Interactive Documents lets you upload a document and add practice questions or comments to it. Practice questions help you and students gauge their comprehension of the articles contents. Furthermore, questions and comments can help guide students to the most important arguments in the document, or jump start online discussions about its contents so that students are better prepared for class. 

When you create an Interactive Document, you see the following screen.

Set up 

The title, in the example: Interactive Document, can be changed from within the LMS (Blackboard, Brightspace, Canvas). You can also fill out a different title here, but in this case the old name will show in your course-overview. 

To upload a document, drag and drop your desired document, or click choose document to search for it on your computer. If your desired document can be found online, copy and paste the link in the paste link field.

note: you can only paste links that are openly accessible. If you need to log in to see the document (such as articles hosted on jstor or other password-protected repositories) our system will not be able to extract the document from that site. In such cases you will first need to download the article from the protected website, and upload it using drag and drop or choose document.

After you upload the document, you will see a preview of the first page. Click Preview to view the entire document. This can be useful if you need to check if you uploaded the correct article and the first page preview does not make this clear. 

You cannot add questions or comments in the preview, you must publish the document before you can do so.


Click settings to expand the settings field. Here you can enable the copyright protected material option. Enabling this option stops students from downloading the document. If you disable this option, students will see a download button, which lets them download the original document. 

Separate annotations per group
Let your students discuss the material in smaller groups! Or make the document accessible per class instead of publishing it to all students in the course.
First, you have to define the groups you want to use in the LMS. See this article on how to select the appropriate groups for your Interactive Document. 

When using groups, students only see the annotations of students within their group. As a teacher you can filter on annotations per group, or see all annotations of all students in the assignment. In the Overall Student Progress overview, you will see metrics per group.  

You can also enable the option that lets students post practice questions (disabled by default). Having students ask and answer their own and their peers' questions can be a valuable learning experience, but it is not always desired. 

Finally, you disable the option that lets students add comments to the document (enabled by default). Comments can stimulate interactivity with the study material, but this is not always desired.

Add Instructions

Click the blue + button to add instructions to the assignment. Since the intention of the assignment is often self-evident, there are no instructions by default.

 If you add an instruction module, scroll back up to write your instructions (see screenshot below for an example).

When you have uploaded a document, given it a title, specified your setting and have written your (optional) instructions, click publish in the top-right corner of the screen. Click change file if you wish to replace the document with a different one.

After you publish the document, you can click the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen to edit the assignment (change the file, edit the instructions, enable/disable students downloading the document, adding practice questions and/or comments). Here you can also download the original document, without comments/practice questions. 

Adding Practice Questions and Comments

When you have published your document, click Start Reading to open it and add practice questions and/or comments.

Make an annotation in the text to link a practice question or comment to this specific part. If you want to add an overall question or comment you use the '+= button in the lower right corner. 

Practice questions are inline practice moments for students and can be added by the teacher as well as by students when enabled. Comments can be questions or discussion points and can be added by the teacher as well as by students when enabled. Add comments if you want inline discussions in the document: students are able to respond on each others comments. Click here for how to add a comment or practice question. 

You have now finished setting up your Interactive Document. 

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