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What is Lacuna?

Lacuna is an open-source, online learning tool designed to create new possibilities for reading and learning collaboratively. By focusing on tools for digital annotation, Lacuna allows instructors, students, and co-learners to discover different ways of reading, interpreting, and discussing course materials. Lacuna enhances the rich, discussion-based learning of a seminar style course, for instance, by extending that conversation to the readings before and after class. The result is often students who are better prepared for class, already have some questions formed (or answered). Instructors can also get a better sense of student interest and can¬†identify “hot spots” that are ripe for discussion or clarification based on student annotations.

Lacuna was first designed in early 2013 by the Poetic Media Lab, a digital humanities lab hosted in Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis. The original concept and design were created by Brian Johnsrud. Prototypes and subsequent versions were built or overseen by Michael Widner, the director of technology on the project. Amir Eshel, the faculty co-director of the Poetic Media Lab, and Daniel Bush lead implementation, testing, and leadership¬†for Lacuna and all of the lab’s major projects.

Feel free to explore the site, watch our overview video below, and reach out to us using our Contact Form if you have any questions about Lacuna and possibly using it at your institution.