When it comes to learning, feedback is critical. So when it comes to one’s writing, the principle is no different.
I have been teaching English for only six years but have struggled with this feedback process time and time again. I realize it is the most important part, and yet to do it effectively, I must commit literally hours to making sure I do it right. It’s the proverbial thorn in my side.
The Old Way
To give the right feedback I’ve tried…
- Writing as clearly as possible in the margins. Double-spaced, of course, gives me more room. Students then can’t read the notes, and it takes me even longer to write it all.
- Using shorthand notes and asking my students to decipher them. They never get the full message.
- Shorthand notes followed by face-to-face conference. VERY in-class time consuming.
- I’ve limited the length of the writing, but then I’m just limiting the student’s ability to express and synthesize their thoughts.
Notability to the Rescue
The New, Improved, Time-Saving Process
- Students type their writing in any word processing app of their choice (this could include Notability).
- Email the document to me as a PDF.
- I then take those and put them in a folder in my Notability app. I also have the ability to attach the rubric to each writing.
- I read and only circle, highlight, star, or emoticon, their writing. Nothing else.
- Once finished, fill out the rubric.
- Then, I hit the record button, and start giving my verbal comments starting at the very top. I discuss why each marking exists and the reasoning for the scoring.
- Email back to students as a Notability file.
|Minimal markings and recording button.|