The Inquiry Project takes a unique approach to a study of matter for grades 3-5, bringing together core ideas, scientific practices, and crosscutting concepts...

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Assessment for learning, also called formative assessment, is central to The Inquiry Project and provides the means to identify and chart the development of students' scientific ideas as well as to identify obstacles they encounter in their learning.

Formative Assessment Cycle

Implementation workshops.

Onsite Implementation Workshops are grade-specific and designed for teachers new to the Inquiry Project curriculum. These workshops help teachers to become familiar with ...

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Inquiry project research.

The Inquiry Project research investigates students' developing concepts of material, weight, volume density, matter, and states of matter from ages 8-11.

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The Talk Science research investigates how teachers develop their capacity at leading productive science discussions to foster students’ scientific reasoning.

the Inquiry Project

The Inquiry Project establishes a foundation for developing students’ ideas about matter, a core idea in science. The project is founded on a learning progression for matter and material and brings together research, curriculum, assessment, and profession development.

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In Grade 5 Curriculum:

Annotated Drawings

Annotated drawing sample

Figure 1: Annotated drawing sample

Model for an Annotated Drawing Poster

Annotated drawings include a combination of notes and labeled drawings that provide an explanation about a scientific process. They are used in this curriculum to answer specific scientific questions. In contrast with an observational drawing , which represents all elements of an object or scene in great detail, an annotated drawing has a specific area of focus. Some elements of the drawing may be represented by the simplest of outlines and need no elaboration while other elements require carefully detailed drawing and explanations.

Annotated drawings are not considered finished products. They represent one's best explanation of a process at a point in time ; they are works in progress. They provide a way for communicating one's thinking or model of matter with others.

Figure 1 is an example of an initial annotated drawing by a 5th grade student. It was produced immediately after students explored a small system composed of two syringes connected by a plastic tube (See Investigation 13). The purpose of the exploration is to provide evidence that air is matter and takes up space.

The question the annotated drawing must address is, "When one plunger (of one syringe) is pushed, why does the other plunger (of the second syringe) move?" The annotated drawing in Figure 1 highlights the air inside the system, by use of a color key . It uses arrows and notes to indicate the direction of movement of the air and both plungers, and addresses the question with the explanation, " It happened because air needs space so if one syringe loses space it makes the other have more room by pushing out the plunger and that makes more space. "

Annotated drawing sample

Figure 2: Annotated drawing sample with magnifier

Another set of notes, augmented with arrows, describes the sequence: (moving clockwise from lower left) "Plunger pushing in. Air gets pushed out of syringe. Air goes through the tube. Air getting pushed into syringe. Plunger pushed out."

How do students represent matter or a process that's invisible?

Whenever the focus of an annotated drawing is something students cannot actually see, such as the tiny particles that compose all matter, ask students to use the technique illustrated in Figure 2, which includes drawing an imaginary "magnifying lens" to zoom in and make visible something that is invisible to the human eye.

Reviewing annotated drawings

A suggested review process

Annotated drawing sample

You can change your annotated drawing as your understanding and your explanation changes.

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Annotated Sketch

Engineering design glossary of terms, design terms, definition of annotated sketch, annotated sketch: a detailed sketch that is label with critical dimensions, notes, and symbols..

Source :


Author : not indicated on the source document of the above text

Others sources:

Webster’s Dictionary ( Metals Aerospace International, Alloy and Metal Terminology ( Chemistry Dictionary ( Dictionary of Composite Materials Technology, online version of Technomic Publishing's Dictionary of Composite Materials Technology by Stuart Lee, ( Materials Science and Engineering Glossary of Terms, Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology ( Salvadori Center: Education on the Built Environment, Glossary ( Amco Plastic Materials INC., Plastic Terms ( HyperPhysics Concepts: Free body diagrams. ( Physics Classroom ( Dictionary of Physics, (

Engineering design glossary index of terms

Definition and meaning of annotated sketch, meaning of annotated sketch.

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Producing annotated concept sketches and drawings

Producing annotated concept sketches and drawings is fundamental to the design process. Designers must be able to translate their ideas into visual images that others can see and understand.

Students do not need to be artists to produce design sketches and drawings. This is because the sketches and drawings are supported by annotations and written text to help explain various features. Also, initial sketches should not be thought of as polished pieces, but as a work in progress that students can modify and adjust as they receive feedback or their ideas change.

The below strategy will help students to annotate their concept sketches and drawings to support others to understand their ideas ( VCDSTC048 , VCDSCD050 , VCDSTC059 , VCDSCD061 ).

