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ID Showcase – Hypothesis – A Social Annotation Tool

Hypothesis – A Social Annotation Tool

Hypothesis is one of the social annotation tools that have been integrated into Bruin Learn. This showcase demonstrates the set-up, ideas, and pedagogical strategies for using Hypothesis for different subjects and modalities.

The session explains how to get started with Hypothesis and set up assignments in the tool. We also discuss how Hypothesis supports learning from the perspectives of critical thinking, simplicity, community, and inclusion. In addition, the session explores the ideas and pedagogical strategies for UCLA faculty to use social annotation to engage students in teaching and learning. UCLA faculty join to informally share how they implements Hypothesis for social reading assignments in their course.


Prof. Adam Millard-Ball is Professor of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and Acting Director of the UCLA Institute for Transportation Studies. His research and teaching touches on transportation, the environment, and urban data science.

Ashley Hood, Ed.M, is the Customer Success Manager at Hypothesis.


Selected Q&A from the Showcase

Will .doc or .docx files work with Hypothesis, or do readings need to be in PDF format?Readings need to be in PDF format, but if you load the .doc/docx file into your Canvas files, that will work.
When you check the group assignment, does it give you a chance to select the group members?You would need to set up your groups first in Canvas, then have the option to select your group set as part of the Hypothesis assignment. See: Using Canvas Groups To Create Hypothesis Reading Groups.
Can you only have one group set in your Canvas class to work with Groups in Hypothesis?You can use any group set you have set up in Canvas.
Is there language support for other languages in Hypothesis? Can you use other character sets when annotating in Hypothesis?
You can use whatever language that your keyboard is set up in with Hypothesis, and also use readings in other languages.
Do you work with non-Roman script languages?Yes – these languages will work with Hypothesis.
Can students export the annotations?There isn’t yet a great way to export annotations from the tool itself. This is something on the product roadmap.

A student’s annotations can be saved in the Hypothesis notebook. Students can print their annotations from the notebook, but there is not yet a way to export a document with annotations.

Does Hypothesis track students in any way?Hypothesis does not track student data. We receive their name as a part of them using Single Sign On from Canvas, but we do not message them directly. Their annotations stay with the Canvas course.
Can you get a summary of one student’s Hypothesis posts in a class?You can search for a user and see any of their annotations (as well as anywhere their name was used). You can also do the same in Speedgrader.

The Notebook (accessed using the human icon) will show all annotations across the entirety of a course. You can then filter the annotations by user.

This could be beneficial for a potential culminating assignment, whereby a student could assess their contributions across the course.

It could also be used in office hours when work with a student.

Is Hypothesis compatible with the Canvas Teacher and the Canvas Student apps?While Hypothesis does work within the mobile app, it displays the text quite small.
For Dr. Millard-Ball: Do you use Hypothesis for each reading assignment or just selected assignments?The course used Hypothesis for all readings. Occasionally there was an older reading that was scanned as an image. Optical character recognition (OCR) is not a feature of Hypothesis, so documents used for annotation does need selectable text.
What are some instructional strategies for working with annotations? Any examples and suggestions for how instructors can take annotations to another level or space?

  • Dr. Millard-Ball picked out certain posts/topics to explore further in live class.
  • In a literature class, an instructor copied and organized the students’ annotations thematically into Padlet notes, and then commented on those in class. The instructor asked students to use a prescribed list of hashtags in their annotation posts to identify a theme or topic. In class, the instructor could search for a tag and pull up all the associated posts to discuss.
  • Select particular annotation comments to use to start a discussion forum thread.
  • Students could write a culminating reflection of their annotations.
  • Pick one of their peer’s annotations and explore how it changed their thinking.

How accessible is Hypothesis (for screen readers, for those unable to use a mouse, etc.)?Please see: Hypothesis and Screen Readers
For Hypothesis: What is the process for using Hypothesis as a Canvas Module?
Please see: Using the Hypothesis LMS App With Modules in Canvas

When the assignment is submitted, can the instructor use Canvas’ native annotation tools to annotate the Hypothesis assignment? Unfortunately not. However, Hypothesis grading allows instructors to continue the annotation conversation and provide private feedback to students on their reading progress.
For Dr. Millard-Ball: Do you think Hypothesis makes any difference to your teaching?
It is easier to assume that students have done the reading, so there is a better starting point coming into class because students are more prepared coming into class.
For Dr. Millard-Ball: Have you experienced having to moderate any “inappropriate” annotations by your students?
Not in Hypothesis, but has had it in other discussion forums. In those rare occasions, he talked to student privately.
Can an instructor remove or hide an annotation if it is inappropriate?
That is not a current feature of Hypothesis.
Can a user attach other files, such as an image or a voice recording?
Yes: they add videos, images, and links. They cannot add voice recordings directly in the tool, but can add links to recordings.

