One of the best things about Google Classroom is the increased ability to communicate easily with an individual student or the entire class. Comments in GC are conversations, not simply feedback. Below are my Top 10 Tips to communicate efficiently.
1. Comment Bank: Add frequently used feedback to the comment bank. Then you can select a comment from the list (instead of continuing to retype or paste)!
2. CTRL + ALT + M: Use this shortcut to open the comment bank quickly when working in the grading window.
3. Use the #hashtag: Enter a hashtag in the comment box to bring up the list of comments in the comment bank, then select the comment - so much quicker!
4. Use your INITIALS: It's difficult to notice who you need to respond to by scrolling down the roster. Make this easier by beginning all of your comments with your initials (in caps). This way you can scroll through your student list and verify you responded to your students, likewise, you can easily see if anyone left a comment you need to respond to. Students can just post a comment OR begin their comment with your Last Name which is an indicator that they would like you to respond. See the image below.
5. Use EMOJIS to make your comments stand out: Adding emojis make your comments more visible and more likely to be read by your students. Use emojipedia.org and copy and paste into your comment.
**For quicker access install the Chrome extension:
6. Use COPY to add to PRIVATE COMMENT: Since the #hashtag doesn't work in the private comment section, you can go to your comment bank and copy and paste to private comments.
7. Insert a LINK into the comments: Add links to provide extra resources, perhaps a link to the directions, a screencast, an online resource, or a voice comment you recorded (using the Talk & Comment Extension). Just copy and paste the link into the comment box.
8. Create BOLD text within comment: Use the asterisk between text you want bold. See example in image below. Just remember it won't look "bold" until you press the blue "comment" button to post it.
It shows up BOLD once you post:
9. Encourage students to read and respond to comments: Whether you are posting comments within a doc or in private comments, sometimes it's a challenge to get the students to read and/or respond - sometimes our students don't even know comments are pending. Here are a few tips:
- Post an announcement in the Stream and communicate with them during synchronous instruction letting them know they have comments to respond to.
- Train your students on how to find comments (within the doc or private) and how to format their responses.
- Create an assignment (quickstart or exit ticket); the assignment should ask students to read and/or respond to your comments and "mark as done" when they do.
- You can make a new topic called "R&R: Read, Revise, Respond" and move the assignment into that category.
- Don't release a grade: hold the grade until the revisions are complete, this will encourage the student to modify/correct work. This will put more focus on the learning process instead of the points earned.
10. View ALL COMMENTS: As you continue a conversation with a student via comments, some will be marked "resolved" and they disappear from the doc. If you would like to see the entire conversation, including resolved comments, just click the "comment" icon in the grading window and a drop down list will appear.