Glimpsing the Impact of Open Annotation

Three times throughout this Spring semester, graduate learners in INTE 5320 Games and Learning are asked to reflect upon – and then blog about – their own learning. These learning reflections are semi-structured; I provide a few guiding questions alongside more open-ended and learner-initiated contributions. One of my prompts asks the following:

How have the more open and public aspects of our course – such as blogging, our use of annotation via Hypothesis, and your affinity space participation – informed your learning?

With the second round of learning reflections due this coming Sunday, posts are appearing that share quite a lot about the impact of our emergent approach to open learning, and the specific role of open web annotation in that process. I’ll turn this over to the very wise individuals whom I’m honored to call co-designers and collaborators:

From Lisa:

I continue to be challenged by my peers in our annotations (through of the course readings, challenged by their questions and reflections…. I appreciate the open honesty in the responses and questions from my peers and I feel that this type of interaction is forcing me to understand the material at a deeper level, and to be a better student and better digital citizen.

From Susan:

The way Hypothesis works also encourages our class discussion and our interaction in the margins of texts, while engaging with our readings. I would guess that most of us write in the margins of our readings anyway, so using an open annotation tool like Hypothesis encourages us to do so in front of and with other readers. The conversations that have been happening in the margins of our readings are engaging, insightful and fun – all things that we hope for in-class discussion as well as online discussion. Personally, I feel more motivated to discuss via annotation because the references are tangible and visible, unlike an LMS-hosted “discussion board” (more like discussion bored, am I right??) where following lengthy threads and navigating multiple submissions can be cumbersome and demotivating.

From Susannah:

Annotating the course readings through has led to new streams of curiosity. Often times a conversation over a reading would lead to my next article to critique. I have become quite picky about my articles because I’m not simply completing the assignment, I’m carving my own unique, educational pathway.

I’ll save my own analysis and commentary about what this all might mean for a future post – reflections are still being written and I look forward to reading additional contributions over the coming days. More importantly, I encourage this blog’s readership – especially those who are not enrolled in this course and/or affiliated with CU Denver – to read the various blogs linked at right – there’s some very inspiring, honest, and critical learning happening at the moment.

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