Below are resources for your students and answers to some of the Perusall questions they are most likely to ask. We also highly recommend that you direct them to Perusall's Student Support Portal.
Feel free to copy and paste any of this content into your course information!
Allison S. Walker provides the following instructions for students regarding how Perusall works in her article "Perusall: Harnessing AI Robo-Tools and Writing Analytics to Improve Student Learning and Increase Instructor Efficiency." You may wish to use or adapt them for your class.
How Perusall Works
“Perusall helps you master readings faster, understand the material better, and get more out of your classes. To achieve this goal, you will be collaboratively annotating texts with others in your class. The help you’ll get and provide your classmates (even if you don’t know anyone personally) will get you past confusions quickly and will make the process more fun. While you read, you’ll receive rapid answers to your questions, help others resolve their questions (which also helps you learn), and advise the instructor how to make class time most productive. You can start a new annotation thread in Perusall by highlighting text, asking a question, or posting a comment; you can also add a reply or comment to an existing thread. Each thread is like a chat with one or more members of your class, and it happens in real time. Your goals in annotating each reading assignment are to stimulate discussion by posting good questions or comments and to help others by answering their questions.
Research shows that by annotating thoughtfully, you’ll learn more and get better grades, so here’s what “annotating thoughtfully” means: Effective annotations deeply engage points in the readings, stimulate discussion, offer informative questions or comments, and help others by addressing their questions or confusions. To help you connect with classmates, you can “mention” a classmate in a comment or question to have them notified by email (they’ll also see a notification immediately if online), and you’ll also be notified when your classmates respond to your questions.
For each assignment, Perusall will evaluate the annotations you submit on time. Based on the overall body of your annotations, you will receive a score for each assignment as follows:
When Perusall looks at your annotations, they want them to reflect the effort you put in your study of the text. It is unlikely that that effort will be reflected by just a few thoughtful annotations per assignment. On the other extreme, 30 per assignment is probably too many, unless a number of them are superficial or short comments or questions (which is fine, because it is OK to engage in chat with your peers). Somewhere in between these two extremes is about right, and thoughtful questions or comments that stimulate discussion or thoughtful and helpful answers to other students’ questions will earn you a higher score for the assignment. Note, also, that to lay the foundation for understanding other class activities and assignments, you must familiarize yourself with each reading in its entirety. Failing to annotate the entire reading will result in a lower score." (237-238)
Walker, Allison S. "Perusall: Harnessing AI Robo-Tools and Writing Analytics to Improve Student Learning and Increase Instructor Efficiency." Journal of Writing Analytics, vol. 3, 2019, 237-238. doi:10.37514/JWA-J.2019.3.1.11.
At 0:26 this video mentions that students may access a textbook in Perusall via purchasing it directly from Perusall or entering an access code purchased from the college bookstore. As stated at the top of the "Getting Started" tab, GHC has disabled the option to use purchased textbooks in Perusall. However, GHC faculty may still use open-source textbooks in Perusall.
When your instructor gives you a Perusall assignment, you must access the assignment through D2L for grades to synch correctly. You may get email notifications from Perusall about assignments that are due. The links in these emails will not take you to your class or assignment. You must access your assignment via D2L.