Social Annotation and Science Education

Three science lab flasks, one with blue liquid, one with green liquid and one with red liquid

Among the promising uses of social annotation in science education is an American Academy for the Advancement of Science initiative called Science in the Classroom (SitC). Funded by the National Science Foundation, SitC supports graduate students and early career scientists in annotating open-access articles from the journal Science so as to demystify the nature of science, promote scientific communication, and support STEM education efforts. Research around SitC has found that undergraduates who read this expert-annotated primary source literature improve their scientific literacy — for example, their interpretation of graphs — and that researchers who annotate the Science articles improve their science communication skills. Social annotation has also been effectively incorporated into undergraduate students’ microbiology coursework and research. More broadly, Hypothesis has been used to help teach courses in: astronomy, biochemistry, environmental science, organic chemistry, evolutionary biology, molecular biology and physics.

The above is excerpted from our white paper, “The Value of Social Annotation for Teaching and Learning: Promoting Comprehension, Collaboration and Critical Thinking With Hypothesis.

Watch these short clips from Liquid Margins 35, “Annotation Lab: Social Reading and STEM,” to hear from Beverly Ranney, Professor of Biology, Barstow Community College; Carlos Goller, Associate Teaching Professor, North Carolina State University; and Melanie Lenahan, Professor of Biology, Raritan Valley Community College.

For a deeper dive, watch the entire Liquid Margins 35 episode.

Watch highlight reels from Liquid Margins 20, “Making Sense of Science With Social Annotation,” to hear from Melissa McCartney, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, & Director of Research, Science in the Classroom, and Erin McKenney, Assistant Professor of Applied Ecology & Director of Undergraduate Programs, North Carolina State University.

Catch the full Liquid Margins 20 episode.

Watch quick clips from Liquid Margins 4: “Experimenting on the Margins: Annotating Science,” to hear from Alison Kolezar, Senior Lecturer, Colgate University.

Watch the full episode of Liquid Margins 4.

Download quick to-go ideas for using social annotation in: