Successful Classroom Deployment of a Social Document Annotation System

TitleSuccessful Classroom Deployment of a Social Document Annotation System
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsZyto, S, Karger, DR, Ackerman, MS, Mahajan, S
Conference NameACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’12), May, 2012
Date Published05/2012
Keywordsannotation, collaboration, e-learning, forum, hypertext

NB is an in-place collaborative document annotation website targeting students reading lecture notes and draft textbooks. Serving as a discussion forum in the document margins, NB lets users ask and answer questions about their reading material as they are reading. NB users can read and annotate documents using their web browsers, without any special plug-ins. We describe the NB system and its evaluation in real class environment, where students used it to submit their reading assignments, ask questions and get or provide feedback. We show that this tool can be and has been successfully incorporated into a number of different classes at different institutions. To understand how and why, we focus on a particularly successful class deployment where the instructor adapted his teaching style to take students' comment into account. We analyze the annotation practices that were observed - including the way geographic locality was exploited in ways unavailable in traditional forums - and discuss general design implications for online annotation tools in academia.