Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
“Brandeis

Discourse & Social Learning

Overview

Perusall is a service for instructors to post their course readings, textbooks, and PDFs online. Students access the course material and can annotate the readings, post comments, and ask questions publically shared with the entire class.  Completing readings can become graded assignments and the entire class (or multiple sections of a course) can work together to understand the material. Now, Perusall can automatically connect with LATTE for a seamless learning experience, without having students create an additional log-in.

Perusall Assignment Ideas

Perusall's annotation and commenting features allow for a wide range of activities:   

  • Ask students to provide a real-life example from a theoretical reading 
    • Link a Youtube video, article, or picture 
  • Use the hashtag (#) linking function to identify course themes in a reading 
  • Ask and answer questions about the reading  
    • Students can star or +1 questions they want to see answered in the next class 
  • Each student summarizes a page of the reading in a comment 
  • Students respond to the author, providing their own insight and research about the topic  
  • Identify the thesis or main ideas of the reading and provide commentary 
  • Populate a reading with "sign-posts" that help guide students through a text 

Have additional examples of suggestions to add to this guide? Email the Library to have them included! 

Add Perusall to LATTE

 

  1. Navigate to the course where you would like to add a Perusall assignment and turn editing on
  2. Scroll down to the topic, and click "Add an activity or resource"
  3. Select "Perusall" from the Activity Chooser menu 
    Activity Choose with Perusall starred
  4. Type in the Activity name (The name must match the assignment name you create in Perusall in order for it to sync correctly!)
  5. Click "Show more" to reveal additional setting options 
    Perusall Show More button
  6. Scroll down to the "Launce Container" setting and use the drop-down menu to select "New window" 
    Drop Down Menu with New Window highlighted
  7. Add any specific instructions to the Activity description or make any other changes you'd like to the settings 
  8. Click "save and return to course"  

Please continue the instructions in the next tab Step 2: Create the Perusall Assignment to finish creating the Persuall activity. 

  1. Once you have created the Persuall link in your LATTE course page (following the Step 1 instructions on the previous tab), the course instructor must click on the assignment link to automatically create a Perusall course
    Note: Perusall creates the course based on the credentials of the person clicking the assignment link, which is why it is important for the course instructor (and not a TA) to complete the setup
  2. The Perusall website will automatically launch in a new tab for the instructor to create the Perusall assignment
  3. If this is your first time using Perusall, an account will automatically be created for you with your Brandeis e-mail address and you will need to accept the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy by clicking "OK" 
  4. A Perusall course will be created automatically with the name of your course sent over from LATTE
  5.  Click the "Library" tab at the top of the page, and use "Add content" button to upload the course material
    Library tab
    • Webpage URL 
    • Document (PDF, Epub, Word, Image) 
      • Computer 
      • Dropbox 
    • Video 
      • YouTube 
      • Vimeo 
      • Dropbox 
    • Podcast 
    • Book from the Perusall catalog (usually required purchase) 
  6. Once the course material is loaded (the file may take a few moments to load depending on the size), you can assign the reading by clicking on the Assignments tab or by clicking the "Assign" button in the Documents pane
    Assign button for a document
  7. The "Add assignment" page will load where you can create the assignment parameters
                Content
    • Select the pages of the PDF you would like your students to read: you can assign a specific portion of the document  OR you can select "Assign entire document" and click "Next step"
      Assign all content
      Options
    • Set a due date for the assignment by selecting a date in the calendar and the time
    • Type in the Assignment name
      Note: The name must match the activity name you created in LATTE in order for it to sync correctly!
    • Provide annotation instructions for students on how to complete the assignment and click "Next step"
      Perusall Assignment name and Instructions for Students
      Scoring
    • Click the button "Specify custom scoring settings for this assignment" to reveal scoring settings 
    • Specify the number of annotations students need to make  
    • Optional: Use the sliders to change any automatic grading components or leave the defaults   
      Perusal scoring options
  8. Click "Save changes" to create the assignment and the page will reload
  9. The Assignments pane will now show the assignment you created     
  10. Return to your LATTE page, and the assignment should successfully open to the linked Perusall Assignment 

Congratulations! The Perusall assignment has been created within your LATTE course! 

Student Access to Perusall

Once a Perusall link has been created within your LATTE course, ask students to click on the assignment link. An account will automatically be created for them the first time they open Perusall. The assigned reading will appear, and students can highlight, comment, ask questions, or even add an emoji reaction! 

If you have created groups, students will be randomly assigned to them. If you prefer to manually assign to students to groups, you must do so within the Perusall course page. Access the Course Setting and select the Group Options tab. You can manually assign students into a group by placing the group number next to the student's name.

Already Have an Account?

If you have already created a Perusall account outside your LATTE course, these directions will not work for you. You will receive an error message saying you already have an account. Email the Library for help setting up your course with Perusall using the older method. 

Commenting in Persuall

  • To add a comment, highlight text in the document. You'll see a new conversation window appear on the right where you can enter your comment. Then press enter/return to save the comment; it will be immediately visible
    Highlight text to add a comment
  • To edit a comment, click on the comment to edit it. Change the text of your comment as needed, and then press Enter to save your changes
  • To add a link, video, image, or emoji, use the buttons at the top of the comment window
  • To delete a comment, click the trash can icon beneath the comment bubble. To avoid disrupting the flow of an ongoing conversations, you can only delete or edit a comment until someone has responded to it
    Delete Comment

Guidelines/Pro-tips

  • Add expectations to the syllabus on the purpose of annotations 
  • Have students do a sample annotation in real-time before the first assigment, such as commenting on the syllabus 
  • Encourage engagement by posting images or videos that extend the text in interesting ways
  • Star interesting comments to share at the start of the next class 
  • Use student questions as a starting point for your next lecture  

External Resources