Join Aaron Quigley for an in-depth discussion in this video Grading papers with Track Changes and Comments, part of Office for Educators.
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Giving quality feedback to students is an important part in helping students master concepts. As more and more classrooms are moving to a digital environment, where students can submit papers via email, or through a learning management system. It's important for teachers to start to practice, using the built-in tools to Word, to give detailed instruction that will allow students to make changes, and also learn where those changes are being made. Here we have a paper open that is available to premium members in the exercise files. If you go into Chapter four of the exercise files, and click on the Phenotype paper. You will be able to follow along as we make some changes and communicate them to the student.
The first thing we are going to do is make sure we can turn on what's called track changes. If a student has turned a paper in and we'd like to go through and make corrections, I want to make sure the student understands every change I made to the paper. To do this, we're going to go to the Review tab on the ribbon. We're going to make sure we click on Track Changes. And we should see that the entire section has now been highlighted blue. This means that any changes I make to this document will be tracked. There are a few ways we can choose what will be tracked and what won't be tracked. By default, Word is going to select to only track Simple Markup.
For students to turn the paper in, we want to make sure that every small detail, however, is tracked. Including things such as commas, exclamation points, periods, and even formatting changes. Using the drop down menu, we're going to select to track All Markup. At this point, we can go into the paper, and start editing it, for the student. And everything we do, the student will be able to see. For example, in the first sentence here, the student is missing a comma after the word plant. Development process within a plant comma including promoting cell elongation and cell differentiation.
Here we're going to add the comma. The comma shows up with a light blue underline to it, and in the left-hand margin, there is an indicator to the student that there has been a change made. Furthermore, they have developmental process, which should be processes. So we're going to add an es to the end of that word. Once again, the changes that I made are highlighted in light blue, and on the left-hand side there's indicator that a change was made in that sentence. This will allow our students to go back into their documents find the changes that were made and understand why we made them. Another important tool when grading papers is the ability to add comments.
I'm going to scroll down the page a little bit to find this sentence, when it comes to the signaling pathway without the production of the BR there is no molecule to start the signaling pathway. Because signalling pathway's used twice, it makes it kind of an awkward read. I want to let the students know that we need to change the sentence, but I don't want to change that sentence for them. To do this, I'm going to highlight the entire sentence. I'm going to go back up, making sure the Review tab is selected in the ribbon. I'm going to add a comment by clicking on the New Comment Button. On the right hand side, it'll show my name, as the instructor, and have an opportunity to add information.
I'm going to say, this is an awkward sentence, please rewrite. When the student receives this paper back, and they're making a change to it, and they believe that, that sentence should not be rephrased. The student has the opportunity to reply to my comment. They can go ahead and give their justification for it, or they can ask for additional follow-up questions. This creates a dialogue as papers move back and forth through the revision state between the student and the teacher. Once track changes is turned on, it's very easy to view the paper without these track changes as well.
Sometimes they can be a little bit in the way when we're trying to do a final read through. Any time you can go up to the Review section in the ribbon and you can choose to turn off Comments, you can choose to turn off the Coloration. You can choose to turn off the Formatting. You can choose to turn off the Insertions and Deletions and you can eventually bring your paper back to a state that that information is still saved, but not showing up for the student's view. Once again I can turn comments back on and my comments will reappear. I can turn my Insertions and Deletions back on and I can see the changes made within the paper. To save these changes, all you have to do is save the paper using the Save icon at the upper left-hand corner or using the keyboard Cmd or Ctrl+S.
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