Social Annotation Roles for Course Readings

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The social annotation tool can be used to foster discussions of readings outside of class meetings. Like in-person discussions, a social annotation activity for students can benefit from some structure to guide the ways students engage in making comments and replying to their peers. For example, faculty may “seed” articles with their own annotations so that students aren’t the first ones to comment, or they may provide annotations to give additional context to a specific part of a reading.

A recent study suggests that assigning students different roles to play as they socially annotate an article can foster active student participation in shared discussions about a reading. Try assigning students roles to play within a reading – facilitator, synthesizer, summarizer – as a way to provide structure for students to engage in a reading, and with their peers.

Review other ideas for designing social annotation activities with

Read the article: Zhu, Xinran, Hong Shui, and Bodong Chen. 2023. “Beyond Reading Together: Facilitating Knowledge Construction through Participation Roles and Social Annotation in College Classrooms.” The Internet and Higher Education 59 (October): 100919.

Christine Moskell