Continuing the Conversation Outside of the Classroom: Online Annotation Tools in the Information Literacy Classroom

Poster Description: In this virtual poster presentation, we will discuss incorporating online annotation tools in information literacy classes (even one shots) and explore the benefits and drawbacks to this technology in the information literacy classroom.

Poster: Click to view Sway presentation.

Presenter Name: Piper Cumbo, Auburn University

Presenter Bio: Piper Cumbo is an assistant professor at Auburn University Libraries. Ms. Cumbo is the Instruction Coordinator and Instruction Librarian at RBD Library and teaches Research Methods for the Honors College. Her research interests are information literacy, teaching and learning in first year/undergraduate students, primary source literacy in undergraduates, and instructional design. Ms. Cumbo received her bachelor’s degree in English from Auburn in 1999, and is proud to be among a team of librarians who serve Auburn University’s research and learning needs. Email:

12 replies on “Continuing the Conversation Outside of the Classroom: Online Annotation Tools in the Information Literacy Classroom”

The course looks very well-structured and I really appreciate the students’ level of engagement. Good job!

I haven’t ever used social annotation tools in my instruction sessions, but I’m really intrigued by this! I teach students reading strategies for scholarly articles, and could see this being a helpful tool. You mentioned that you’re planning to develop a 1-shot template using Hypothesis – what sort of topics or activities are you thinking would translate well to a 1-shot instruction session?

So far, I think using the literature review section in scholarly articles as a jumping off place for one-shots is a good start. This is the section that my students struggled with at first but now see how helpful it is when considering the need for research.
And I’ve used Hypothesis as a reading strategy tool for scholarly articles and they really liked using it to label sections of the articles that were the most helpful for their research topics.

This was a great topic! I discovered Hypothesis this semester and am just waiting for a chance to implement it. You mentioned that students preferred Perusall, but you’re moving forward with Hypothesis for the next iteration. What did students prefer about Perusall, and why move forward with Hypothesis as the tool?

The students’ preference for Perusall was only because they had become accustomed to it for the course readings and didn’t like the sudden switch. They liked Hypothesis for their own research articles outside of the class readings. But the sudden change upset them a bit. Perusall had become their safe space for the class discussion.

I’m moving forward with Hypothesis for one-shots but haven’t been completely sold on using it for the Honors course solely because I can tell who’s done the reading with Perusall. That is a nice feature when I’m preparing my in-class discussions and not requiring annotations.

Oh, okay, that makes sense. It’s nice to know they preferred Hypothesis for their own research outside the class. And I didn’t know that was a feature of Perusall; that’s good to know.

I really enjoyed this poster presentation. It seems to me annotations have so many classroom applications. This semester, I had students annotate on paper, so it’s really helpful to know about the online capabilities.

This is really interesting, thank you so much for sharing this. I’m excited to try to do something like this in my one-shots. Did you have to spend much time explaining to students how to use the tool (maybe something that should be introduced in pre-work) or was there time in class to show them how to get started and still meaningfully annotate something as a group?

Wow, my mind has been expanded! I also had the same queston about getting students up to speed on the tool? I can also see potential use as replacing a discussion board assignment as well as peer reviewing student writing or thesis development. Thank you for a fabulous poster!

Thanks for sharing this interesting idea! Have you been using the free version of Perusall or is it an institutional version? Thanks.

Very interesting use of these tools! How are you planning on using Perusall/Hypothesis in one-shots?

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