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(Last Updated On: July 30, 2021)

Hypothesis is a social annotation tool that allows students and faculty to annotate and highlight PDFs or web pages in a collaborative context. This can spur deeper engagement with course readings and gives the instructor insight into how students are reading and analyzing texts.

In order to be able to annotate a PDF, it must have optical character recognition (OCR). If you can select text in the document, then your good to go. Otherwise, you can use either Acrobat Pro or Google Drive to OCR a PDF.

10 Ways to Annotate with Students is a blog post from Hypothesis that can give you some ideas on how to create meaningful annotation activities.

For additional documentation on using Hypothesis, see:

To create an annotation activity, follow these steps:

1. Turn editing on

Turn class editing on

2. In the section where you want to add the activity, click on Add activity or resource.

Add and activity or resource

3. Select External tool from the list

Selecting External tool from the activity or resource menu

4. Add Activity name. It’s recommended that you enter the author and title of the text.

5. For the Preconfigured tool drop-down menu, select Hypothesis

Selecting Hypothesis from preconfigured tool drop-down menu

6. If you intend to grade the activity, under the Grade section, provide the maximum point value for the activity. If you don’t want to grade the activity, set Type to None.

Setting grade values.

NB: when actually grading within Hypothesis, the scale is 1-10. For the gradebook entry, the score will be scaled according. For example, if you leave the default point value of 100, and assign a student a grade of 9 in a Hypothesis activity, the score in the gradebook will be 90. See Grading Student Annotations in Moodle for further details.

7. Click Save and display

8. Click on Open in new window link

9. Choose the corresponding button for either a website or PDF available on the open web (i.e. not behind a paywall or library database) OR a PDF from Google Drive (can also be located on your computer or external hard drive)

For the first option, enter the URL of the website or location of the PDF

Enter URL of web page or PDF button.
Entering URL.

For the second option, authorize access to your Oxy Google account

Select PDF from Google Drive button
Authorize Google account

Then select the PDF from your Google Drive or upload it.