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Taking Notes

As you are reading, you can take notes to emphasize important points to your students. When you add a note, it appears to students along with their own notes for easy access. These notes can be used to provide context, add further content or links to further content, or clarify the topic. You can highlight a particular passage of text and add a note to it, or create a note that applies to the entire page.

You can create highlights or notes in four different colors, which you can use to categorize your notes. Tags are another tool for categorizing notes. Students can filter notes by the tags you add. For example, if you add a quiz tag to indicate that certain content may be on the quiz, students can filter the notes based on the quiz tag and focus their studying on that content.

Students have all the same tools to take notes in the text that you have. In addition, students can:

  • Post a note as a question to you.
  • Choose to hide their notes from you. If a student hides their notes, you can still see the text of notes that they post as questions. You can also still receive a count of the student's notes in the course analytics.
  • Choose to share notes with other classmates.

You can view notes on a passage while reading by clicking the highlight. You can view all notes by choosing View all notes from the page options menu to open the Notes Summary view. From the Notes Summary view, you can filter the list of notes to include those that:

  • Exist on a particular page in the material
  • Were written by you or other instructors
  • Are questions, answered or unanswered
  • Have specific tags
  • Were written by particular students

You can print or export your notes, for example, to create a printed study guide. The filter you apply to the notes you are viewing also determines which notes you print or export.

Taking Notes on Text

Use these steps to add highlights and take notes on a passage in the text:

  1. Go to the page in the materials where you want to take notes.
  2. Click and drag your mouse to highlight the text that you want to take notes about. 
    To create only a highlight with no note, stop here. Highlights without notes appear on the text, but do not appear on the Notes Summary view. To add a note to the highlight, continue to the next step.
  3. (Optional) Click the highlight.
    A window appears where you can choose to do any of the following:
    • Change the color label.
    • Type a note in the text field.
    • Enter tags separated by commas to categorize the note. Students can filter your notes based on the tags.
  4. Click the X in the upper right-hand corner to close the note window.

Taking Notes on a Page

Using page notes is the easiest way for you to transfer notes from your printed textbook because you do not have to navigate to each page individually in Engage. Page notes are also helpful to students using assistive technology.

Use these steps to take notes that apply to an entire page (as opposed to notes that are specific to a particular passage in the text).  Page notes do not appear in the reading context but only show on the Notes Summary view.

  1. Open the material where you want to add a page note.
  2. Click the page options button that appears in the top-right corner of the page.
  3. Click View all notes.
    The Notes Summary view appears.
  4. Click the +Add Note button.
    The Add Note window appears.
  5. Type the page of the note in the Page Number field. Page numbers in Engage match the printed textbook exactly.
  6. Type your note in the Note field.
  7. (Optional) Enter cited material from the textbook page. Doing so will include the cited material in the note, but will not highlight the text on the page. Leave the Add cited material section empty for notes that apply to the whole page.
  8. (Optional) Enter tags separated by commas to categorize the note. Students can filter your notes based on the tags.
  9. (Optional) Choose the color.
  10. Click Add Note.

Printing or Exporting Notes

After you have used the filter tools to determine which notes you want to see, click the Print button to send the list of notes to the printer. Click the Export button to export the notes in a CSV file, which can be opened in Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet program. 

Markup Quick Reference - Types, Access, and Copying

Engage provides multiple ways to mark up content. This quick reference guide provides the following information for each type of markup:

  • Definition and how to create the markup type
    • Who can view the markup type
    • Whether the markup type is copied when you use the Copy Materials option

The following types of markup are available in Engage:

  • Highlights: A highlight is a way to make specific text prominent on a page. You create a highlight by clicking and dragging the mouse over text.
    • Instructor highlights are viewable by students.
    • Instructor highlights copy when using Copy Materials.
  • Notes: A note is text associated with a highlight. You create a note by clicking a highlight and typing the note in the box.
    • Instructor notes are viewable by students.
    • Instructor notes copy when using Copy Materials.
  • Page Notes: A page note is text associated with a page. It is meant for users with accessibility needs. You create a page note by clicking the +Add Note button on the Notes summary view and completing the window.
    • Instructor page notes are viewable by students on the Notes summary view only.
    • Instructor page notes copy when using Copy Materials.
  • Bookmarks: A bookmark is a quick way to access frequently visited pages. You create a bookmark by clicking the bookmark icon on a page. You can access your bookmarks by selecting the table of contents for a course material.
    • Instructor bookmarks are NOT viewable by students.  Bookmarks are only viewable by the user that created them.
    • Instructor bookmarks do NOT copy when using Copy Materials.
  • Questions: A question is a note that a student has designated as a question. Students create questions by selecting the Post as a question option when editing a note. Instructors can see notes in the Notes summary view.
    • Student questions are viewable by instructors on the Notes summary view only. Questions are visible to other students depending on the Sharing Settings of the student who posted the question.
    • Student questions do NOT copy when using Copy Materials.
  • Responses: A response is an instructor's answer to a Question. Instructors create responses on the Notes summary view.
    • Instructor responses are viewable by all students who can view the original question.
    • Instructor responses do NOT copy when using Copy Materials.

Questions and Answers in Engage

Students can post questions as they create notes in the course material. This section explains how to use view and answer student questions. Note: Your students can pose questions but they cannot answer them.

Answering Student Questions in Course Materials

You can respond to questions directly in the course material. Questions are identified by a yellow Q icon to the right of highlighted passages  Clicking the highlight displays the student question and a text box for your answer. After replying, the yellow Q icon becomes a checkmark . This signals to both you and the student that the question has been answered.

Use the following steps to answer student questions directly in the course material: 

  1. Open the course material in which you want to answer questions.
  2. Click the More button 
  3. Make sure that Student questions toggle is set to ON
  4. Navigate to a page with a question. Questions are identified by a yellow Q icon next to highlighted passages .
  5. Click the highlighted passage. A window appears with the text of the question and a text box for a reply.
  6. Type your response in the text box.
  7. Click Reply. 
  8. The yellow Q icon is replaced with a checkmark  to indicate that you answered the question. 

Your response appears in the Notes Summary view and directly in the text.