Last modified: February 08 2015 16:45:05.

Research on Annotation Tools in Courses using the edX platform

Image of annotation research graphic

The Annotation Framework lays the groundwork for a much-needed method of assessing the Humanities at scale and provides a structural foundation for close analysis and research in the sciences. It helps monitor quality and level of engagement of the individual, groups, and of the entire student population. At the individual level it empowers mechanisms for formative assessment. At the massive scale, it promotes community-building and fosters crowdsourcing to enhance learning through collaborative research and discovery.


Scholarly Significance of Annotations

In an increasingly multimedia interdisciplinary world, having a framework for easily connecting, commenting and searching resources and annotations across media is vital. Traditional Learning Management Systems constrain students and instructors to discuss topics and ask questions about the course content in centralized discussion forums. Conversations in these forums are often out of context, addressing issues encountered in a video lecture or reading with no direct reference to the content being discussed, making the conversations hard to parse.

The annotation tools that we piloted inside edX offer multiple means of engagement with the course material and introduces new models of online, peer-to-peer and student-instructor interactions inside the platform. Digital annotation tools allow contextual commentaries and conceptual tagging of media fragments inside MOOCs, thereby transforming the unidirectional delivery of the online course content.