the classroom In a way I have nothing to say. But I have a great deal to add. –Gore Vidal

Here are some tutorials from itself on how to get up and going with Bb. Thanks to Donna Paparella for providing them:

  • How to set up Hypothesis readings in BB [n.b.: these instructions are being revised (at some point) with Donna’s two suggestions: 1) Bypass “Attach file” when you create the item. 2) You can use the “Upload” option in Google Drive to choose a local file.]

I also wanted to share a couple of my uses of the platform:

  • a plain-vanilla use: students in my DH course at the GC reading Roland Barthes together
  • a “seeded” text: teaching students to read the litcrit genre for 252 with guiding questions/comments from me
  • an exam: my midterm for the same course consists of questions students have to answer on an article they’re reading “cold.”
  • a more outré use: the tool lends itself to creative uses, since it’s simple and has an open architecture. So you can easily sort annotations, create “feeds” of particular kinds of annotations, count the number of words by a particular user on a particular topic, and so on. Here, if you scroll down, you can see where I’ve inserted a “widget” on my site with a feed of all the annotations students have created using a course “tag”: it’s easier to do than it may sound, and it gives a nice sense, in real time, of the “hive mind” at work.

I’m sure others have worthy uses: we saw Donna’s work today, and I co-presented with our departmental colleague Renee Schaller yesterday, who has a fabulous assignment for 120. If you’ve got something to share, put a link in the comments!

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One Response to social annotation with students using

  1. Paul McPherron says:

    Thanks for presenting at the department meeting Jeff and Donna. And for those interested, here’s the link to Jeff and Renee Shaller’s ACERT lunchtime seminar on the same topic:

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