The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper

Degree Name

Information Media - Information Technologies: M.S.


Information Media


School of Education

First Advisor

Yun Claire Park

Second Advisor

Plamen Miltenoff

Third Advisor

Tim Fountaine

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

social annotation, online writing instruction, community of inquiry


Social annotation (SA) is a genre of web-based applications that allow users to annotate texts and to see and respond to annotations others have written. To explore the potential of SA for teaching writing online, findings from twelve empirical studies of SA in education were analyzed through the lens of the Community of Inquiry framework. Results indicate that SA can contribute to cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence in online writing instruction. SA supports collaborative understanding and unpacking of texts. Students can identify and discuss main ideas, claims, rhetorical moves, evidence, etc. They can ask and answer questions. The demands of articulating their views and comparing them to those of others cause students to become aware of their thought processes, a metacognitive development. Pedagogical strategies such as highlighting important concepts and seeding expert annotations can focus attention and scaffold learning. SA can promote the development of community as students collaborate and encourage one another. Teachers can plan and monitor SA activities aligned with learning outcomes. The findings provide insights to guide incorporation of SA in online writing instruction.



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