Here's how it works:
- Open a forum discussion thread
- Select "my annotations" from the pull-down menu at the top right
- Highlight text in a forum post then press the keyboard "enter" button (or mouse over to the right until you see a vertical yellow line and click)
- A small dash will appear in the margin
- Type your annotation
- By default your annotations are public. You can make them private by clicking on the small o icon to the right of your text.
You can view your annotations or all public annotations by clicking the summary link beside the annotations pull-down menu. For example, here is a page displaying all of the public annotations made so far in this seminar.
Beside the annotation pull-down menu there is a little blue ? icon which gives step-by-step instructions for using the annotation tool.
Please post your questions and comments about this tool! We're always looking for feedback.
(Edited by Sue Wolff - original submission Monday, 3 November 2008, 09:52 PM)
I'm one of the people who are behind the tool, Marginalia. If you have any question, I'm your help button. The tool has been integrated into SCoPE for at least two years. We've been improving it on an on-going basis. As Sylvia mentioned, we are always looking for feedback.
Is the purpose to identify a word so that you can search on that word as it appears in annotations? Or is it to identify a set of tags that can be used when making annotations. (I'm not explaining this very well! )
Tags are a set of keywords you can pre-define and then later when you annotate, you can assign those tags to a highlighted text. It is useful when you have a set of notes/keywords you want to use/assign repeatedly.
When you click on the Tags button on the forum display page, it takes you to a page that all existing tags are shown. On this page you can also create new tags simply by entering your tags one at a time in the white box at the bottom of the Tag column. Description for a tag is optional.
We actually create some screencasts to show how Marginalia works. I will create a new message to explain it.
I highlighted some text, though did not see the notation in the margin. now I just have lighlighted text that I cannot seem to undo.
Tell me, Sylvia, how do you envision this tool being used to help manage multimembership, as opposed to being now just one more place to look and follow?
I see the use of the annotation tool here as a possible way to manage our conversation about multimembership (or any other topic). Often we pull out highlights, themes, categories, etc into a wiki during our seminars. I wonder if Marginalia can help us with this knowledge management (not my favourite label) task?
But on a different level, is it interesting to see the notes participants take while reading? It's like borrowing a book from someone you admire and having access to their personal notes in the margins. :-)
Maybe it's like the best of both worlds, individual reflection and group knowledge building.
To be able to make a highlight or an annotation on a forum message, one has to do two things -
1. log in SCoPE using your account. Guest accounts only have view privilege but no edit right.
2. select "My annotation" on the annotation drop-down list located at the upper right of the window.
On the drop-down list you will see other options too. If you see someone's name showed up, it means that person has made some annotation(s). Select the name will show you her annotation(s). You can also select "All annotations" which shows all the public annotations from everyone at the same time.
You are able to delete an annotation or a highlight by clicking on its associated x control button that show on the margin. It is right next to the public/private control button o.
To edit an annotation, you simply click on the annotation itself and then you will be able to change the text.
Hope this is clear.
We are, however, in the process of working to support IE 7.
These screencasts were created some time ago and certain things have changes since then, but the main look and feel and functions remain the same.
- - This screencast shows the annotation margin in action. It explains how to view, create and edit annotations.
- - This shows how to use the summary page to search for and filter annotations, including those created by other users.
- - This explains the tagging feature, which provides a shortcut for creating often-used margin notes.
- - The Smartcopy feature can be switched on and used to automatically insert context information when you copy and paste text from a discussion forum post.
I am more than willing to try a new tool. I am even an enthusiastic user and sampler of new tools. However, even I am starting to develop tool fatigue.
Is Marginalia significantly different from diigo?
- Marginalia is designed mainly for reading and annotating forum discussions. Diigo is pretty feature rich -- lots going on there!
- Marginalia is more tightly integrated with the forum tool. (I'm not sure if a group of participants could annotate, share, and search by forum as easily in Diigo)
- Marginalia doesn't rely on special browser plugins (toolbar), so you can use it from any computer
Your list about Marginalia is pretty accurate. Like you, I haven't tried Diigo. I'll check it out and see how it compares with Marginalia.
Marginalia is helping me with the reflective aspect of my multimembership and also my facilitating role because tagging themes helps me focus and make sense of the conversation rather than the more casual lurking I sometimes do.
Using application specific filtering tools (the Comments feature in Word is another example) also helps me stay organized.