Social annotation: what are students’ perceptions and how does social annotation relate to grades?

Keywords: social annotation, collaborative annotation, college students, motivation, representational justice


Social annotation is a teaching and learning technique in which students post comments on electronic course materials in a shared space. The purpose of this study is to examine students’ perceptions of social annotation in the context of motivation and social justice. In addition, the connections between social annotation and course grades were examined. Students in a face-to-face course engaged in social annotation on their course textbook and completed a questionnaire on their perceptions (N = 41). Based on the findings, students had higher overall motivation for social annotation compared with quizzes. In contrast, comparisons of motivation between social annotation and individual notetaking were mixed depending on the motivational construct. Students reported average higher-than-average opportunities for representational justice with social annotation (i.e. opportunities to share experiences and speak from their identities). Regarding grades, multiple social annotation constructs were positively associated with course grades. However, only active reading time appeared to be uniquely predictive of course grades. These findings suggest that social annotations promote active reading, which may encourage better understanding of the course content. Importantly, these findings indicate that students are motivated to engage in social annotation.


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How to Cite
Clinton-Lisell V. (2023). Social annotation: what are students’ perceptions and how does social annotation relate to grades?. Research in Learning Technology, 31.
Original Research Articles