The Electric Educator: Grading with Google Drive

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Grading with Google Drive

Lots of resources are available on using Google Drive to assign student work, but there isn’t much regarding grading student work electronically. Here are three strategies for providing feedback to students.

Suggest an Edit

To identify mechanical changes (grammar, spelling, punctuation) use the “suggestion” feature available for Google Docs.

As you mark corrections to the student’s work, they will be automatically represented by green correction marks. The student will see your correction and will need to “approve” the revisions before they are made permanent in the document.

Tracked changes can be accepted or rejected by document owner and collaborator.

Note: this feature is only available for Google Docs. This is also a great tool for peer editing.

Leave a Comment

For remarks related to style and content, use the commenting feature. Comments are like little “sticky notes” that you can attach to an part of a document, presentation, or spreadsheet.

Highlight a word, sentence, paragraph or image and add a comment by “right clicking” and selecting "comment."

Tag someone in a comment by typing @ and their email address. Tagged individuals will receive an email notification prompting them to open the file and reply.

Comments are better than hand-written notes on a paper for two reason:

  1. You can reply to a comment and have a conversation
  2. They serve as a record of improvements to a student's work. 

Use Comment Codes

For frequent corrections (run on sentence, missing punctuation, etc), teachers can set up comment codes. This is a “hack” that takes advantage of the auto correct feature of Google Docs.

For example, one of the comment codes that I configured is "ros". Any time I type “ros” in a document it auto corrects to “[run-on sentence]”

To setup your own comment codes, open a Google Document and go to Tools > Preferences. 

Other Grading Tools

There are several Drive add-ons that can help with the grading and feedback cycle: 

Orange Slice Teacher Rubric - Build a custom grading rubric in just a few clicks! There is a second add-on (Orange Slice Student Rubric) that allow you to send student their rubric score. 
JoeZoo - this is add-on for Docs has an auto-grade feature that identifies common gramatical and spelling errors. JoeZoo also includes a rubric tool grading tool that makes evaluating essays easier than ever.

Kaizena - a tool that allow teachers to leave voice comments on student docs. It takes some time to get Kaizena setup and configured, but once that's done you can easily exchange voice messages with your students from directly inside a Google Document. 


  1. Too bad the comment codes don't work when using the commenting feature!

    1. Yes, that would be nice! Something I have tried and my people have asked me about!


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