If we aren't providing timely, quality feedback to our students; how can we expect them to improve?
Preface: At this moment in history, nearly everyone is engaging in virtual/distance/online learning. #covid19
Even if you are one of the teachers whose students have returned to the brick and mortar setting, a lot of student work is still happening digitally. That can make providing feedback a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. I have a bunch of ideas I would love to share, so don't be surprised if you see a few blog posts on this topic.
Let's begin with my personal favorite, the comment tool available in most GSuite apps like docs, sheets, and slides. Here's how it works.
Students share their file with you and allow either editing or commenting.
As you review their document, you can add comments by selecting a specific part of the text and clicking on the comment icon.
When you comment in this way, you call the students' attention directly to something that needs to be fixed or something that they have done well.
Sure that sounds easy enough but what about a document that is collaborative? How can I call attention to the feedback I want to leave for a specific student? No problem. When you open the comment box, just type the @ symbol and enter the student's email address. What you are doing is tagging that student in the discussion you have started about their work. As soon as you submit the comment, the student you tagged will receive an email that lets them jump straight to your feedback.
This works really great on collaborative slides. Individualized feedback for everyone that is contributing. You can even use it to prompt students to get started on the work if they haven't been keeping up and doing their part. The comment becomes a thread or a #feedbackloop
Just one word of caution.
The comments in a collaborative file are not private. Anyone with rights to the file can see all of the comments so keep that in mind when tagging a specific student and pointing out errors.
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