Hypothesis is a collaborative, digital annotation tool, which allows students to add comments, notes, and highlights to the margins of a shared digital document, whether it is an article on the web or a PDF. Annotation types include highlights, comments, notes, and replies to other students' annotations and notes. Annotations can be made public, private, or only visible to a group of students. The integration of Hypothesis into Canvas allows the tool to directly link to your Canvas files.
Hypothesis will no longer be available as an integrated tool in Canvas effective the week of May 23rd.
Hypothesis will NOT work with materials in your course sites Course Reserves tool or any materials stored in library databases like ProQuest or JSTOR, which require a proxy service.
Hypothesis, however, will work with files stored in your Canvas site's Files area.
Table of Contents
Why Use Hypothesis?
Annotation helps in reading comprehension and in developing critical thinking about course materials. Hypothesis enables students to continue this active learning practice with online readings. Digital annotation also offers new possibilities such as enabling students to respond to text using different media, and empowering students to collaborate on understanding / developing ideas about their readings.
Hypothesis has the potential to increase student engagement, expand reading comprehension, and build critical thinking and community in classes. Collaborative annotation makes reading active, visible, and social—enabling students to engage with their texts, teachers, ideas, and each other in deeper, more meaningful ways.
Use Cases for Hypothesis
A non-exhaustive list outlining what Instructors can use Hypothesis to facilitate in the online portions of their courses include:
- Embedding student discussions directly in digital texts
- Creating assignments that allow students to read and respond to their peers' annotations, which prompts reflection and promotes a sense of community
- Encouraging joint student discussions, and creating active and social learning opportunities
How do I use Hypothesis in my course?
To learn more about how to use Hypothesis to facilitate social annotation activities, please reference:
- Vendor Guide: How to add Hypothesis as a module item
- Vendor Guide: How to add Hypothesis as an assignment
- Vendor Guide: Grading Student Annotations in Canvas
- Vendor Guide: Using Canvas Sections to Create Hypothesis Reading Groups
Hypothesis Demonstration for Yale
What will my students see?
When students enter into a Hypothesis Assignment, they will see your instructions across the top, and the Hypothesis side-bar along the right-hand side of the content selected for the assignment. On the page students can:
- View Help instructions on how to start using Hypothesis on the assigned content
- Create new "Page Notes"
- Highlighted annotations made on the content
- Toggle between a list of class "Annotations" and "Page Notes" already made in the class
Please visit these resources for more information on using and applying Hypothesis to your course work:
- Vendor Guide: Introduction to Hypothesis for Students
- Video: Hypothesis in Canvas - Collaborative Annotation as Discussion Forum 2.0
- Hypothes.is Article: Back to School with Annotation: 10 Ways to Annotate with Students
- New York Times Learning Network Blog: Skills and Strategies | Annotating to Engage, Analyze, Connect and Create
For more help with Hypothesis click the "New Support Ticket" button in your Hypothesis assignment (found under the "Help" instructions) to work directly with Hypothesis on an issue, or please email email@example.com to support through Yale's Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.