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Friday, November 9, 2018

Is Your Feedback Really Effective? - This Google Docs Add-on Will Tell You

Anyone who has ever spent a Sunday afternoon grading essay after essay has at some point wondered, “did anyone listen when I explained homophones?” This usually happened to me around the 27th essay of the day. It’s at about that point that it’s a fair question to ask, “is my feedback effective?” That’s the question that the folks at JoeZoo are trying to help teachers answer.

JoeZoo is a free Google Docs Add-on that teachers can use to add voice and text comments to a students’ paper. But that alone is not what makes it great. What makes JoeZoo stand out from the crowd is the built-in student engagement tracking capability. JoeZoo will let you see which text comments your students read, which voice comments they listened to, and how long they engaged with those comments! Check out the animated GIF below to see how you can track your students’ engagement with the comments that you add to their Google Docs.


As you probably gleaned from the previous paragraph, you can use JoeZoo to add voice comments to your students’ Google Docs. You can mix voice comments with text comments through a document. And to help you save time, JoeZoo has a comment bank that comes pre-loaded with 93 of the most commonly used comments created by teachers. You can edit those pre-loaded comments or use them as written. If you need something other than one of the 93 pre-loaded comments, you can create your own canned comments to add to your students’ documents.

When it is time for students to look at the feedback you have given to them, JoeZoo has a couple of helpful features not found in other free commenting systems. First, all comments are color coded according to comment type. That can make it easier for students to quickly identify all comments related to a particular skill. Second, there is an accessibility feature not found in other commenting systems. That feature is text-to-speech. Not only can students listen to voice comments that you have added to their documents, they can have any of your written comments read aloud too.

So rather than wondering if your students are engaging with the feedback you give them in Google Docs, use JoeZoo and know for sure if they are engaging with your feedback. I can’t promise that using JoeZoo will make grading one hundred essays more fun, but using it will make your feedback process more efficient. Try it today, it’s free!

Disclosure: JoeZoo is an advertiser on this blog.