Creating Hypothesis-Enabled Readings in Moodle

This article explains how to create a Hypothesis-enabled reading assignment. The app allows you to share a webpage or PDF document with the Hypothesis sidebar automatically added within the LMS. If your Hypothesis installation has an API Token configured, you will get additional features such as using Moodle Files and Moodle Pages in your Hypothesis-enabled reading assignment. You can also turn them into group assignments.

This article is for newer Moodle installs where external LTI tools each have their own option when instructors create a new Activity in Moodle. To read our article for older Moodle versions where the Activity you pick is for generic LTI tools, please see this link.

If you have not installed Hypothesis in Moodle yet, see our guide for LMS admin who are installing Hypothesis across a Moodle installation.

If you already have Hypothesis installed in Moodle and would like to have all the features enabled as described above, see our instructions on how to register a Moodle API token.

1. Navigate to your course page in Moodle

a. Click the button in the upper-right to enable Edit mode.

A screenshot of a Moodle course with an arrow pointing to the Edit mode slider.

2. Add an activity

A screenshot of a Moodle course topic with an arrow pointing towards the

b. In the “Add an activity” window, select the Hypothesis tool.

A screenshot of the Moodle activity picker, with an arrow pointing towards the Hypothesis tool.

3. Configure the Hypothesis assignment.

In this step, you will see the “Select Content” button if Deep Linking is enabled for your Hypothesis installation. Otherwise, this button will not show up. Follow the corresponding instructions depending if Deep Linking is enabled or not in your Hypothesis installation.

A screenshot of the Moodle screen where you add a new external tool, with an arrow pointing to the "select content" button.

a. Click Select Content and the picker will show up

The Hypothesis picker, titled

b. In the picker, select the source of the reading that you would like to use on your Hypothesis-enabled reading assignment. 

Note: PDFs must have optically recognizable text in order to be annotatable in the Hypothesis app. If you can select text in the PDF, no further action is needed. If you can’t select text in the PDF, you’ll need to follow our instructions on how to OCR-optimize a PDF.

You can find descriptions of the document choices in the latter portion of this web page.

c. Provide a title for your Hypothesis assignment. This will also appear on the Activity Name field.

The Hypothesis popup labeled

A screenshot of the user back in the Moodle Activity, with the title circled showing that filling in the title in the Hypothesis popup added the title automatically to Moodle.

d. If you wish to make it a group assignment, check off This is a group assignment. For additional guidance on setting up group assignments in Moodle, refer to

e. Optional: Enter a brief description of the assignment in the Activity Description box.

f. Click Grade and check off Allow Hypothesis to add grades in the gradebook. Set Grade Type to Point.

A screenshot of the Moodle grades options, with an arrow pointing to

g. Click Save and Display. If the Hypothesis tool is set to open in a new window, you will see the window below. Click Open in new window to open the Hypothesis assignment.

A screenshot of the Moodle page showing the Hypothesis Activity with an arrow pointing to the

a. Provide a title for your Hypothesis assignment by filing out the Activity Name field.

b. Optional: Enter a brief description of the assignment in the Activity Description box.

c. Click Grade and check off Allow Hypothesis to add grades in the gradebook. Set Grade Type to Point.

A screenshot of the Moodle grades options, with an arrow pointing to

d. Click Save and Display. If the Hypothesis tool is set to open in a new window, you will see the window below. Click Open in new window to open the file picker.

A screenshot of the Moodle page showing the Hypothesis Activity with an arrow pointing to the

The Hypothesis picker, titled

e. In the picker, select the source of the reading that you would like to use on your Hypothesis-enabled reading assignment. 

Note: PDFs must have optically recognizable text in order to be annotatable in the Hypothesis app. If you can select text in the PDF, no further action is needed. If you can’t select text in the PDF, you’ll need to follow our instructions on how to OCR-optimize a PDF.

Document options

A screenshot of the Hypothesis window labelled

Notes:

PDFs must have optically recognizable text in order to be annotatable in the Hypothesis app. If you can select text in the PDF, no further action is needed. If you can’t select text in the PDF, you’ll need to follow our instructions for how to OCR-optimize a PDF.

After selecting the URL or PDF for your assignment, you may need to refresh the page, or close and re-open the assignment, before you can start annotating.

Click the button that says Enter URL of web page or PDF. On the Enter URL dialog, enter a link to a public web page or PDF. Please note that the content at the link must be publicly viewable (i.e., not behind a login or paywall).

Enter URL source content window

Click the Submit button.

