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Task 2.1.1 – Mark and annotate digital documents


Description of Task 2.1.1 – Highlight and annotate digital documents

Highlighting and annotating digital documents reinforces the natural process of learning by allowing students to identify the most relevant elements of information and to understand them better thus memorizing them more easily. Annotating documents also greatly facilitates their analysis. (Cégep à distance and REPTIC / IT REP, 2015).

This task invites students to highlight and annotate the digital documents they saved as if they were paper documents. For example, they identify the main and secondary ideas and key concepts.

Supplemental Information

The purpose of this task is to transfer onto a digital format the advantages of paper and the annotation and highlighting techniques associated with it. Students carry out simple annotation and highlighting operations: highlight, underline or circle important parts of texts, link elements together with a line, comment or markup in the margin, add references, etc.

Even though this task refers to technical operations for highlighting and annotating, the challenge is to carry out this task in a strategic and efficient way, but also digitally. The objective is to identify the elements of information believed to be relevant. The task therefore relies on an intellectual approach. Also, codes (shapes and colours for example) that are used must be coherent and relevant.

Requirements – suggestions

The teacher may require that students provide a sample of their highlighted and annotated documents.

Students can explain the logic behind their method of highlighting and annotating.

The elements of information identified by the students are relevant. The highlights and annotations demonstrate that there is a good understanding of the components of the information processed according to the objective of the work to be carried out.

Potential Tools

This task can be carried out:

  • using PDF document annotation tools (such as Adobe Reader or PDF Xchange Viewer or tools available on tablets, such as Notablility and GoodReader);
  • using revision and commenting tools integrated in office software such as word processors (Word, Google Docs, Pages or Writer) or in presentation software (PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote or Impress).

In Practice

Here are some examples of concrete applications for this task:

  • In literature, highlight different elements from a text such as the structure, the primary and secondary ideas, the vocabulary, etc. Highlight and annotate the text being studied;
  • In special education, from a discipline-specific digital document: identify the characteristics of the functions of the work to be carried out and its conditions using current laws, regulations, standards and codes. Highlight and annotate the texts being studied.

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