Many courses are using Open Education Resources (OERs), websites or online articles as course reading, instead of traditional textbooks. These flexible materials are free, openly licensed, easily linkable and readily available online, anytime. The low cost and high flexibility make them a favourite with learners and educators alike (Smith-Jaggars, Folk & Mullins, 2018).
But how can we ensure effective studying with websites and OERs? Websites and open textbook platforms often rely only on browsers, and lack built in study tools like sticky notes, highlighting and annotation. This is where apps browser extensions, like Hypothes.is, can help.
Tips and Suggestions
To get started with Hypothes.is, register for an account, and add the Hypothes.is extension to your browser.create a free account;
Click on the Hypothes.is icon in your browser to activate it.
In the sidebar of your screen, you’ll be able to see your own annotations, and those anyone else has posted publicly. Hypothes.is users can choose whether they are posting privately or publicly, and can reply to each other’s annotations and comments, creating dialogue and discussion directly within websites and OERs.
Once active, you’ll be able to start selecting and highlighting text on any web page, OER, and even on articles in open digital access journals. Select text in a sentence and release to annotate or highlight.
Create Guiding Questions
To introduce a tool like Hypothes.is in your teaching, consider pre-populating a reading with some guiding questions.
Researching in the Problem-Based Learning Cycle
You can also use Hypothes.is to support the research stage of a problem-based learning cycle or approach. Create groups, or encourage learners to create groups, and share these within your course.
Shanna Smith Jaggars, Amanda L. Folk, & David Mullins. (2018). Understanding students’ satisfaction with OERs as course materials. Performance Measurement and Metrics, 19(1), 66–74. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1108/PMM-12-2017-0059.