After going through a pilot phase, two digital pedagogy tools, Hypothesis and Ed Discussion, have been approved as enterprise services for the entire University. Both tools will continue to be available for use in courses for the 2021 Autumn Quarter and beyond. These tools play an important role in promoting collaborative work and facilitating student learning across disciplines.


Hypothesis is an open-source software tool for collaborative annotation. With Hypothesis, you and your students can annotate down to the sentence level on online documents such as web pages, PDFs hosted on websites, or scholarly databases. Annotations can be public, private, or shared with members of a group, such as among class members. Hypothesis can help make reading visible, active, and social. It is integrated with Canvas, and you can use it to create Canvas module items or assignments.

To get started with Hypothesis, please read the KB article Use the Hypothesis-Canvas Integration or join a Getting Started in Hypothesis workshop. You may also wish to read past social annotation blog posts.

Ed Discussion

Ed Discussion is an online tool that can be used to facilitate synchronous and asynchronous online discussions in a course. Like Hypothesis, it is integrated in Canvas. Ed Discussion supports customizable thread categories and subcategories, anonymous posting, polling, private posts among instructors and TAs, LaTex, multiple computer programming languages, and more. It is FERPA-compliant and structured to save teaching staff considerable time, while also increasing student engagement, peer learning, and active inquiry in courses. The system is Q&A-based, with an intuitive interface that supports rich content.

Ed Discussion can be used as a student-led forum where students ask and answer each other’s questions, as a place for real-time discussions for project work, or for back-channel discussion between teaching team members. Instructors and students can subscribe to certain topics of interest and receive notifications via email when responses are made to the discussion topics.

To get started setting up Ed Discussion in Canvas, and to familiarize yourself with the most commonly used features, please review the Ed Discussion Quickstart Guide. For more details about the admin console and analytics, you can review the Advanced Features Guide. You may also want to join the Effective Use for Discussion Forums workshop or a Live Ed Discussion Demonstration.

Further Resources and Getting Help

You can see all our currently supported tools on our Teaching Tools page. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an individual consultation, please contact us.