Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ideas for providing non-written feedback on student work

A teacher asks:
I would like to give each of my students oral comments rather than written ones for a paper they are working on. How can I create and then deliver these comments?

Here are 2 ideas that use iOS devices:

1. For audio only...
Using an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone, and the free app AudioBoo, record your commentary and publish your audiboo using a indentifying "tag" that is unique to the student... such as their student ID and class period:  12345p6. Students would then locate their commentary files online at <-- using their unique tag word at the end of the address. This would also provide an aggregated list of all of their feedback you post using "their tag," which can be listened to on the web, or subscribed to in iTunes.

2. If you have an iPad2 consider the free app called ScreenChomp. You can load the the student's paper as a background image (it will need to be converted to an image file), or by using the built-in camera to snap a picture of the paper.

You can then provide some commentary, and use the tools to annotate items on the page. ScreenChomp saves your commentary as a movie. When finished, publish the movie to ScreenChomp and use the share button to "copy the link" which can then be emailed to the student.

Here's a sample of how it might look:

For a nice comparison of iPad screencasting apps, read

Or, if using a computer...
Some of our World Languages teachers are using Screencasting software (such as to provide assessments on digital products, which they view on their computers, and then speak about what is being viewed.

Here's a sample of how that might look when viewing and commenting on a word document:

Note that with this method, all of the screencasts uploaded to a Screenr account are visible online, so teachers might not wish to identify specific students. This would also allow students to view the work of their peers, and gain futher insight based on the teacher comments.


  1. Good morning from Atlanta where students in my high school cannot afford an IPAD. Any suggestions on non technological cues, gestures, or actions on giving positive feedback?

  2. Hi Rita, Thank you for your question. An iPad is certainly not needed for the teacher providing the feedback, nor for the students viewing it. However, Internet connectivity and access to websites such as and are required if teachers are looking to replace paper-based feedback (teachers marking up papers and returning them to students). The ideas presented here were intended to move away from paper-based feedback and take advantage of technology in an effort to save teachers time and provide a way for students to organize and aggregate their efforts over time.

    What technology do you and your students have access to? I believe there are a variety of non-technical ways to provide feedback. Are you seeking ways for teachers to provide feedback or peers? How is student work shared or collected so that feedback can be provided?