“Something fruitful for all of us”: Social annotation as a signature pedagogy for literature education

Jeffrey Clapp*, Matthew DeCoursey, Sze Wah Sarah Lee, Kris Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


New social annotation practices have the potential to become a “signature pedagogy” for educators in literary studies, because social annotation encapsulates both the expected learning outcomes and the underlying value commitments of literature education. We give an account of a project conducted by colleagues at the Education University of Hong Kong, during which colleagues explored social annotation technologies in literary studies courses. After implementing social annotation in our courses, instructors held roundtable discussions, collected surveys and conducted focus group interviews. Basing our interpretation of these data on Louise Rosenblatt’s transactional theory of reading and writing, we propose that social annotation can help students engage with literary texts more effectively by showing them how to move toward an aesthetic mode of reading. Students participating in social annotation, moreover, understood its application to literary studies in ways that directly reproduced Rosenblatt’s account of literary interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-319
Number of pages25
JournalArts and Humanities in Higher Education
Issue number3
Early online date29 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

User-Defined Keywords

  • aesthetic stance
  • blended learning
  • literary studies
  • literature education
  • Louise Rosenblatt
  • open annotation
  • signature pedagogy
  • Social annotation
  • transactional theory


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