Collaborative Annotation Tools

Collaborative annotation (or social annotation) tools are available to support community learning and collaboration on digital content.  These tools make it possible for multiple collaborators to comment or annotate in the same document and share those annotations.  The University of Toronto has three collaborative annotation solutions available to faculty, students, and staff:  Microsoft 365, Leganto, and Hypothesis. 

Below are some examples of how the collaborative annotation tool could be used for your teaching and learning goals.  For more ideas, see 10 Ways to Annotate with Students from the blog. 

Pedagogical applications:

Microsoft Office 365



create and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, or presentationscheckmarkicon of Xicon of X
collaborate on a course wiki


icon of Xicon of X
review and share feedback on work uploaded by a student


icon of X


ask and respond to questions in a course reading




save and download study notescheckmarkicon of Xicon of X
add links to related contentcheckmarkicon of Xcheckmark
allow seamless collaborative annotation of PDFs in your Library Reading Listicon of Xcheckmarkicon of X
easily access copyrighted material from the libraryicon of Xcheckmarkicon of X
assess student understanding and engagement with a critical readingcheckmarkcheckmarkcheckmark
encourage active reading of digital contentcheckmarkcheckmarkcheckmark
review and share comments for group workcheckmarkcheckmarkcheckmark
support comprehension of academic literature checkmarkcheckmarkcheckmark
review and suggest edits to open textbookscheckmarkcheckmarkcheckmark
engage in discussion-like feedback for an assigned readingcheckmarkcheckmarkcheckmark
share feedback or corrections on computer source code documents icon of Xicon of Xcheckmark
extract reports or data analytics on student activity (to identify engagement patterns, for example)icon of Xicon of Xcheckmark
endorse or boost community annotations (through highlighted annotations, tags, or shortcuts to specific annotations)icon of Xicon of Xcheckmark
categorize comments and/or sections of a document through use of hashtags in annotationsicon of Xicon of Xcheckmark
collaborative navigation of a webpage icon of Xicon of Xcheckmark

July 2023 – Collaborative Annotation Tools update:

Following the University’s open tendering process, we are pleased to let instructors know that we now support three solutions in this category of teaching tools – MS365, Leganto Reading List app, and Hypothesis. For more information on the selection process, please visit the ARC major projects update Wiki.

Back to Top