Hypothesis Basics - Start Here

Hypothesis Basics - Start Here

Hypothesis, (https://web.hypothes.is), is a collaborative annotation tool that makes reading active, visible, and social. With Hypothesis, students engage with their readings, instructors, ideas, and each other in deeper, more meaningful ways.  Hypothesis is integrated with Canvas and student annotations are completed in the Hypothesis user interface. Grading is done in SpeedGrader in Canvas. Grades entered in SpeedGrader will go directly to the Canvas Gradebook. Hypothesis supports using groups and is integrated with Canvas Groups.  

The Hypothesis Basics information and links provided here will get users started with Hypothesis in the University of Oregon Canvas instance. Begin here, and then review the Creating Hypothesis Assignments in Canvas How-to-Guide

For information about Perusall and Hypothesis as teaching tools, please read - Collaborative Annotation Tools - Hypothesis and Perusall.

Note that several links are provided here that open How-to-Guides from UO Online. Others open pages on the Hypothesis website. All questions should be directed to UO Online & Canvas Support, using the contact information provided at the bottom of this page.

Related Topics: Canvas, Canvas Assignments

Getting Started with Hypothesis

IMPORTANT!: Scanned PDF documents used with Hypothesis must be put through OCR before they are used in Hypothesis. The OCR process makes using the text selection tool in Hypothesis work as it should.  If the document is a scanned PDF, basically an image or picture of the document, the text selection tool will not work. If you need assistance determining if your PDFs are scans or OCR, or with converting PDFs to OCR, check out the Creating Text Based PDFs for Hypothesis and Perusall How-to-Guide.

Create a New Hypothesis Assignment in Canvas

Begin in your course in Canvas. Upload the PDF you plan to use for the Hypothesis assignment to Canvas Files, use a live, public website, or use a PDF in your OneDrive folder!!  Create a new Assignment using the external tool, Hypothesis.  Creating Hypothesis Assignments in Canvas is explained in the Creating Hypothesis Assignments in Canvas How-to-Guide.   Check out this Hypothesis blog post: Hypothesis Annotation: Now in Microsoft OneDrive.

Using Groups in Hypothesis Assignments

Set up a Canvas Group Set (How to Manually Create Groups in Canvas - How-to-Guide.  Do this before creating the assignment.  For more information about groups and Hypothesis, check out the Canvas How-to-Guide - Creating Hypothesis Assignments in Canvas. Also from. Hypothesis Support - Using Canvas Groups to Create Hypothesis Reading Groups explains Canvas Groups in Hypothesis.

Grading Student Annotations in Canvas

Hypothesis assignments are graded in SpeedGrader. The How-to-Guide, Grading an Assignment with SpeedGrader, is a good place to start. For specifics of grading a Hypothesis assignment in SpeedGrader, see the Hypothesis Support article - Grading Student Annotations in Canvas.  To view one student's annotations at a glance, do so in SpeedGrader.

Introducing Students to Hypothesis

Hypothesis has the following document available:  Introduction to Hypothesis LMS App for Students.

UC Santa Cruz has developed an excellent Hypothesis Student Guide.


For further assistance, UO Online & Canvas Support is available.

  • In-person: Room 68 PLC
  • By phone: (541) 346-1942
  • By email: uoonline@uoregon.edu
  • Chat with us at livehelp.uoregon.edu
  • Submit a Service Portal Ticket by clicking the Help button at the bottom of the Global Navigation Menu in Canvas.