A student sketch of a futuristic light. It has not been annotated.

A student sketch of a futuristic light. It has been annotated.

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Definition of annotated

Example sentences.

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'annotated.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback .

Word History

1807, in the meaning defined above

Dictionary Entries Near annotated

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“Annotated.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Mar. 2023.

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Wayfair Experience Design

Wayfair Experience Design

Dan Lachapelle

Feb 28, 2019

Design Basics: Annotating Your Work

Why, when, & how to provide useful annotations with your design deliverables.

As Wayfair continues to build out our growing design org , we’ve been crossing t’s and dotting i’s on our training materials for entry-level and experienced designers alike. We thought it might be useful to publish these guides to Medium as well!

What are annotations?

Annotations are brief, written explanations provided with design deliverables in order to define & describe aspects of the design. They’re paired with numbered labels on the design itself to visually map each description to the relevant part of the design.

The primary purpose of annotations are to explain aspects of the design that the recipient may not otherwise perceive, understand, or account for during implementation. They may be used differently from project to project, but they should always be serving this goal.

Different from project to project…?

Annotations aren’t always paired with the same kind of deliverable..

We often hear about them in the context of wireframes, but that’s sort of just a byproduct of their historical usage. Simply put: if writing & distributing some notes with your design will help your cross-functional partners better understand it, then have at it! You could be handing off a user flow annotated to explain certain happy paths & edge cases, wireframes annotated to explain functionality or conditional states, or high-fidelity mocks of static pages that use annotations to convey specific style requirements and asset locations. All of these are completely valid uses for annotations.

They’re not always necessary.

All those examples of deliverables I just mentioned? You can also have projects where these same deliverables do not require annotations at all. More on that below in the “When it’s not useful” section.

The format and delivery of annotations can change from project to project.

If they’re short & sweet and light on technical specifics, you may want to just include them right alongside the visuals, baked right into the Invision, PDF, etc. If they’re verbose & very technical, you may be better off moving them into a separate document. Having those numbered labels on the design that correspond to the annotations provides this kind of flexibility.

When during the design process should you annotate?

While waiting until designs have been 100% approved is the ideal (so you don’t end up having to revise your annotations based on changes to the design), that’s not always possible due to parallel workflows, and sometimes there can be a benefit to annotating a little bit earlier in the process.

When your deliverable is roughly 80% ‘complete’, that’s a good time to consider annotating. Prior to that, designs may be too ‘subject to change’ to make annotating valuable, but once you’re in the final rounds of revision, annotations start being really helpful.

While you should certainly be communicating with stakeholders and developers throughout the entire design process, sometimes this 80% mark is the point at which your conversations will move over to email or slack and other business stakeholders get looped in. Written explanations can help expedite those conversations by providing context to a broader distribution list, without requiring additional meetings.

In my own experience, this also tends to be the point at which my product manager and developer(s) start to really think about the design as a collection of discrete, bite-sized engineering tickets. If they’re able to start referring to “Annotations 1.1–1.3” when scoping and entering those tickets, that makes everyone’s lives a lot easier.

When are annotations useful?

If your project meets any of the following criteria, consider annotating your deliverables…

There are elements of the design that are not totally obvious from the visuals alone.

The project itself is a non-trivial effort to build.

You don’t know exactly who the audience for your deliverables will be.

When aren’t they useful?

While annotations are helpful in providing clarity and definition to an otherwise complex or ambiguous project, some projects start out…pretty clear and well-defined! If we’re talking about a fairly minor ticket being implemented by a developer with whom you work really closely, and you’ve got zero stakeholders outside your immediate team, then feel free to keep it lean and skip the annotations.

A quick step-by-step guide to annotating…

Step 1: determine what format you’ll be using for your annotations.

Are you going to put ’em right on your Sketch artboard? In a separate Google Doc? The world is your oyster, and you can change your mind later if you need to.

Step 2: Determine what elements you’ll be providing annotations for, and label them in your design.

These should be the elements that fit the criteria mentioned above in “When are annotations useful?”

Step 3: Write out your annotations!

They should contain…

Step 4: Make them available to the intended audience!

If you’re using a document separate from the designs to deliver annotations, there’s always a chance that document doesn’t survive the journey once folks start passing around your work; whenever possible provide a hotspot, link, etc to your annotations from within your design deliverables.

Things to watch out for…

Writing annotations is not a substitute for speaking with your developers..

