Using Annotations for Asynchronous Peer Conferences
I am a believer in open annotation. Recently John Udell asked me to join the Hypothes.is advisory team. Simply means I get to complain a little louder. I joke of course. I believe in annotation and I also think educators need to support developers who live in and protect the Open Web.
One of my first contributions was annotating John’s blog post on how two different users can annotate the same PDF even if one file is on the Web and the other file is opened as a local file (a really cool feature).
Dan Whaley joined the party first. What I quickly realized, and my apologies to John for using his work, was educators can use Hypothes.is as a editing and revising tool. Teachers can in fact host Asynchronous Peer Conferences within the annotations tools.
How to Edit and Revise in Hypothes.is
Leave comments as advice
Annotating for revising is different than annotating for close reading. You are talking to the author and critiquing their work in public. Recognize this fact first. You may choose to make the annotations public or private in Hypothes.is.
Understand the difference between revision and editing. I revise with a hacksaw and edit with a scalpel. One focuses on ideas and the other on grammar.
In this example you can see the three of us suggesting that John may have missed a targeted audience.
This is not something we did on John’s post. The annotations are self-explanatory. Teachers though can use tags to track student knowledge growth. So for example in the last annotation I could have added a tag “audience awareness.” Then my teacher could assess my understanding of audience by not just looking at what I write but examining the feedback I leave for other authors.
I just discovered a great feature of Hypothes.is. You can see how the original author revised their posts. As long as the section was previously annotated you can examine the changes.
— Hypothes.is (@hypothes_is) April 14, 2015
For example I questioned John’s original writing about not including a screencast and disappointing the audience.
Then John updated the blog post
As teachers this can be an invaluable tool. You see the dialogical relationship between author and annotator.
Hypothes.is Development That Can Improve Functionality
The embedding needs to be better. When you click share you just get a url. Currently I have to use an iframe and fool around with the width percentage and the height to get the display correct. Parent annotations are not included. So I have to add in each separate annotation.
If I click share I should either get an iframe (yes security issues) or a script that I can embed. All nested replies should be included.
I have not played around with the private and public annotation. A nice feature would be visible only to author (if of course the author is a registered user) and to the teacher. This would require some kind of Teacher Dashboard (already talking to Jeremy Dean about hacking this together using the Stream…that is the next post).