14 Annotation Jam Session (OER22 Workshop)

Note: These materials were created for a workshop at the April 26-28 OER Conference but are openly available for use by anyone. The activities make use of the web annotation available in this page.

An Annotation Jam Session: Adding Meaning, Examples, Discussion to the UNESCO Recommendation on OER

Workshop by Alan Levine, Open Education Global, Apr 28, 2022

The Magic Picnic – Behind the Scenes flickr photo by BRICK 101 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license remixed by Alan Levine with screenshot of OER Recommendaion and relevant logos
Workshop Description

Years in the making, the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER) justifies at a global scale the value and rationale for OER. The five action areas included in the Recommendation comprise a high level map for nations, governments, and institutions to follow towards implementation of the promise of open education.

While often referenced as a whole, the language of the Recommendation, because of the global scope, is very generalized and perhaps somewhat removed from every day practice. Can annotation help break down and clarify by the meaning and intent but also open critical perspectives?

The theme of September Open Education Global online conference was framed around the Recommendation as will be the 2022 in-person congress in Nantes, France. To create more understanding and create a series of bridging activities between these events, OEGlobal established a version of the Recommendation published in Pressbooks where the five language versions were set up to be automatically enabled for web annotation in with Hypothes.is. A series of asynchronous focus events were established to draw attention to he text of the five action areas.

The promise here is to attach examples, references, questions to the specific words of the Recommendation, all in the scope of both making it more concrete and understandable but also to organize regional differences and implementation challenges.

Annotation of many forms is an everyday act and a familiar one for educators and researchers (See Annotation by Kalir and Garcia, 2021). Web annotation is a readily approachable form of open pedagogy (Brown and Croft, 2020) for courses, but how does it fare as an open community practice?

The response so far for our call to annotate the Recommendation on OER has been relatively light. In this workshop style session, we question the value, purpose, potential of this annotation effort and itself as an academic practice. During the pandemic, web annotation seemed an ideal collaborative activity that did not require synchronous video sessions. But because web annotation is inherently a social process, this workshop is designed not as a led teaching session, but more like musician “jam” session, where participants can annotate individually or talk about their thinking together. Every presentation at OER22 ought to have a place to be attached to the UNESCO OER Recommendation.

The workshop will suggest a focus (but not limited to) on Action Area (iii) “Encouraging effective, inclusive and equitable access to quality OER.” We will explore what examples and practice support the specifics within the Recommendation, question what might be missing, or provide input on how implementation of this action area might include.

The UNESCO Recommendation on OER

Opening of the document, including -- 3 Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER)Preamble The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), meeting in Paris from 12 to 27 November 2019, at its 40th session...
The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources


Action Area (ii): Developing Supportive Policy

Broad general language. Any questions?

Action Area 2: Supportive policy with box around the descriptive text
UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources : Action Area (ii) Developing Supportive Policy


Attach examples, resources, commentary to expand on meaning of specific words


A different version of the text for action area (ii) but several words, prhases are covered in yellow highlights, with arrow from one -- policy environments -- to a note with examples and references
The same portion of this action area, but now with notes anchored to specific parts of the text. See it in action.


Hardly a brand new innovation

Marginalia flickr photo by Cat Sidh shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

About Annotation

For the researcher, Hypothesis organizes, for say one random person :

Enough Talk, Let’s Annotate

This page is enabled for annotation!

Annotate 1-2-3

  • How do you know? Look in the upper right corner  a gray button with a < symbol.
  • If you have a Hypothes.is account, log in. If not you can create one here.
  • Click the yellow text to add a reply to an existing annotation OR slect new text, then click Annotate.
  • Try it now.

Hello OER22 participants! Are you ready to annotate? Maybe try replying and introducing yourself, see how it works as a conversational layer.

What are your experiences with annotation (outside of the digital space)? In their book Annotation, Kalir and Garcia offer examples of every day acts such as charting a child’s growth on a doorway, adding notes to a family recipe card, even creating meme images, that all are acts of annotation. Can you think of your own everyday activities that might be considered annotation? Where do you see it in the world around you?

If you have experience using Hypothes.is, please share a bit how you might use it in your teaching, for research, or any other useful means.

Annotating the OER Recommendation at OE Global

From 2021-2022

Three Days of Focus (and Annotating) the Building Capacity Action Area, Nov 30-Dec 2, 2021



CROWDLAAERS provides a means to visually explore annotation activity. This special project view covers the different language versions of the OER Recommendation.


Let’s Jam!

Can you help add context, meaning, examples to this document with web annotation?


Remix of famous WWII propaganda poster with We Can Do It! at the top, woman in overalls and bandana, arm bent to show muscle, and more text- Let's Annotate the OER Recommendation Together
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Image remixed by Alan Levine, licensed under CC0

Annotate Now!

Annotating an Action Area in 5 minutes

Focus on (and Annotating of) the Inclusive & Equitable OER Action Area – Loom Video.

Comments? Feedback?

Use your annotation super powers…

I have been trying everything I know to get more involvement with this effort. Please help me understand what it might take to get more people involved.

a cartoon pengion

Does it make sense?  Is it too difficult? Can it add value to this document? What kinds of annotation here would be useful to the open education community? What would be useful to you? Does this inspire ideas for any ways you might use web annotation? What would a penguin have to say about this?

Thank you OER22!



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Annotating the UNESCO Recommendation on OER Copyright © 2021 by UNESCO is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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