In fact, you’d be well-served by using them as the agenda for a touch-base with your cross-functional team, where you walk through the annotations in person and solicit questions & feedback. With really granular, technical annotations (what tend to be referred to as ‘functional specifications’) you may see these copy/pasted directly as the acceptance criteria on engineering tickets, so make sure everyone is aligned as early as possible!

Developer says: “Oh, I didn’t read the annotations.”

As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, you will be asked questions that you explicitly addressed in your annotations.

First: Relax. It happens. We’re all human.

Second, keep that link handy and respond with the annotations, citing the specific label they can refer to for their answer.

At Wayfair, we communicate a lot on Slack and for larger initiatives, we’ll have a project-specific channel. That’s a great place to “pin” the annotations and other design deliverables!

Frequently Asked Questions…

1. what kind of stuff should i include in annotations how do i avoid getting too specific or being too vague.

The answer for both of these is talk to your developer; make sure that you two are fully aligned on what level of specificity is appropriate, and write no more than that. Knowing your audience is important and anticipating the questions they may have is a great way to determine what needs to be annotated, but as product designers, we tend to work with a bunch of different teams and “too specific” / “too vague” will vary from person to person. If you have to pick one person for whom the annotations are 100% crystal clear, make that your developer .

2. What if stuff changes during development? Do I have to go back and update these?

First : annotations, just like your other deliverables, should have a date on them somewhere that conveys when they were last updated. Beyond that, if you want to make minor changes after hand-off, do it up. It’s great having a 100% accurate set of annotations and designs to refer back to, whether it’s to the benefit of someone down the road working on the next version/iteration of the project, or simply to act as a point of reference for the expected in-production functionality. But if it gets unwieldy to maintain because a lot of stuff is changing in development…that’s what the “last updated:” date is ultimately there for.

That said: if this is happening a lot, it’s worth discussing in your scrum team’s retro . Alarm bells should go off if designs & annotations are going stale before development has even finished. There are a bunch of different reasons this happens: edge cases get missed, the scope of the project gets trimmed down, etc. It happens. Whatever the reason, it’s a learning opportunity, so make sure you talk about it.

3. When you say “annotate your deliverables”….which deliverables are you talking about? I have multiple. Do I annotate them ALL? That seems stupid.

Primarily, this is meant for whatever deliverable your engineer is referring to during development. But it’s up to you; maybe the user flow you made is just a stepping stone on the way to full-on designs BUT you know it’s going to get passed around to every stakeholder under the sun for feedback — probably worth annotating it if you can provide some additional context by doing so!

Hopefully this article sheds some light on the value of providing annotations and gives you some insight on how to make use of them in your own work!

If you found this useful, or if you’ve got your own tips & tricks, let’s chat in the comments!

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Annotation Examples Simply Explained

Book with pen and underlined text

You’ve likely encountered notes in the margins of a book or paper, but you may skip over them or not quite understand why they’re there. Annotations ensure that you understand what is happening in a text when you come back to it, or provide others with valuable information about the text.

Why Use Annotations?

Annotations are used in order to add notes or more information about a topic as well as to explain content listed on a page or at the end of a publication. These notes can be added by the reader or printed by the author or publisher.

Another common use of annotations is in an annotated bibliography which details the information about sources used to back up research. Ultimately, annotations help readers to understand the main text and ensure the reader has all the information they need.

Annotations in Content

Highlighting or underlining key words or major ideas is the most common way of annotating and makes it easy to find those important passages again. You may also find annotations in some texts written by the authors themselves, regarding related topics or expanding on an idea.

Annotations can be used to:

provide reminders

help a reader engage with the text

add context

offer further clarification

How to Annotate

Take notes for a class, prepare for a presentation, book club or any other occasion: You can make your annotations as simple or elaborate as you want. For instance, you can use different color highlighters or sticky notes to color code the text for different things such as:

comments and questions


text you want to quote

use of themes

vocabulary words to look up

Reader Annotations

You can go beyond marking up text and write notes on your reaction to the content or on its connection with other works or ideas. A reader might annotate a book, paper, pamphlet. or other texts for the following reasons:

a student noting important ideas from the content by highlighting or underlining passages in their textbook

a student noting examples or quotes in the margins of a textbook

a reader noting content to be revisited at a later time

a Bible reader noting sources in their Bible of relevant verses for study

an academic noting similar or contradictory studies related to their article or book

Examples of Reader Annotations

In this example, the reader makes notes about the article including their understanding of the material and how they can apply it. Here, the reader asks questions about the text that they want to see answered in the following sections or questions they themselves will address in their own paper.