Click the button that says Select PDF from Google Drive. You will be asked to select a Google account and/or authorize the Hypothesis LMS App to access Google Drive. To use an institutional Google Drive account you need to already have the ability to share documents with users outside your organization.

Search or browse to select a PDF to use in your reading. You may also click the Upload tab to upload a new PDF to use.

Only files for which you have edit permission are able to be used by Hypothesis.

Click on the file you want to use and then click the Select button.

Google Drive picker

Note: This process will change the sharing permission of the selected Google Drive file to allow the PDF to be shown to anyone viewing the assignment. For more information please see our document about using Hypothesis with Google Drive.

Click the button that says Select PDF from OneDrive. You will be asked to select a Microsoft account and/or authorize the Hypothesis LMS App to access OneDrive. To use an institutional OneDrive account you need to already have the ability to share documents with users outside your organization.

Once logged on, browse to select a PDF to use in your reading. You may also select the Upload option to upload a new PDF to use.

Only files available in “My files” are able to be used by Hypothesis. You will be unable to use PDFs that belong in any Shared Libraries.

Click to select the file you want to use and then click the Open button.

OneDrive file picker

Note: This process will change the sharing permission of the selected OneDrive file to allow the PDF to be shown to anyone viewing the assignment. For more information please see our document about using Hypothesis with OneDrive.

When selecting a text from JSTOR it must be one that your school has license to access, and you must use the JSTOR stable URL. Complete instructions here.

Find and copy the Stable URL of the article you will be assigning from JSTOR.org. The stable URL is listed as part of the content metadata section of the page, usually under the title, author, and journal information.

Select the JSTOR article option in the Hypothesis picker during the assignment creation process and paste the stable URL into the text field. Click the right arrow and then accept JSTOR’s terms of use.

Click the arrow after submitting a URL from JSTOR

When selecting a text from VitalSource it must be one that your and your students have access to independent of Hypothesis. Complete instructions here.

Open your VitalSource bookshelf, and then find and copy either the text’s VBID or the text’s URL.

Location of VitalSource text details button and URL

Select the VitalSource article option in the Hypothesis picker during the assignment creation process and paste the VBID or URL into the text field. Click the right arrow and then the “Select Book” button.

Location to enter the VitalSource URL

In the next screen select the starting point of the assignment (for example, you may have a specific assignment start on the book’s 2nd chapter instead of starting at the beginning of the book for every assignment).

With the starting point selected, click the Select button.

Choosing the YouTube option enables an instructor to create an assignment where users can watch the selected YouTube video and annotate its transcript simultaneously. Here’s what a YouTube assignment in Hypothesis looks like:

Hypothesis YouTube assignment with transcript shown

Click here to view the detailed steps on how to set up a Youtube video assignment in Hypothesis.

You must upload PDFs to the course first before completing the steps below. The Moodle File Picker does not allow for uploading new documents. You may put the PDFs in folders and the folder structure should be available in the picker.

Highlight the PDF file you wish to use and click the Select button.

The page must be available in the course before completing the steps below. 

Highlight the Moodle page you wish to use and click the Select button.

A screenshot of the picker where Moodle Pages within a given course are listed. The top of the picker says

You must upload PDFs to the course first before completing the steps below. The Moodle File Picker does not allow for uploading new documents. You may put the PDFs in folders and the folder structure should be available in the picker.

Highlight the PDF file you wish to use and click the Select button.

The page must be available in the course before completing the steps below. 

Highlight the Moodle page you wish to use and click the Select button.

A screenshot of the picker where Moodle Pages within a given course are listed. The top of the picker says

4. Indicate if this will be a Group assignment

By default your Hypothesis reading will make all annotations visible to all students.

You have the option to allow the creation of reading groups based on a pre-existing group set. To enable this, check the box to indicate This is a group assignment, then select the appropriate existing group set from the drop-down list.

Location to indicate a Group Assignment

If you do not want to designate the reading as a groups assignment, leave the Group assignment box unchecked.

Click the Continue button.

5. Confirm the Hypothesis reading loads

You should now see the reading you selected above now loaded with the Hypothesis Sidebar open.

A screenshot of a successful Hypothesis launch. The Wikipedia page for Power (physics) is open, on the right hand side of the screen the Hypothesis Sidebar is loaded, and across the top of the screen is the Hypothesis grading bar.

Edit and reconfigure the Hypothesis reading assignment

At any time you can reconfigure the Hypothesis reading assignment to use a new document:

  • With the reading assignment open, click Edit next to the assignment name in the Grade Bar
    Location of Edit link in the Grade Bar
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