Talk Session: Textual Annotation in CommentPress

This semester, I launched a pilot project in a writing-intensive literature course, Great Works of World Literature, required of all undergraduates at my school. We offer up to 75 sections of this class every semester and most of our students are not English majors. For the pilot, students across four sections of the course are reading three common texts and collaboratively annotating these texts in CommentPress. The instructors are discussing annotation practices and purposes in class, and asking students to work in groups to annotate the three common texts for specific purposes that are relevant for the classes. This proposed session will share the purposes that students and teachers identified for textual annotation; discuss the results of the annotation work students did in CommentPress; consider the challenges; and explore the potential of CommentPress for building an interactive archive of student reading and writing. Questions I’d like to consider include:

  • What are the limitations and potential in CommentPress for this kind of work?
  • How can we encourage more interactivity, creativity and conversation in the student annotations?
  • What other platforms might be effective for this kind of work?

I look forward to hearing from others who have done or are interested in doing similar projects, and brainstorming more ways to promote student writing and reading in digital platforms.

Categories: Collaboration, Digital Literacy, Session: Talk, Teaching |

About Cheryl Smith

I'm associate professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY, where I coordinate the Great Works of World Literature and Writing across the Curriculum programs. I co-edit the Journal of Basic Writing, started by Mina Shaughnessy at CUNY in 1975. I'm working on a book on creativity in teaching and learning college-level writing.