Notebook With Notes On Margins

Author or Publisher Annotations

Sometimes annotations can be found in the margins of a book, paper, article or other text for various purposes, including:

pronunciation explanations

explanation about a word or information in a sentence

notes from a scholar about the historical context of an event described in the main text

notes from a scientist about the study discussed in the main text

notes made by a realtor on a housing listing

notes from the coroner on an autopsy report

notes in a law book showing related court cases

Example of Author Annotations

Authors, editors, publishers, or others may use annotations to give historical context, explain the meaning of a word, offer insights or highlight information. In this edition of The Art of War by Sun Tzu, annotations are provided to explain the text.

Book with Chapter I. The Art of War, by Sun Tzŭ

Annotated Bibliography

Annotated bibliographies should include a brief summary about the source , the value of the source, and an evaluation of the reliability.

The list should be titled Annotated Bibliography or Annotated List of Works Cited. The bibliography should be listed alphabetically by author or title, by date of publication or by subject according to MLA and APA formatting styles .

Examples of Annotations in an Annotated Bibliography

The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to explain how you will use a source and your understanding of the information.

Anxiety Disorder. (2013). NIMH Website. Retrieved from: This is a comprehensive listing of anxiety-related disorders with descriptions of each disorder and narratives from those who have coped with the symptoms. The site discusses how sufferers can get help and what resources are available. There is information about research currently underway to help with these disorders.The National Institute of Mental Health is a renowned organization committed to the education of individuals on mental health issues as well as research and dissemination of information pertaining to all aspects of mental health. This site is a useful tool to understand anxiety disorders and how they affect those suffering from them. Dimeff, Linda, Koerner, Kelly, and Linehand, Marsha. Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Clinical Practice: Applications across Disorders and Settings. Guilford Press. 2007. Dialectical Behavior Therapy, initially created as a means of treatment for those with bipolar disorder who showed suicidal tendencies, is now a more generalized method of treatment, established as effective for many psychological disorders. This book outlines the method and its increased usage. Guilford Press is a publisher of many reputable books, both scholarly and in the self-help genre, that relate to psychology and psychiatry. The authors are highly knowledgeable in their field of practice making the source highly reliable Magnitude of placebo response and drug-placebo differences across psychiatric disorders. (2004). Psychological Medicine. Retrieved from This article discusses the usage and effectiveness of various drugs in treatment for myriad psychiatric disorders, including anxiety. Six different disorders were studied using placebos to study the effects Published by Cambridge Press, a respected and renowned publication, this scholarly article is highly informative, and the data considered reliable Self Help Publications. (2013). Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved from This site is a useful tool to find resources to help those dealing with anxiety-related issues, no matter what the disorder. It is useful for various age ranges, giving information for adults as well as how to help teens or young children. Furthermore, the list offers some informative texts that would be helpful to those whose family members, friends, or other loved ones are trying to cope with anxiety-related disorders. Composed by a reputable organization, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, this list is a useful means of locating print resources to learn more about anxiety and how to help oneself, or others. Some treatment methods are discussed in detail in some publications, as well, helping researchers and others to better understand some of the specifics of treatment options.

Annotations are one of the best ways to make easy-to-follow notes. Explore other ways you can create notes for a paper or other document.

Annotated Bibliography Examples in APA and MLA Style

Footnote Examples and Format Tips

Ibid: Examples of Usage

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Digital Annotation meaning definition-339

In this article, we'll cover:

What is Annotation?

Types of annotation: what makes them different, how does web or digital annotation work, benefits of digital annotation, advantages and disadvantages of annotation, list of web or digital annotation software, learn more about digital annotation in the ringcentral.

There are times when you may want information above and beyond what is contained in the initial statement in any writing. Or it may be that you want to highlight a particular word or phrase for later reference or add some explanation to a graph or image. 

We usually refer to this as annotation, but what exactly is an annotation? How do we use it in the digital world, and what pros and cons come with its use? Is it something we should be using regularly in our online work?  

According to Merriam Webster , annotation can be defined as:

a note added by way of comment or explanation

Annotations can be used in a wide variety of ways. They may be used on a page to add information about a particular word or phrase. Or they can be used at the end of a publication also to give added information. This latter example could include an annotated bibliography that would give the reader more detailed information about the sources used. 

