3 Ways to Provide More Valuable Feedback Using Google Classroom
News on February 04 2021
You just graded essay number 52 out of 87. What did you write on it? “Good job.” Who hasn’t left that comment on a student assignment? It’s quick, it’s complimentary, it can be used in almost any situation, and it makes you feel like you did your job as a teacher. No student will ever think twice about a “Good job” — but come to think of it, isn’t that bad?
As quick and easy as “Good job” is to write (or type), it really doesn’t help the student reflect on the true nature of their work. What was good? The idea? The research behind it? The grammar and punctuation? Or was it the fact that they turned it in at all? Most likely, the student isn’t even considering what was actually “good,” they’re just thrilled it doesn’t say. “See me.”
Empty praise like “Good job” has always been an oversight in teacher feedback, but it can be an increasingly common problem when giving feedback remotely using Google Classroom. For most teachers, leaving comments on Google Classroom takes longer than writing comments on a student paper, and considering the scarcity of time and stress of the task, leaving truly valuable feedback seems more burdensome than ever. Fortunately, leaving valuable feedback on Google Classroom doesn’t have to be time-consuming or stress-inducing.
Here are three ways you can provide more valuable feedback using Google Classroom.
Method #1: The comment bank
Did you know that you can input, save, search, and reuse comments in Google Classroom? Not many teachers do, but the Comment Bank feature will surely save you time. Simply open a student submission on Google Classroom and select the comment icon in the right-hand menu:
Here you will find the Comment Bank, where you have the ability to add a comment that can be used later on. In this example, we’ll add, “What made you think of this?” to our comment bank.
Once we have added all of our valuable feedback comments into our bank, we can then copy the comment from the bank, and paste into a new comment. Or, we can even find the comment stored in the bank while we type a new comment! Simply highlight the student work you want to comment on, hit the comment button, and start typing. If you have multiple comments in your bank that include the same word you are typing, they will all appear, and you can select the one you want.
Need help with the comment bank feature? Watch our quick tutorial video on OTIS for educators, Adding a Comment to the Comment Bank.
Method #2: Audio feedback
Is it easier for you to share your feedback verbally? Do you have auditory learners who are more receptive to oral feedback? In either case, audio comments are an effective option. You can easily use a program online, like Vocaroo, to record your feedback and provide a link for students to access.
Once you have the link, you can simply paste it into a Google Classroom comment, and students will be able to listen to your valuable feedback.
Method #3: Video feedback
Video messages are another great option for providing valuable feedback to students. Record yourself using your webcam, or take a screencast of yourself reviewing the student’s work using a program like Screencastify. This is a great way to review a math problem your student missed, or model a narrative arc that your student did not quite understand. If you’re in a situation where the feedback to better shown than told, video feedback is the best option here.
Once you have recorded your video, get a copy of the video link. Using Screencastify, you can do that with a click of a button once you have finished recording. You can then paste the link into a Google Classroom comment (same method as the audio comment), and your student will be able to see exactly what you meant. If there’s a video you think could benefit multiple students, you could always add the video link to your comment bank as well!
As we’ve seen, valuable feedback comes in all shapes and sizes, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or burdensome for teachers. Thanks to the methods we’ve reviewed, and a little help from Google Classroom, you’ll never have to say “Good job” again.
To learn more about creative ways to leave feedback in Google Classroom, check out this blog’s companion course on the OTIS platform, “Providing Valuable Grading Feedback Using Google Classroom”. Be sure to check out some of our other videos to learn some more ways to enhance your classroom.
Teq is an experienced Google for Education Partner. If your school is purchasing G Suite Enterprise for Education or Chromebooks, you may be eligible to receive free PD from Teq as part of the Google Service Offer program.