Hypothes.is in Canvas


The Hypothes.is integration with Canvas brings discussion directly to course content by enabling students and teachers to add comments and start conversations in the margins of texts. Collaborative annotation engages students more deeply in course readings and gives teachers a view into how students are reading.

After a successful pilot during the 2020-21 academic year, we are pleased to continue to offer the Hypothes.is LTI in the Middlebury instance of Canvas.

Get Started

The Hypothes.is LTI app is already installed in all Canvas course sites. To use Hypothes.is in Canvas, you can either 1) create an assignment in Canvas and select Hypothes.is as the External Tool or 2) enable it for non-graded web and PDF annotation activities as an “external tool” within a module.

Links to Instructions

Any PDF readings that you assign to students to be read using Hypothes.is must be in a machine-readable format. If you open your PDF and you can select a line of text and copy and paste it elsewhere, your PDF is good to go. If not use Hypothes.is’ web based converter (linked above) or other PDF editing tools including the Adobe Acrobat DC software (free to Midd faculty and students). This help document from Adobe walks through the steps.

Hypothes.is doesn’t use the file name to differentiate PDFs. Instead, a unique digital ‘fingerprint’ in the document meta data is used to ensure that annotations are correctly associated with a file. In some cases, instructors may have a large PDF that they want to chunk into shorter reading tasks. Hypothes.is advises instructors to use Adobe Acrobat to ‘split’ a larger file into shorter PDFs with their own unique fingerprint. Not doing so, could result in annotations on one file appearing on another that has the same parent fingerprint.

Additional Instructions

(update September 2021) Hypothesis readings in Canvas are now fully compatible with Canvas’ Course Import tool. If your Assignment or Module was created using a publicly-accessible URL or a PDF stored in Google Drive then the reading should work properly when copied into another Canvas Section or Course without any further work. If your Assignment or Module was created using a PDF from Canvas Files, however, Hypothesis does require that the instructor complete a few short steps to allow the readings to be accessible in the new course.

Data Privacy in Hypothes.is

Student data use (use link from service catalog)

Terms of Service

Privacy Policy

How Hypothes.is uses permissions in the Chrome extension

How students can remove their work from the tool at the end of the semester

Hypothes.is user data can be deleted at the request of the Middlebury account admin; the ability to remove data would depend on the signed agreement. Hypothes.is would be willing to include an addendum to a present or future signed agreement as needed.

How students can access and retain content contained in the tool

Because the API token isn’t immediately available in the LMS app, you need to pull it out of your browser’s data. You can do this with these steps:

  1. Log in to your LMS.
  2. Open your browser’s developer tools (Chrome instructions here).
  3. Select the “Network” tab.
  4. Open a Hypothesis Assignment or Module.
  5. In the Network tab, use the “Filter” field to search for “token”.
  6. Click on the “token” entity in the “Name” column and then click on the “Response” tab if not already selected.
  7. Filter the Network tab on the word “token”
  8. The API token is after “access_token”:. Save this string of numbers and letters.

To export all of your Hypothesis annotations, go to https://jonudell.info/h/facet/ and enter your Hypothesis username and API token (required for downloading private annotations). Click “Search” to see all of your annotations appear on the right side of the screen. Above your annotations, you can click one of three buttons to download your annotations in HTML, CSV, or plain text formats.

Need help?

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

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

Learn More

Middlebury Resources