Perusall for Faculty

Perusall is a social learning platform designed to boost student engagement with course material. It functions like a collaborative e-reader with annotation tools, allowing students to review and discuss assigned content together online.

  • Replace traditional discussion boards with a more student-friendly interface that alleviates your grading load

  • Hold your students accountable for engaging with content outside the classroom

  • Encourage asynchronous interaction between students

  • See a deeper level of cognitive engagement with content

Connect to Perusall from Blackboard

Follow the instructions on to access Perusall to your Blackboard course.

Clicking on the Perusall LTI will bring you to Perusall’s platform where you can manage your class and add new assignments. Select the plus sign to add a link to your Perusall class directly from Blackboard for your students.

Navigating Perusall

Access Perusall by opening the tool through the Content Market in any Ultra course.

  • Select Settings to set your preferences about how students will be grouped and how their work will be scored.

  • Select Gradebook to access your gradebook. Perusall will automatically suggest grades based on the quality of students' work. Learn more about how scoring works

  • Select Student View to see how students will view your Perusall course.

  • Students receive notifications when a classmate has answered a question of theirs, or someone @-mentions them in a comment.

  • Students can take private notes that incorporate their own writing with snippets from the readings. Notes are private by default; students can share them with classmates if desired.

  • Group or one-on-one chats enable collaboration outside of a particular assignment.

    • Open group chats are available to the whole class and can be created only by instructors: use them for discussion about a particular aspect of the course, like a project or problem set. Private group chats can be created by students or instructors: students can use them to collaborate without having to share their personal contact information. The special Announcements group chat is where you can post course announcements.

    • One-on-one chats enable direct conversation between any two course members (students or instructors). Consider encouraging students to contact you via one-on-one conversations in Perusall to organize your course communications and cut down on email!

  • Hashtags help connect ideas across conversations. Add hashtags to a comment by typing # and selecting from the list of tags below; instructors and students can also create new hashtags by simply adding a #tag to a comment. Click on any hashtag to view all comments tagged with that particular hashtag.

  • Select Help to access Perusall's knowledge base and connect with Perusall Support.

When you first launch Perusall, you can access a guided tour showing you were to access all of these features. In case you missed it, we've recorded the tutorial here:

Setting up a Perusall Class

You can copy an existing Perusall class if you've made one before or if another instructor shares their copy code with you.

  1. Start with an Empty Course

  2. Choose how you want to add content to your course.

    1. Browse our catalog of available titles. If you are using a course material with a cost associated, you must indicate your intent to use Perusall at the time of adoption through Barnes and Noble College. After selecting your text, include a note that you will be using Perusall. If you were provided with an ISBN from Perusall, include that int he note. If no ISBN is available, any other information to assist the BNC team in finding the content would be helpful.

    2. Request a title not in the catalog

    3. I will upload my own materials. This can done after setting up the course.

  3. Choose the Student Cost. When students open Perusall, they will be able to navigate any courses using Perusall for 14 days before being prompted to pay the suggested amount designated by the instructor, which can be as low as $0.

  4. Complete the Basic Settings:

    1. Department. Select the department that is closest to your department here at Fairfield. This list is for Perusall's records and is not affiliated with Fairfield University.

    2. Start Date

    3. End Date

    4. Scores and Analytics. This setting determines whether and how the grades in Perusall will report back to Blackboard.

    5. LMS Gradebook Column Management. This setting determines which content will connect to the Gradebook.

    6. Enrollment Estimate

    7. Target Group Size

  5. Review the Tips.

More information on creating a class can be found on Perusall's Help page: How do I create or delete a course?

Enrolling Students

When you add the LTI to your Course Content area, students will be able to follow the link and automatically enroll in your Perusall class. 

Perusall Support also suggests that you provide students with two documents relating to Perusall. First, you can download and modify a one-page rubric that explains what Perusall is, how it works, and how students are graded. (You may need to edit this document to reflect the scoring settings you have set for your course.) You can also provide students with a set of example comments with associated quality scores and an explanation for each score, to help them get a feel for what sorts of comments and questions they should be posting.

Contact the ITS Help Desk in the Library Room 230 or at (203) 254-4069 for assistance.