Collaborative Annotation of Digital Texts for Education

Illustration of books emerging from a laptop screen

Digital annotation tools offer ways to foster collaboration and disciplinary literacy skills using a Reading Apprenticeship (RA) framework.

In this session Dr. Liz du Plessis shares her experiences using the free Hypothesis app in Canvas.

Hypothesis is an open-source, collaborative annotation software that enables students to highlight text on any web page or PDF, insert annotations, and reply to others. Annotations can include text, images, and video for multimedia storytelling and analysis. Hypothesis provides an engaging alternative to discussion forums for activities centered on a text.

Presentation Outcomes:

  • How RA social learning strategies such as modeling and coaching can be supported by active faculty participation in annotation activities;
  • How Hypothesis makes it possible for faculty to monitor reading comprehension using RA metacognitive routines such as “talking to the text,” in which students strategically annotate a text and receive feedback on their annotations; and
  • How to integrate multimedia into Hypothesis annotations to support the RA “gallery walk” technique of showcasing text and graphics to get students to share their thinking.


Watch this presentation

You can watch this presentation online in Panopto. To access the video, you will first need to log in with your UM System credentials.


Liz DuPlessis

Liz du Plessis, M.Ed., Ph.D.

Manager of Instructional Design

Liz du Plessis is a Manager of Instructional Design for Missouri Online. She is committed to supporting faculty in the cultivation of equity-minded online learning experiences that support the needs of diverse students. She is proud to have nearly 20 years of experience teaching college History across modalities on a part-time basis and is adjunct faculty in the Department of History at the University of Missouri-Columbia.