In the Classroom

Classroom Group Annotation

Educators are finding a useful asset in helping students engage with written material. The tools are simple, students can be up and going quickly.

There’s a number of ways to use group annotations with your students. Of course, having your students use hypothesis will enable them make their own annotations as well as see and reply to the annotations of others. This enables them to see how others have parsed material as they seek to understand it themselves. Also your students can interact with each other and outside annotators as they grapple with the concepts.

There is an excellent resource on the website on other creative ways to use annotation with your students:

  1. Teacher annotations: add explanatory notes to readings or prompt questions
  2. Annotation as Glossary: have students research and build an annotation-based glossary of key terms
  3. Annotation as question: have students highlight passages that are confusing to them for later discussion
  4. Annotation as Close Reading: have students identify formal textual elements and contextual elements
  5. Annotation as Rhetorical Analysis: have students identify and explain rhetorical strategies, or, conversely, flaws in passages
  6. Annotation as opinion: have students develop and articulate their own opinions on topics
  7. Annotation as Multimedia Writing: have students annotate with images or videos
  8. Annotation as Independent Study: direct students to the exploration of material on their own and provide analysis
  9. Annotation as Annotated Bibliography: have students annotate sources on a topic or theme and use their annotations to build a bibliography
  10. Annotation as Creativity: have students respond to readings with creative pieces of their own.

Some additional thoughts are:

  • As a collector of bits and pieces around the internet, whether it be sources, notes, etc. (I’ve started using to collect bits of programming code that I think I might find useful later.)
  • As a research tool.
  • Instructor comment on student work.
  • Peer review of work.