Social annotation technology helps collaborative reading between students

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  • Should Writers Use Their Own English? by Vershawn Ashanti Young is one of the essays Matthew Luskey, the associate director of the University of Minnesota’s writing across the curriculum program, wants his undergraduate students in his seminars to discuss when they first come across. However, because some of his lectures are mixed, some of the “conversation” must take place online.

Although Luskey could point students toward a discussion board in the learning management system, there, “talking,” tends to follow a linear pattern: one student may post, which is then followed by one or two comments, which are then followed by another student’s post, and so on.

Additionally, importing the quote, which stands alone from the rest of the essay when a student wants to discuss a passage of the text on a discussion board, prevents natural discussions from emerging from the context.

Luskey supports social annotation—collaborative reading, thinking, and marking up—of articles, webpages, podcasts, collections of photos, and videos because of these factors. A recent study provides proof for what Luskey has long suspected: online social annotation fosters community while assisting students in comprehending and acquiring knowledge about scholarly content.

Hypothesis, a firm that creates open source software and promotes the standardization of online social annotation, was founded by Dan Whaley, its CEO. Dan Whaley said:

Social annotation tools may be a logical development of online reading and collaborative learning. Students swarm to the original source rather than debating it in a remote corner of the learning management system. Despite being aware of the drawbacks of social annotation systems, many academics are fervent supporters.

A digital update for traditional methods

To read meaningful sentences, students underlined lengthy sentences. They can annotate a wide range of content, including audio and video sources, when working together online. They have access to a variety of text annotation tools.

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