Hypothes.is is a free, open source social annotation tool that allows you to write notes in the margin of an online text you’re reading. Once activated, Hypothesis allows you to open a web browser and annotate web pages as well as PDFs. Students can then provide shareable links to their comments. You can also create a group for your class, and ask students to read and comment and discuss together in the margins of a text, as an alternative to the discussion forum. Check out these examples of Hypothesis being used in the classroom.

Get Started

  1. Navigate to the Get Started page on the Hypothes.is website.
  2. Click Create A Free Account to create your account.
  3. Follow the instructions on the Get Started page to add Hypothesis to your browser. This step will ensure that you can annotate webpages and other web-hosted texts.
  4. Navigate to a webpage or PDF that you want to annotate and click the Hypothesis browser extension or bookmarklet. You may need to log in to annotate. You should be able to see others’ Public annotations on that page and add your own.
  5. Use your cursor and mouse to highlight text on the page or document and click the Annotate button that appears. You can also interact with others’ Public annotations, or the annotations of people in your private groups (e.g., students in your class).

Note: You can annotate publicly, privately, or within a group. For a class, we recommend that you use Hypothes.is within Canvas or create a group for your class.

Using groups for class annotations

To create a private annotation group for your class:

  1. Go to the Hypothes.is website and log in with your credentials. Your annotation dashboard will appear.
  2. Click the Groups link at the top right corner of the dashboard, and select Create New Group.
  3. Give the group a name and description and click Create Group.
  4. Once you have created the group, you can share the Invite New Members link with your students and they can join your private group. Be sure to tell students that, when they want to annotate to the class group, they should be sure to select the name of your group at the top of their Hypothes.is dashboard before annotating. Send students these instructions for Annotating With Groups.

Note: You can also annotate privately with your class through the Canvas Hypothesis integration.

Dig Deeper

  1. Hypothes.is in Canvas

Need help?

For technical support, submit a ticket with Hypothes.is.

For pedagogical support for Hypothes.is, schedule a consultation with a DLINQ team member.

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