Looking for a way to explore new teaching approaches on a busy schedule? UChicago’s partner for social annotation, Hypothesis, offers an opportunity to read about, discuss, and design using new pedagogical ideas on an asynchronous basis that allows you to participate at the times that work best for you. The Hypothesis Academy is currently offered in two options, Social Annotation 101 and Social Annotation in the Age of AI.

Participants need not have prior knowledge to join these two-week academies, and either option offers the opportunity to:

  • Connect to colleagues across institutions and disciplines
  • Learn the basics of social annotation in college teaching
  • Design an assignment and receive feedback from attendees and Hypothesis staff

Takeaways from “Social Annotation in the Age of AI”

On behalf of Academic Technology Solutions (ATS), I recently completed “Social Annotation in the Age of AI” in order to share some direct insights from the experience with readers of our blog. The stated objectives of this academy were to:

  • Reflect on the impact and potential of AI in education, including digital literacy.
  • Analyze how Hypothesis social annotation can be used in teaching and learning as a response to artificial intelligence’s emerging role in education.
  • Evaluate two categories of Hypothesis annotation assignments:
    • assignments which use social annotation alongside AI-produced text
    • assignments that encourage engagement with course materials to discourage student use of AI

Additionally, of course participants learned how to design, configure, and grade an annotation activity in Hypothesis in our respective Learning Management Systems. In service of these goals, Hypothesis staff presented a well-curated sequence of activities:

The Final Product

The course culminated in the creation of a unit plan that both incorporated social annotation and brought a balanced approach to AI-generated writing, one that not only promotes thoughtful human revision but also the generative AI-prompting skills students may be expected to have in the future. As an example of the work this academy can assist instructors in creating, readers can review a summary of the assignment I was able to create below.

Writing Assignment Draft: “Human-Generated Edits for AI Writing”

This series of activities takes place over three weeks of class, alongside the other work of a writing-focused course. The instructor provides the students with a piece of AI-generated writing relevant to the class (including the prompt that the instructor used), and the students are prompted to annotate in three distinct stages:

    1. Revision Suggestions: In this stage, the students will make suggestions for a revision of the essay as if it were written by a colleague. They can focus on areas from thesis and structure to sentence-level traits and style.
    2. Library Research: In this stage, students will be tasked with using library resources to look into all claims, assertions of supposed fact, and especially when a source is specifically named. As readers may already know, some LLMs are known to make things up and present them as facts, even going so far as to make up journal articles with plausible titles and author names.
    3. Prompt Revision: Finally, based on their thoughtful and specific decisions about what should be improved in this essay, the students make suggestions about how the prompt could have been written to generate a more satisfactory response.

Interested in Joining a Hypothesis Academy?

If you’re interested in more information about future Hypothesis Academy courses, you can read more on Hypothesis’ website and review the coming dates below. You can also review the full annotation activity described above.

  • Social Annotation 101 Cohort 7: September 19-October 3, 2023
  • Social Annotation 101 Cohort 8: November 7-21, 2023
  • Social Annotation in the Age of AI Cohort 3: October 17-31, 2023

Further Resources

For a list of our office hours and upcoming ATS workshops, please visit our workshop schedule for events that fit your schedule. For individual consultations, please send an email to academictech@uchicago.edu, You can also read previous blog posts from ATS about both generative AI and social annotation.

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay