COMD3504 - Section OL69 - Spring 2022

Category: Help & Resources

Posting and Commenting

Please submit your coursework by creating a post and following the guidelines below. Provide feedback by adding a constructive comment on another student’s posts, following the guidelines below. Your work and your classmates’ work can be found in the Student Posts section of this site.

Creating a Post

  1. In the Dashboard, click on the tab Posts > Add New to create a new post.
  2. Add a title in the title box at the top. Each of the Assignment instructions will provide a suggested title, category, and tags.
  3. Add the suggested Category and Tags from the existing list. Example: Category = Reading Responses, Tag = Reading Response #1, Tag = Your Name
  4. To add a link, see Add a Link below.
  5. All linked or embedded media MUST contain a caption indicating the original creator. See Add Media below.
  6. All sources should be attributed using the “Add Attribution” tool. See Add Attribution below.
  7. Click “Save Draft” to publish later or click “Publish” to publish immediately.
  8. For more information, visit OpenLab Help> Writing a Post
  1. You can add a link to your post by selecting a word or words and clicking the link icon in the toolbar.
  2. Enter or paste the URL address into the link box and press return.
  3. For more information, visit OpenLab Help> Adding a link to a post

Adding Media to a Post

  1. To add images or other media to a post, click the + Add Block button and search for the media type: Image, Image Gallery, Slider, YouTube, Vimeo, File, Google Drive, etc.
  2. You can select files saved to your computer by clicking Upload. Then, click Select Files.  You can also select images or other files from your media library by clicking the Media Library tab or Insert from URL.
  3. You can make adjustments to the media file by selecting the media block and using the settings on the right-hand side of the screen (toggle the gear icon).  Here you can you can adjust the Style, Size, Dimensions, and Alt Text to an image.
  4. You can also make adjustments using the tool bar. Here you can change the Alignment, Link, Crop, Add Text, or Duo tone of an image.
  5. Remember to add a caption or link underneath the media and a credit, if the media is not yours.
  6. For more information, visit OpenLab Help> Adding image and other media
  7. To add an image gallery, visit OpenLab Help > Adding an image gallery

Adding Attribution to a Post

All sources referenced in a post should be attributed to the original author using the Attribution Tool.

  1. Insert your cursor at the end of a sentance or phrase that needs attribution.
  2. Click the “Add Attribution” icon in the tool bar. Find it next to the link icon.
  3. Fill in the required information in the dialog box. Your attributions will be listed at the bottom of the page after publishing your post.
  4. For more information, visit OpenLab Help > Add Attributions

Adding a Comment

  1. Make sure you are logged into OpenLab and click on the link found below or above a post. Sometimes it’s called “Comment”, “Reply”, or similar.
  2. For more information, visit OpenLab Help> Commenting on a Site

Commenting Tips

  1. When critiquing your classmate’s work, your job is to help them to improve and to achieve the assignment goals.
  2. Review the assignment guidelines before commenting.
  3. Start by sharing what your feel is successful (positive feedback) and what is unsuccessful (constructive feedback) about the work presented.
  4. Comments such as “I like it.” or “Needs improvement” are not helpful unless they are expanded to clarify WHY you like it or WHAT needs improvement.

Approving Comments

  1. When someone comments on your post, you or your professor may need to approve the comment before it is visible to others.
  2. OpenLab will notify you via email when someone comments on your post. You can simply click on the link to approve the comment in your Dashboard.

Using Hypothesis

Get Started!

  1. Visit the Get Started page to create a Hypothesis account.
  2. Next, install the Hypothesis Chrome Extension.
  3. If you’re using a different browser simply drag the bookmarklet button from the Get Started page into your bookmarks bar. Note: you need to make sure your bookmarks bar is visible first.

Join our Hypothesis group

  1. Log into your Hypothesis account.
  2. Next click the Hypothesis Group Invite link provided to join the group.
  3. When you are using Hypothesis for this class, be sure to choose our group from the dropdown. That way, all of our annotations are collected in one place.
Choose group

Learn about Annotation Types

Hypothesis gives you a few different tools to help you annotate a reading. As a general rule, your annotations should add something to what is already in the text. What you contribute will also help your classmates. Here are some suggestions for each type of tool.

