Biology Annotation Assignment Directions

By Megan Litster of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Description #

This is a set of directions to help clarify what students need to do during their social annotation. In addition to directions, it also ties what they are learning to unit learning objectives.

Assignment #

Pre-Assignment Introduction: #

In an effort to help you further your understanding of action potentials, I have created a collaborative assignment for you to work on throughout the unit.

For this assignment, we will be using an application called Hypothesis. This application is a social annotation tool that allows you to work with your group members to collectively mark up a document by highlighting and noting ideas about what you are reading.

Take a few moments to explore the resource linked below. This will show you how to annotate using the Hypothesis application.

Part 1: Read  #

The linked article provides you with information about action potentials and how they are propagated (or move) along the axon. Take a few moments to read through the article. While you are reading you should be annotating according to the following directions, but you will want to consider the learning objectives from this unit and how they relate to the information in the article: 

  • Explain how an action potential is generated 
  • Identify, explain, and draw the events that occur during an action potential (resting membrane potential, threshold, depolarization, depolarization & hyperpolarization). 
  • Understand and describe how an action potential is propagated in both myelinated and unmyelinated axons. 
  • Compare and contrast the absolute refractory period and relative refractory period. 
  • Explain the role of the above two refractory periods on action potential propagation.

Part 2: Annotate  #

While you are reading consider the following questions or focus ideas about what to annotate:

  • How did this help you better understand the learning objectives for this unit?
  • What aspects of the readings helped you understand the concept of action potentials more thoroughly? Why?
  • How can you relate the information in the reading to what we have been discussing in class?
  • What aspects of the reading do you have questions on? What are those questions? 
  • In what ways does myelin help to speed up the propagation of an action potential?

Part 3: Respond #

As your group members add their annotations, you may like what they highlighted or annotated. You may have comments about your own thoughts about the material that may help your group members with their thought process. Take a few minutes to respond to your group members’ annotations and highlights. 

While it is great if you agree with your group members, it is not the most helpful of responses. Perhaps use the following sentence stems to help you.

  • What did you mean by…..
  • Did you consider…..
  • I connect with………
  • It made me think of …….