This Google Doc contains the comments, questions and answers collected during the showcase.

ID Showcase – Mathematics 32A – Calculus of Several Variables

Mathematics 32A – Calculus of Several Variables

Mathematics 32A is designed and taught by Prof. Richard Wong.

This showcase demonstrates how Prof. Wong uses Bruin Learn and other educational technology tools to establish an interactive and collaborative teaching and learning environment for a math course. Prof. Wong organizes the learning objectives of this math course using Modules in Bruin Learn, which allows students easily track their learning progress. Prof. Wong adopted Gradescope and Campuswire to support student collaboration and provide instant and constructive feedback on assessments.

In MATH 32A, the instructor has used Bruin Learn’s native features as well as integrations to encourage students’ participation and collaboration. The presentation will share the experience of:

  • Using Modules to organize course learning objectives
  • Using Gradescope integration to grade and return quizzes and exams
  • Using Campuswire to create an environment where students are encouraged to ask questions and work collaboratively.

Faculty Bio:
Richard Wong is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at UCLA in the department of Mathematics. He has taught both large (210-student) and small (25-student) courses on multivariable calculus. In his courses, he uses inquiry-based and active learning techniques to make his classroom a welcoming environment where students are encouraged to actively engage with the course material.

Presented: Thursday, Nov 3, 2022

Selected Q&A from the Showcase

Do you upload the annotated module slides after the lecture?Yes! Annotated slides and the recording are posted after the lecture, and the non-annotated slides are posted before the recording. Students then get a sense of the flow of the course.
Is Campuswire integrated into Bruin Learn?Not currently, but it is in process.
Do you use CampusWire for grading or just for Q&A?It’s only for students asking questions.
What is the student reaction to Campuswire?Students liked Campuswire. Also used Slack. Engagement was much lower on Slack than on Campuswire – seemingly because you can use Campuswire in browser rather than in an app.
What is the advantage of using Gradescope in your opinion?Gradescope makes it easy to organize assignments; saves administrative work of collecting papers and grading each one; eases collecting and sharing feedback; allows students to easily see where they lost points; easier to give same/similar feedback multiple times.
For the Gradescope template, does it only accept PDFs?Believe so – but when students are uploading their responses, they can upload pictures or PDFs.
Do you have to do the grading one-by-one manually in Gradescope?Can also do a group grading if there are similar responses to an item.
Gradescope is new to me, so I wonder the differences between Canvas Quiz and Gradescope? Is that because some math problems cannot be handled by Quiz?With Gradescope there is no need to put an assignment into the quiz format. With Gradescope I can still use paper quizzes to hand out to students.
When you say “export” grades to Canvas, do you have to do it manually, or will the grades be sent to Grades in Canvas automatically?This is done manually – there is a “Publish Grades” button (which releases grades to students on Gradescope” and then a “Post Grades to UCLA Bruin Learn” button (which releases/pushes grades to Bruin Learn).

This Google Doc contains the comments, questions and answers collected during the showcase.

ID Showcase – Statistics 100A – Introduction to Probability

Statistics 100A – Introduction to Probability

STAT 100A is designed and taught by Prof. Juana Sanchez

Prof. Sanchez implemented various pedagogical strategies to increase communication opportunities and engage students in Statistics 100A. She has used several features of Bruin Learn, such as the Discussion tool so students could reflect on different topics regularly; the Inbox and Announcements tools to inform students of course updates, topic-related events, and follow-up on class learning progress; interactive videos to have students engage with course content; and other techniques to build a learning community for students from the very beginning.

Presented: Thursday, May 5, 2022

ID Showcase – Sociology 1 – Introductory Sociology

Sociology 1 – Introductory Sociology

Screenshot of Sociology 1

Sociology 1 is designed and taught by Prof. Jessica Collett

Prof. Collet integrated various course design solutions in Sociology 1 to provide students with different types of interactions with course materials, lectures, and chances to communicate with peers. She prepared formative and summative assessment activities using tools and features such as Kaltura, and Bruin Learn’s Rubrics and Group set features to manage students’ engagement in a very large enrollment course.

