Social Annotation for First-Year Seminar

Open, modern school staircase in focus with out-of-focus students blurring by

First-year seminars provide students with a range of academic and social experiences as they begin their postsecondary studies. Typically, these courses help students to develop familiarity with their college or university, join a robust learning community, and connect with peers and faculty. This instructional context frequently spans disciplines and is highly interactive, whether face-to-face or online. Social annotation can help students engage deeply with new ideas, as well as with their reading and writing, while they encounter diverse perspectives and build foundational academic skills.

Starting in 2016, the Honors Program Common Read at the University of New Haven embarked on a new initiative to “reimagine the common read as an interactive experience” using Hypothesis social annotation. Over the course of four years, faculty found that social annotation “encouraged students to read carefully, to establish a space for students to learn from each other, and to help students realize that true scholarship means entering into a conversation with others. Social annotation of public domain texts using Hypothesis has helped us achieve those goals and has encouraged us to refine them.”

Watch quick clips from Liquid Margins 34, “Orientation by Annotation,” for social annotation best practices from Sheryl Sawin, Associate Director and Associate Professor, Intellectual Heritage Program, Temple University; Jacquelyne Howard, Administrative Assistant Professor of Technology and Women’s History, Tulane University; and Heather Walder, Assistant Teaching Professor Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

Take a deep dive into entire Liquid Margins 34 episode, and check out these guest blog posts on Social Annotation research from Justin Hodgson, Associate Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington, and Remi Kalir, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human Development, and inaugural Hypothesis scholar in residence: