Efficiency and Writing Student Feedback

Several months ago, I had a revelation about what constitutes good feedback, and I’d discovered one way of efficiently providing that feedback to my students. I feel an almost toddler-like petulance towards excessive writing by hand. I’ve tried forcing myself through it, because my students deserve to have such feedback, but it just wasn’t working. Instead of continuing to punch a brick wall and whining that my hand hurt, I’ve found different methods to achieving the same goal that are tidy and efficient to go along with printing on Post-it Notes.

All of my assessments this year will be written on this template:


So, I fill-in-the-blank above the DO NOT WRITE line with the 2-3 questions assessing whatever learning goal I’ve chosen to assess, and print it off for my students. Here’s an example one, with some stuff blurred out as I plan on using something like it in my classes:


Once students turn it in to me and I begin grading, I open up this template on my laptop:


…and I start writing feedback inside the feedback box! When I’m done with that class period’s papers, I simply take the student papers, insert them into my printer, and print (taking care to keep them in the same order that I graded them in). Viola! What I’ve typed is printed below the DO NOT WRITE line on the student paper. They get thorough feedback, and I’m not cursing at the antiquity of writing by hand. Everybody wins!


Here are the two files I’ve made for this process. Feel free to use, modify, and share as you please!

Assessment blank

Assessment feedback blank


5 thoughts on “Efficiency and Writing Student Feedback

  1. This is awesome! The only part I don’t really like is feeding the (battered) student papers into the printer (especially if you share it — ours is also a copy machine).

    What I do already is order student papers by name, then scan them in (usually after grading) so I can keep a copy as a pdf (and provide it to parents if it’s useful). I’m thinking that if I left the blank area like you did here, I could scan the ungraded papers, then use text boxes to add grade comments to the pdfs. (I’m 90% sure you can do that somehow in either Adobe Reader or Preview; if not those, surely something else.) Then I could print up the graded, commented pdf pages to return to students.

    One thing I love is the ability to cut & paste parts of the comment you want to write to a bunch of students. That would be great. Also, what kid wouldn’t prefer reading type to reading my handwriting?

    Definitely going to use this idea somehow. Thanks!!

    • That sounds like it’d work perfectly! I was actually wondering how I could do this with Adobe, and it seems you’ve answered that for me.

      Cutting and pasting comments has been awesome for me. In physics especially, unless a student is way beyond no understanding, most responses tend to fall within a set range. It’s useful to be able to write a detailed comment for one student and copy that to another student that has near-identical work.

      I’m glad you’ve found this useful! That’s why I share my stuff. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Pingback: 017 – HW Check, Feedback and More | ANuetzel 180 Days of CP Physics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s