5 Ways to Use the New Hypothesis Canvas Groups Integration

By mdiroberts | 2 August, 2021

Group of penguins on a beach

An integration with Canvas Groups has been one of our most requested features from instructors. Now, ahead of the 2021–22 school year, we are excited to release a feature that will enable teachers to use their Canvas Groups in a Hypothesis assignment. Read below to learn some of the ways the groups feature can help you teach.

1. Large classes, small groups

Instructors can now break up big classes into small groups by using Canvas’s “Group Sets” feature, creating group assignments so that each small Canvas Group works independently from other groups in the text. Students within each Canvas Group will only see each others’ annotations, but instructors will be able to view all annotation groups as different layers over the same text.

2. Small classes, short readings

Pedagogically speaking, sometimes it’s not the size of the course but the size of the text that calls for using Canvas Groups integration. With a short poem, for example, an instructor may want to divide the class into smaller annotation groups for a more quiet, focused discussion. As in the example above, students in any Canvas Group would only see each others’ annotations, but an instructor could navigate between the various Groups.

3. Independent readings of common texts

The Canvas Groups feature enables you to create a group set where each student is in their own group. This enables instructors to have individual students annotate Canvas assignments without seeing their classmates’ annotations or being influenced by their peers’ thinking. A one-to-one student-instructor annotation space enables the teacher to see how a particular student is reading and interpreting a text. Instructors can also use this approach to provide feedback on student writing by creating one-to-one student-instructor groups to add a layer of discussion on top of student essays and other student-authored content.

4. Peer-reviewed student writing

Instructors can leverage the Hypothesis Canvas Groups integration for peer review or small-group “writing conferences.” Teachers would need to upload student writing as PDFs in Hypothesis assignments and create Canvas groups for the peer or larger groupings. Students would then be able to read each other’s work and provide feedback in a small-group setting. Instructors could choose to grade or provide credit to students for their peer review and even to authors for their responses to feedback.

5. Rotate your reading groups

Some instructors have asked us for a way to change the population of their reading groups over time so that students within a class get to work with a variety of peers throughout the term. It’s simple to create multiple Canvas Group Sets and make sure that the groups within each one vary.

In addition to the work we’ve done in Canvas, we’re looking into how we can bring similar “groups” functionality to other learning management systems soon. Keep a look-out for new features from us.

In the meantime, please let us know if you can envision other use cases for the Hypothesis integration with Canvas Groups, or share with us other product developments you’d like to see.


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