How to Use Google Drive for Descriptive Feedback


The consistent and effective use of Descriptive feedback in classrooms has become a popular strategy due to its positive influence on student learning. Based on the research of John Hattie, my colleague, Jason Lynn has given me an in-depth look at Hattie’s work and how we can use it in the classroom.

Although the research suggests that providing students with descriptive feedback has the largest influence on student learning, it can be difficult for teachers to find more time to provide this meaningful assessment as learning and assessment for learning tool with regularity.

More than one way; Google Drive is just one of them

You may have already read a similar post that outlines how to use Evernote App for Assessment and Evaluation on your iPad, however I find Google Drive is easier to organize, manage and share content on any device. Dropbox also provides a cloud based solution to collecting student evidence on the fly, but providing descriptive feedback requires more than one app and multiple steps.

Google Drive to Collect and Share Descriptive Feedback

Steps to Providing Descriptive Feedback via Google Drive

Step 1: Create a Google Doc in a Student Shared Folder

Inside your Google Drive account, click on the student shared work folder where you’ll be creating the descriptive feedback for. Create a New Google Doc to store your feedback and student evidence in.

Google Drive for Descriptive Feedback - Create a New Google Doc

Step 2: Rename the Document and Copy/Paste Generic Details

Rename the Google Doc to something that is easily identifiable. Using the name of the student in the Google Doc file name will make it easy for you to call up the file via the Google Search Bar.

Copying and pasting generic details that can be used in the feedback file of each student is ideal to save you a huge amount of time.

Google Drive for Descriptive Feedback - Rename Google Doc

Step 3: Copy/Paste Student Work and Provide Descriptive Feedback

Taking a photo or cropping student work from a digital file and copy/paste into the Google Doc in order to make the creating the descriptive feedback easier for you and to give students the ability to immediately connect the feedback to their work.

Google Drive Descriptive Feedback - Copy/Paste Student Work

Step 4: Share the File or an Entire Folder With the Student

Although using Google Drive could be a personal assessment tool for collecting evidence, using the power of shared files and folders in Google Drive allows students to have a digital portfolio of descriptive feedback to continually improve and promote a growth mindset in math.

Google Drive Descriptive Feedback - Share and Invite Students and Parents


Are you providing descriptive feedback?

How are you doing it? Share with us below in the comments!



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9 comments on “How to Use Google Drive for Descriptive Feedback

  1. […] How to Use Google Drive for Descriptive Feedback. Act on John Hattie's research suggesting descriptive feedback has the greatest influence on learning.  […]

  2. Pete says:

    Doctopus is a great extension you can use. Takes a little up front work, but has made my life and organization of Drive much easier.

    Additionally, I’m trying to fin a way to have prefilled comments to insert when using the comment feature on the docs. Ultimately, I’d like to have a shortcut to insert a video link about the skill correction the student needs. Can’t do that YET with the comment feature.

    • Kyle Pearce Kyle Pearce says:

      Checked out Doctopus and it looks really cool! Unfortunately for math class, students are working and submitting work via PDF. Unsure if doctopus would be that beneficial to me in my situation.

      Students share a folder with me at the beginning of the year and I can access all of their work. Therefore, doctopus isn’t really necessary for me. However I’m sure there are tons of people out there that would love to use something like it!

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. […] "The consistent and effective use of Descriptive feedback in classrooms has become a popular strategy due to its positive influence on student learning. Based on the research of John Hattie, my colleague, Jason Lynn has given me an in-depth look at Hattie’s work and how we can use it in the classroom. Although the research suggests that providing students with descriptive feedback has the largest influence on student learning, it can be difficult for teachers to find more time to provide this meaningful assessment as learning and assessment for learning tool with regularity."  […]

  4. Why are you copy/pasting their work into another document in order to give feedback? Isn’t it possible to do that in their original document?

    • Kyle Pearce Kyle Pearce says:

      If they completed work in a google doc, then you could simply give feedback in the doc. In this case, the students are writing in a PDF annotation app because it is math class. The work is submitted to a shared folder and then I can either take the files individually into an app to add hand-written comments directly on the PDF, or copy/paste into a google doc to keep feedback in one location.

      Hoping to help students keep their feedback organized so they are seeing feedback repeatedly throughout a unit of study.

      Thanks for the comment!

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