Success Story 

Florida State University


Dr. Diana Williams

Professor, Psychology Department

“Hypothesis facilitates important discussion, giving students the confidence to start talking to and interacting with their peers about course material.”

How long have you been using Hypothesis, and what do you use it for?

I’ve been using Hypothesis for several years. I started using it pretty soon after it became available in our learning management system.

I’ve been using Hypothesis primarily in small classes and small groups. I started using it with a graduate course, which is still where I use it the most heavily. And I also use it with undergraduate courses, as well as within my laboratory group.

How did Hypothesis affect student learning and interaction during the online shift from COVID?

It has been incredibly useful using Hypothesis, especially during COVID, when we were all completely online. It was really valuable for students to be able to have this level of online interaction through Hypothesis, because they were not getting any kind of face-to-face interaction otherwise.

How has the incorporation of Hypothesis changed your initial teaching goals?

My initial goal was to ensure that students were reading the material. Prior to using Hypothesis, I would use other mechanisms to try to make this happen, and that meant a lot more work for students. And, their work was more superficial – less deep. By using Hypothesis, the quality of students’ work is much better. Because of this, my goal has shifted: I now want to make sure that students are actively engaging with the text, which I know will happen with Hypothesis.

If someone was considering using Hypothesis, what would your advice be for them?

I would say to definitely give it a try. Think through how you want to use it, and what your goals are. Also, set clear instructions for students for their annotations, like how many annotations you’re requiring, and what kinds of annotations you’ll consider for a passing grade.

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