Presented: Thursday, May 19, 2022

ID Showcase – Liberating Structure: Scaffolding Digital Project Integration with Bruin Learn

Liberating Structure: Scaffolding Digital Project Integration with Bruin Learn

The presenters shared the experience of course development and re-design that includes curated content collections, methods of inquiry, and digital project work, using an innovative curriculum template in Bruin Learn.

This Liberating Structure showcase session is presented by Prof. Chien-Ling Liu Zeleny, and Instructional Designers, Christopher Gilman from UCLA Library and Greg Steinke from Center of Excellence.

Presented: Thursday, June 2, 2022

ID Showcase – Digital Humanities 150 – Pirates of the Mediterranean through Text Analysis

Digital Humanities 150 – Pirates of the Mediterranean through Text Analysis

Digital Humanities 150 is designed and created by Prof. Ashley Sanders.

Prof. Sanders uses text analysis to study the fascinating history of Pirates of the Mediterranean in DH150. In this showcase, Prof. Sanders shared how she used Bruin Learn Modules and Pages to structure the course. She also created and implemented Bruin Learn’s Rubric tool to speed-up grading and discussed why a rubric is crucial in making expectations transparent to students.

In addition, Prof. Sanders used Leganto, the UCLA Library’s Course Reading List integration in Bruin Learn. Leganto allows instructors to discover, create, and maintain course e-reserve and reading lists, which helps and supports students begin their research projects on unfamiliar topics.

Presented: Thursday, June 16, 2022

ID Showcase – Digital Humanities 101 – Introduction to Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities 101 – Introduction to Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities 101 is designed and created by Prof. Ashley Sanders.

Prof. Ashley Sanders covers a variety of digital tools and approaches in DH101 to organize, explore, understand, present, and tell stories with data. She uses several Bruin Learn features to support her course design and the digital approaches in this course.

In this showcase, Prof. Sanders discussed how she adopted modular design to support students’ learning sequence, how she used the Design Tools to help organize page content, and how the course design enabled students’ active collaborations on projects in Bruin Learn.

Presented: Thursday, July 14 @ 10:00 am

ID Showcase – Ally – The Accessibility Tool

Ally – The Accessibility Tool

Ally works to make course content accessible. It checks for accessibility issues and generates alternative formats, guides instructors on how to improve their course content, and provides institutional-wide reporting on content accessibility.
This showcase presented:

  • What Ally is
  • How students can use the tool to improve the accessibility of documents
  • How faculty can use the Ally tool remediate documents and
  • How the Ally tool can bring higher awareness to the accessibility needs of students with disabilities
  • Examples of using Ally in Bruin Learn to make course materials more accessible


  • This Ally showcase session was presented by Travis Lee and Disabilities Computing Program team.
    Questions and Answers collected during the presentation: Instructional Design Showcase Questions
    Presented: Thursday, September 29, 2022

ID Showcase – iClicker & iClicker Cloud

iClicker & iClicker Cloud – Students’ Response System and Polling Tool

The iClicker student response system allows students to participate in polls and answer questions during class. There are two varieties: the original hardware-based device, and iClicker Cloud, a phone app that offers more advanced polling and quizzing options, and online grading. iClicker can be used for remote, face-to-face and hybrid presentations.

This showcase consisted of a vendor training presentation followed by UCLA CIELS staff who shared their teacher’s guide.


Macmillan’s training covered:

  • A quick iClicker overview and deeper dive into the iClicker Cloud instructor options.
  • Different response options faculty can pick for their students
  • iClicker student pricing.
  • How instructors use iClicker Cloud before, during, and after class.
    • A mock class session demonstrating activities (polling, quizzing, and attendance) from both the instructor and student perspectives.
  • Assignments for asynchronous learning.
  • Support options for instructors and students.

CEILS shared its teaching guide and resources for using iClicker to foster interactive classrooms.

The iClicker & iClicker Cloud showcase session was presented by Jennie Riberra and Mellissa O’Brien (Macmillan), and Shanna Shaked from UCLA CEILS.


Presented: Thursday, October 6, 2022

Selected Q&A from the Showcase

What is the difference between the iClicker Cloud from the download page and the one in Bruin Learn iClicker LTI? The iClicker LTI in Bruin Learn eases registering iClicker student remotes.
Is there a cost associated with iClicker for students, instructors, or departments? UCLA does not currently have a site license for iClicker, so students buy either the iClicker remote or purchase an iClicker App subscription.

