Colors and Comments: Providing Feedback for Students

Just as providing feedback to companies such as Google helps them improve their products, letting students know what they are doing well and what they need to work on is imperative for helping them learn. Two simple and effective methods for delivering feedback in the Google Drive environment are:

  1. Changing colors

Green and red are well known as basic signals for Yes and No. They are easy to spot for most people. (Although I did have a student last year who was colorblind, so I had to adjust for him!) If you have simple instructions on your assignments in Google Drive, you can just color each appropriately as you review a student’s work. Then when they check on it, they can see at a glance what they did right, and what they need to fix. Here’s an example:

To change the color of text, use this icon:


For pointing out and providing more detailed or complicated information, I use the comment feature in Google Documents. I find that the easiest way to do this is to select the text I want to comment on, and use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+M.

Or try the Comments button or Comment icon .

The comment itself appears as a little side note. 

When the comment, or the highlighted selection of text that the comment belongs to is clicked, the yellow of the highlight gets brighter, and the comment pulls closer to the document and also grows a speech-bubble tail, so a student can see exactly which comments are paired to which selections.

If you use Google Classroom, you can check in on your students’ work any time, and let them know if they’re on the right track before the assignment is due. This level of access is only possible online! And it’s one of the many reasons I love EdTech.

The importance of being earnest with feedback: Google Classroom

  1. Giving feedback is a crucial part of the learning and growing process
  2. Complaining about something in the right way can produce results!

All teachers know #1 to be true. Some could use a little feedback on how to improve with #2.

I’ve been using Google Classroom since it started in August 2014. As with any new program, after getting used to it, I started longing for more. Fortunately, there is a way to ask for it! The feature I sought was the ability to create an assignment or announcement ahead of time, and hide it until the day of the lesson. I (along with probably thousands of others) asked, and received. Drafting came out last week! Here’s how you can go about getting what you want out of Google Classroom.

Getting this email was so great! I hope you get one too.

On the next post, I’ll be writing about providing feedback to students.

New and Improved! Google Classroom Updates

I’ve almost completely eliminated paper in my classroom by using Google Classroom to electronically deliver content and collect student work. This morning I was excited to find some new updates that I’ve been waiting for!

Now, you can invite other teachers to be co-teachers of your Google Classroom. I’ve invited the intervention specialists so that they can more easily access our students’ work.

First, go into the About section of your Google Classroom, and then click Invite Teacher.

Search for the teacher, select, and click Next.

Invite them! Notice that they can now do everything except for delete the class.

The other change, which I’ve wanted since day 1, is to save a draft of an announcement or assignment. In the past, all posts had to go live immediately. Now we can create a draft, and then post it at just the right moment. One way Google could improve this even further would be to allow teachers to schedule a date and time for the draft to appear.