The Annotation Tool

Use the annotation tool to select a word or phrase in the text and add notes, images, links to share with the class. When others come across the annotation they can also add an annotation or reply to yours. TIP: You can also use the annotation tool for your own research by choosing “Only Me” when posting.

  • Ask a question. Confused by a passage or word? Select it and pose a question to the class.
  • Define a word. Did you find an unfamiliar word or a word you don’t understand because of the context? Select it and add a definition plus a link to the source, preferably Websters or similar.
  • Add a reference. Is there a word or concept in the reading that you are unfamiliar with? Look it up and provide a link to a website, interview, or video. Or add an image.
  • Rewrite a sentence. Sometimes the way a writer communicates a concept can be confusioning or too wordy. Rewrite the sentence in your own words after defining unfamiliar words, when necessary.

The Highlight Tool

A highlight is similar to swiping a yellow marker over a passage of text. There are no comments or tags, like the annotation, but it’s anchored in the document and is quoted in the sidebar. A highlight is always private (“Only Me”), which means only you can see it, and only when you’re logged in.

  • Important concepts
  • Quotations
  • Statistics

Page Notes

A page note has similar functionality to an annotation, but it associates comments, images, links, and/or tags with the whole document, not an individual word or phrase. Like Annotations, you can make Page Notes private by choosing “Only Me” when posting.

  • Prompts / Questions. Your professor may use a page note to provide a list of prompts or questions for your reading response.
  • General Questions or Ideas. If you have a question or thought about the reading as a whole, you might leave it a page note for the class.
  • Associated Texts. If there are other texts that you think relate, you might add a page note with links to those texts.


A reply can be added to an annotation, highlight, page note, or a prior reply. Use the Reply icon to create a reply. Your reply can include text, links, images, and/or tags.

  • Ask or Answer a Question. A reply is a great way to communicate with your classmates and discuss the reading as you go along.
  • Responding to your own annoations. It’s also a good way of replying to your own highlights, annotations, and notes with additional thoughts as you learn more.

Start Annotating

  1. Make sure you are logged into your Hypothesis account.
  2. Navigate to a webpage to annotate.
  3. Activate the Chrome extension by pressing the greyed-out h. button on your Chrome extensions bar.
    • Alternatively, select the Hypothesis Bookmarklet from your Bookmarks bar if you are using another browser.
    • NOTE: You can toggle Hypothesis on and off by clicking on the extension or bookmarklet.
  4. Click on the little arrow on the upper right to extend the Hypothesis tools pop out and choose our group from the My Groups dropdown.
  5. Select a word or phrase on the page to bring up the Annotate or Highlight icons.
  6. You may also leave a Page Note by selecting the note icon from the Hypothesis tools popout.
  7. Learn About Annotation Types above before you start annotating your first reading.


  1. Review the QuickStart Guide for Students
  2. READ Annotation Tips for Students for annotation guidelines.
  3. READ Taxonomy of Annotation Types for guidence on which type of annoation tool to use.
  4. More helpful tips from Student Resource Guide

Annotating PDFs

In addition to annotating readings on a website, we can also annotate distributed PDFs that you’ve downloaded to your computer.

  • Refer to this Annotating PDFs Tutorial for instructions on how to set up the Chrome Extension to allow for PDF file annotations in the browser.

Course Resources

Faculty: Please edit this page to organize any additional course resources that you’d like to share with your students. Please delete this informational block when you are ready to share your site with your students. For help working with OpenLab Course sites, visit OpenLab Help.

Below please find links and support materials to help you succeed in this course and beyond. If you don’t find the resources you’re looking for, just ask!

Research Support

Design Archives & Collections

Essays & Theory Collections

The Communication Design Theory OER bibliography lists many of the readings and essays used in this course and more.

Diversity & Inclusion in Design

Designers You Should Know

Design History

Blogs, Interviews, Podcasts

Videos / Media