There is no cost for instructors or departments.

Do faculty have to create their class every quarter? Will the course information populate automatically if they choose to use iClicker?Yes, faculty have to create the course every quarter.
Is there is an issue for a class that mixes hardware devices and the cloud app, i.e., that some students can respond to all types of questions, but others cannot?With the cloud app, students are able to participate in all questions types. With the hardware devices, they can answer multiple choice, true and false, and short answers. Students will not be able to answer multiple answer or target question types.
Should faculty avoid using multiple answer question types since remotes won’t be able to answer multiple choice and target prompts?Unless faculty prefer remotes or have a hybrid class containing the cloud app and hardware remotes, the recommendation is to avoid using multiple answer and target questions.
You mentioned answering multiple choice questions specifically in synchronous classes. Can the iClicker cloud app be used in asynchronous classes?Yes. Students can go into their cloud account and work on assignments at their own pace. Faculty control both the date students are allowed to start the assignment and the end date and time.

This Google Doc contains the comments, questions and answers collected during the showcase.

ID Showcase – GEOG 5 – People and Earth’s Ecosystems

ID Showcase: Geography 5 – People and Earth’s Ecosystems

Geography 5 is designed and taught by Prof. Kyle Cavanaugh.

This showcase demonstrates how Prof. Cavanaugh used UCLA’s Bruin Learn course template and CidiLab’s Design Tools to redesign his Geography 5 course, including organizing the syllabus and module pages. Prof. Cavanaugh used Rubrics to support students working on lab assignments, and Quizzes as a survey tool to encourage student participation in class.

In addition, by designing different types of activities and assessments using the Assignment tool in Bruin Learn, the instructor engaged students with the learning materials and course content at a higher level.

Presented: Thursday, October 20, 2022

Selected Q&A from the Showcase

Did you use the campus Bruin Learn template? How do students feel about the course navigation?Yes! Students gave positive feedback about the course navigation. Expectations were clear and the course was well-organized. Consistency!!
Do you think the weekly quiz helps students learn more efficiently than the mid-term and final?Students were motivated to do the quiz during the class. It incentivizes them.
Did you lose or gain anything by doing away with the mid-term and final? This is a big decision in a large class.No effect on grades.
Takes more work to design.
Requires more consistent effort from learners.
Spaced practice.
o you use quiz bank for those weekly quizzes?Yes! 60 or so questions in each quiz bank. The questions are randomized for students (between students) and between attempts – Prof. Cavanaugh is also using Quiz Groups.
Have you thought to add quizzes to videos?Not yet, but want to try that idea. Textbook has practice questions as well.
How do you grade the discussion activities?This is part of the students’ participation score (20% of final grade, which is discussion posts and discussion section participation). For the discussion posts – if they give a “sufficient” discussion post, they get the full 5 points. If they write something lacking, they’ll get half credit, etc. (0, half credit, full credit)
For your TAs, how do they handle such a large volume of discussion posts? Does Speedgrader help with this?Rubrics in Speedgrader does help. Going forward, doing the same would help with the discussion posts. Currently, it is on the TA to keep track of discussion grades.
Do you find the students answering each others’ questions in that Forum or do they all expect an answer from an instructor?In this class, yes they would – when they knew the answer, they would jump in and answer! (In an upper division class, that was less the case – students would wait more for answers from the professor.)
To what extent did you have to use Cidilabs to customize your site?Not at all – just used the Bruin Learn template, and brought in the materials from CCLE.
What was the best part of your switch to Bruin Learn from CCLE?The time it took to switch over to move to Bruin Learn was a negative (a lot of remaking the site because the videos didn’t transfer). Overall, happy with Bruin Learn! Good flexibility, the structure and layout from students’ perspective seems clearer.
Can you say a little about TA roles & responsibilities and your communication (of expectations etc) with them?TAs have an important role.
They run weekly labs.
Small group exercises.
Weekly TA meetings
TA guide
Have you experienced that your students share they would like to have more content presented synchronously?The criticism more is that there’s not enough interaction with the professor – one way could be to present content synchronously. However, students do not say they want to go back to in-person or video lectures.

This Google Doc contains the comments, questions and answers collected during the showcase.