Credit: Hypothesis. Undergraduate English students annotating literary anthology by Robin De Rosa, Director of Open Learning & Teaching Collaborative, Plymouth State University.

Update 9/23/2021: Hypothesis is now out of the pilot phase and fully funded by IT Services.

Update 11/20/2020: The Hypothesis pilot has been extended through June 30, 2021.

In response to faculty demand, Academic Technology Solutions (ATS) began a pilot of the collaborative annotation tool Hypothesis in Spring quarter 2020, to run through the end of the 2020 calendar year.

Hypothesis allows for collaborative annotation down to the sentence level on online documents such as websites, PDFs hosted on websites, or scholarly databases. Students can label their annotations with tags and reply to each other’s annotations. Annotations can be public, private, or shared with members of a group, such as among class members.

With the Hypothesis-Canvas integration, a private annotation group is created for your course, and instructors can create Canvas Module Items or Assignments with Hypothesis enabled. In both cases, students can start annotating right away with no need to join a group, log into Hypothesis, or switch the group scope selector. With Assignments, instructors can use Canvas SpeedGrader to assess students’ annotations. When used properly, Hypothesis can help make reading visible, active, and social. It can also help jump-start discourse on readings.

All faculty members or instructors teaching in Spring, Summer, or Autumn quarter 2020 are invited to join the pilot. To join, fill out the Join the Hypothesis Pilot form. The commitment for participating in the pilot is to use Hypothesis via Canvas in your class at least once, then provide feedback about the tool to ATS.  All piloteers and associated students are fully supported by ATS. We will guide you through setting up Hypothesis and effective practices, and provide technical support. Piloting instructors also have the additional option of emailing Hypothesis directly at for support. Tickets from UChicago will be prioritized by Hypothesis.

For more about the pilot, see Use the Hypothesis-Canvas Integration. For more about Hypothesis, see Hypothesis’s website.

If you have questions about the pilot, using Hypothesis, or would like to see Hypothesis in action, simply contact us with your request.