Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Hypothesis Social Annotation Tool
This article provides instructors with answers to frequently asked questions about the Hypothesis annotation tool.
What is Hypothesis?
How can I use Hypothesis in my course?
- Have students ask each other questions, share ideas, and collaborate around their learning.
- Invite students to annotate the syllabus.
- Make readings annotation-enabled to create an optional space for students to connect with each other.
- Guide students through the reading with instructor annotations.
- Use Hypothesis for seminar-style discussion online.
- Recommend that students annotate the lecture notes.
How can I get Hypothesis support and more information?
How do I assign Hypothesis-enabled materials?
Hypothesis has been enabled for use in all UWM credit-bearing (SIS) courses. There are two ways to use Hypothesis, graded and ungraded. When creating a Hypothesis-enabled Assignment in Canvas, instructors can evaluate and grade student annotations using the SpeedGrader and grades will automatically flow into the Canvas Gradebook.
In contrast to a graded assignment, you can provide an annotatable document or website link directly in the Modules area. This type of Hypothesis-enabled material cannot be graded. Normally, this would be used for readings in which Hypothesis annotation was an optional assignment. This tutorial explains using Hypothesis within Modules in Canvas.
How do I create a Hypothesis-enabled assignments?
- This tutorial will help an instructor create a Hypothesis-enabled Assignment in Canvas.
- Once the Hypothesis-enabled Assignment is created, be sure to add the assignment to the appropriate Canvas module on the Home page. This tutorial describes adding an Assignment to Modules.
- You can’t add multiple PDFs to a Hypothesis-enabled assignment. You can only have one reading per assignment.
What strategies can I use at the beginning of the semester to help orient my students to Hypothesis?
- At the beginning of semester, have students annotate the syllabus. What do they already now? What questions do they have? What are they excited to learn?
- Have students annotate early readings on building community, self-care, or being an online learner.
- Be sure to communicate the advantages of using Hypothesis.is to your students (e.g. annotation makes reading visible, and makes reading social).
How do my students learn how to use Hypothesis?
Clearly articulating your expectations for how students should use Hypothesis will go a long way in preparing students for success. Many instructors demonstrate using the tool during a face-to-face class, in a synchronous class meeting (using Collaborate Ultra), or in a screen recorded video (using Kaltura Capture) posted to Canvas.
Hypothesis provides a guide that serves as an introduction to the Hypothesis LMS App for students. This guide can be linked on Canvas to help orient your students and and support them through out the semester.
Hypothesis also created a video tutorial showing student how to annotate Hypothesis documents in Canvas. You can embed this video in a Page in Canvas and share the tutorial with your students. This tutorial will show you how to embed a video in a Page. This tutorial show how to add a Page to Modules in Canvas.
What are common issues students may experience using Hypothesis?
- If a student annotates and posts to themselves and not the course, the Teacher cannot see the annotations. You’ll need to let your students know this information.
- From within Hypothes.is, the eye icon turns on and off the highlights. It’s a good idea to tell your students to read the document without the highlights and annotations first. After the first read, students can go back and re-read adding annotations and highlights as assigned.
- When using Hypothes.is in a synchronous way, tells students that new annotations are shown as a red circle and you can select this to see the annotations that have occurred since you last posted.
How can I use groups with Hypothesis?
- Groups can be any size (e.g. between 5-105 students). In general, group size for Hypothesis follows similar recommendations for discussion group size. In-depth, threaded conversations should have smaller groups, ideally between 5-10 students. Groups smaller than 5 may suffer from a lack of new ideas and groups larger than 20 may become too overwhelming to follow. In comparison, if you want students to add questions/comments without replying to peers, groups can be larger.
- Digital fingerprints is the Hypothes.is recommended way to setup groups. Here’s more information on digital fingerprints.
How can images be included in Hypothesis posts?
- Images that are included in posts must “live” on a website. The image has to be publicly available on the web to add to the annotation post. Images can’t be uploaded to Hypothesis.
- Once you find an image on the web, right click and select “Copy Image Address” and then paste this address into the image icon in the text editor within a post. Here’s a tutorial from Hypothesis on adding images to posts.
- Google Arts and Culture can be used to annotate images.
- If there’s an image included in a document, you can add annotations to text around an image, but not on the image itself.
How do I create an OCRed PDF document?
Why is my OCRed PDF documents not highlightable in Hypothesis?
How do I grade student annotations?
Hypothesis has been seamlessly integrated with the SpeedGrader in Canvas, making it easier to assess student annotations. The integration singles out each student’s contributions to a conversation on a document and enables instructors to enter a grade and written feedback for an annotated reading assignment. This tutorial explains how to use the SpeedGrader to assess student annotations.