In many cases, a reader needs more explanation or context for something. And This does not only refer to text but also diagrams, graphs, illustrations, etc. By adding an annotation, you help the reader understand your point better, or you allow them to refer to any sources you have used. 

Web/digital annotation 

When we discuss web or digital annotation, we usually mean one of two things:

As with some other resources, web annotation is a way of modifying information on a web resource without modifying the original resource itself. It is like adding an extra layer to the original creation, which can be seen by other users who know and understand the annotation system used. The sort of areas where it might be used includes:


Text annotation 

This form of annotation refers to adding any additional note to a text, either one you are creating or which someone else has created. Text annotation may be used for purely personal use or to inform or collaborate with others. It is most usually added after the original text has been written and can serve various purposes. 

Digital annotation is perhaps most used in the academic world. It can be a beneficial process to create debate and dialogue between students and students and academics. But it can be used for any online resource regardless of the content. 

Annotation can also be extremely useful when building or designing a website as it offers a simpler collaborative tool than discussing things via email or other messaging services. And it can help not only developers and designers but any stakeholder in the process. For example, it could allow the website owner to make notes on changes they would like. 

     1. Education

Within higher education, annotation can be a great process for engaging students in the learning process.  It can stimulate discussion on the subject between educators and students and lead to a greater understanding of what the student is studying. It also allows teachers to give feedback on a student’s work. With education, there are five main benefits:

     2. Communication

In any field, digital annotation can improve and enhance communication. It can cut out the slower processes of discussing things using email or even video conferencing. And it can allow real-time collaboration on anything from web design to academic work. Choosing annotation as part of your communications process brings several benefits:

    3. Business 

Where businesses may use annotation the most is when it comes to automated systems such as chatbots. Data annotation can help with machine learning to improve the performance and capabilities of your automated systems. It can help them understand the desired output and recognise any recurring patterns, questions, etc. It offers two main benefits:


The advantages of annotation can vary according to the field in which you use them. Generally, they can be of great use when it comes to discussion, collaboration, and progressing projects quicker. Some of the advantages include:


As with advantages, disadvantages will vary in each field. But in most cases, any pros outweigh the cons. 

As with any digital tools, there is a wide variety of software available on the market, from free, open-source software to more complicated and expensive packages. Google Chrome offers some browser extensions that are free and relatively easy to use. For web annotation, we look at five of the best that are currently available:

This is an easy to use solution for collecting feedback from your websites and apps in real-time. While not your usual annotation tool, it does let you build feedback forms to your own preferences. It also allows segmentation to see why potential customers are not making a purchase and allows your digital teams to set up smart alerts. 

With Usersnap, you can annotate screens via a simple browser extension or a piece of embedded code. You can also use it to track any bugs or to collect feedback. It also gives you information on what browser and OS were used to annotate. You can segment your annotation work into the relevant projects or by the team. 

Diigo is a tool that allows you to bookmark and tag web pages, social media sites, and information. You can choose to make private annotations or ones that are shared with other users. Users can also attach sticky notes to highlight a specific area or a whole page. There is a premium version that allows more detailed searches of cached information. 

Scribe is another solution that can be installed via a Chrome extension. It is useful in both education and work-based scenarios and is especially good for annotating PDF files. You can also arrange your annotations into libraries and add filters to what you have annotated (web page, document, etc.).  

You don’t need an extension to use Twiddla, and the best way to think of it is as an online whiteboard. You can annotate simply by entering a URL. You can even erase sections of any page you are working on, and tools include drawing and shapes as well as text. The free version has limited functionality, and the paid versions can be expensive depending on the numbers of users. 

Collaboration can be an essential part of business planning and progress. With increasing moves to staff working from anywhere, you want a solution that enhances collaboration with your staff no matter their location. RingCentral has long recognised this need and has sought to ensure that annotation can be part of the collaborative process. 

RingCentral Video allows for sharing screens and any participants to add notes or annotations to your presentation or training. As it is a browser-based option, none of your team needs to download and install software, and they just have to click on the link provided. 

With a few simple clicks, you can share screens and allow for file-sharing between participants and for anything on the screen to be annotated in real-time.

Originally published Apr 13, 2021, updated May 15, 2021

Sam O'Brien

Sam O’Brien is the Director of Digital and Growth for EMEA at RingCentral, a Global VoIP, video conferencing and call centre software provider. Sam has a passion for innovation and loves exploring ways to collaborate more with dispersed teams. He has written for websites such as G2 and Hubspot . Here is his LinkedIn .

Related Terms

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