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Hypothesis: A New Tool for Annotation and Interaction Available Spring 2021

A computer screen showing a document with annotations and threaded discussion

Following a successful Fall pilot, Learning Technology Solutions (LTS) in the Office of Information Technology is happy to announce Hypothesis, a tool for annotation-enabled readings.

Hypothesis allows faculty to load PDFs and websites directly into Blackboard or Canvas where students can make comments on the material or reply to one another in threaded discussion. Additionally, faculty can easily grade student contributions directly within Blackboard or Canvas and can quickly award points to assigned annotatable documents.

Common Use Cases for Hypothesis

  • Helps students learn to read types of material that may be new to them such as research articles, dense scientific articles, or even simply parts of an essay.
  • Allows students to perform close readings of literary texts or primary historical documents.
  • Facilitates class discussions focused on course materials; making responses directly on the text focuses student’s comments.
  • Allows faculty to create annotations in advance that add additional details or clarify aspects of the material which will be new or confusing to students as they read.
  • Supports guided reading as faculty add questions for students to consider as they read. And, students can reply to those questions with responses if desired.

When and How Can Faculty Begin Using Hypothesis

Hypothesis will be institutionally supported and available for free in Spring 2021. Hypothesis will be a course materials fee of $4 per student starting Summer 2021. Use of Hypothesis is encouraged for classes that rely on freely available articles and open educational resources for course texts.

Learn about what faculty and students in the Fall pilot enjoy most about Hypothesis.

Please contact LTS at if you want to use this annotation tool in Spring classes. Visit the LTS Knowledge Base or register for training to learn more.