There is some solid research showing that using the comment feature in Word can help guide and improve student learning. It also can help students learn a technique they might encounter in group collaboration found in school or work.
Here are some few ways you can use it:
- For teachers: Teachers can use the comment tool to give positive feedback and information to students about how to improve what they wrote. See the example above.
- For learners: Once students are taught how to use the tool, have them use it to ask questions or respond to your comments.
- For cooperative learning: In addition, have groups of students work on a project document together. For example: if students are using Word to create content for a community event flyer or a health brochure, have students comment on the content, grammar or graphics of an initial draft.
- For extension activities: Teachers can give students one piece of writing with many of the common errors related to an area you are working on, such as some specific punctuation problems, particular grammar points, etc. Then students can comment on where and how to improve it. This would also be a good opportunity to try and introduceTrack Changes, so students could actually make revisions and edits.
Depending on how you and your learners exchange electronic documents, you might want to think about what process you will use. Will it be via your network, dropbox or email? If by email, does everyone have a web-based account? I can still remember the early days before we had an internet connection and students saved to a disk. I collected them and after adding comments had to load each disk with the new document. It was time consuming but even so, the students and I found it to be very worthwhile.
How have you used the comment feature with your classes?