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Perusall - Canvas Tool for Collaborative Annotations

On this page, you will find


What is Perusall?

Perusall is an e-reader platform that allows students and faculty to annotate assigned digital text. Perusall helps students learn faster by collaboratively annotating the readings and communicating with their classmates. This also helps instructors make the class better by emphasizing the information that your students need. Perusall enables collaborative annotation among students, instructors, TAs, and other course members.


Perusall for Instructors

Adding Perusall to your Course:

To add Perusall to your course:

  • Login to Canvas with your PennKey login. 
  • Go to the course site that you would like to add Perusall to.
  • In the Navigation menu, click Settings and Navigation.
  • Drag the Perusall link from hidden to visible to students

Perusall screenshot Canvas navigation

Getting Started:

Adding readings to your course

  1. Click on Documents on your course home page.
  2. To upload a reading (PDF or EPUB format) from your computer, click Add > Documents from my computer or Add > Documents from Dropbox.
  3. To add a web page as a reading, click Add > Webpage.

Creating Assignments

  1. Click on Assignments on your course home page.
  2. Click Add Assignments and select the document you want to assign.
  3. Select the part of the document to assign, specify a deadline, and click Save Changes.

Learn more about managing assignments.

For more information on getting started for Faculty, visit Perusall’s Instructor Guide.


Perusall for Students

Accessing Perusall:

If your instructor is using Perusall, you will be able to access it within Canvas site for that course.

  • Login to Canvas with your PennKey login.
  • Go to the course site that is using Perusall. 
  • In the Navigation menu, click Perusall.

Perusall Screenshot Canvas Navigation


Getting Started:

Starting a reading assignment

  1. Once you log in to Canvas and Click Perusall, you will be directed to the course homepage, which shows you a list of all the reading assignments and deadlines that your instructor has assigned for the course.
  2. To access the reading assignment, click on the link for that assignment.
  3. If you are accessing a textbook, you may be prompted to purchase it if you haven’t previously.


Starting conversations with Classmates

  • When you open a document, you will see highlights superimposed on the document that represents comments that you and other students have entered.
  • Yellow highlights indicated comments or questions by you or other students; blue highlights indicate comments from your instructor.
  • To start a conversation, highlight some text; once you finish highlighting, you will see a panel open on the right where you can type your comment. Press Enter or Return to submit the comment; your classmates will see it appear in real-time. (If you are having trouble highlighting text, see this page.)
  • When someone responds to your question or comment, you will receive a notification by email and you can post a reply by signing on or merely replying to the email.

For more on getting started for students please visit the Persuall’s student guide.


Additional Guides & Instructions


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