Google Classroom Conversations Not Comments

Private Comments Count in Google Classroom

Yesterday Google Classroom came out with a feature that allows students and teachers to see an individual view of student work. I’m all about asking “How does this make learning better.” There are a couple of features yesterday that Google released that do not make learning better…. sigh. Designing EDU products for feedback instead of grades is how technology can improve learning for students. Better and faster feedback is also more motivating for students.

Private Comments

Private Comments in Google Classroom are EASIER than sending an email yet extremely impactful. Instead of comments, Private Comments are actually CONVERSATIONS.

Feedback that is specific and timely has a high effectiveness for learning. Relationship building has a high effectiveness for learning.

Private Comments in Google Classroom allow for fast specific feedback and builds relationships with students since the student has the opportunity to reply back, thus having a conversation.

Your Work – Comments Indicator

One of the releases that came out yesterday is the ability to view individual students work. This is a big deal not only because we can see a single list of a student’s progress which allows for short term goal setting and interventions, but because the list shows the feedback conversations.

Feedback Conversation Indicator

Feedback Conversations Icon

In looking at a single student view, scan the middle of the list for the attachment and feedback icons. This helps me as a teacher make sure that I’m interacting with students and not just posting things digitally online.

No feedback the horror!

2 feedback conversations

Conversations Not Comments

Having conversations about learning increases learning. How often have we left students a feedback comment never to know if it really impacted their learning? With the Private Comments in Google Classroom as conversations we can KNOW a student learned. Years ago an English teacher told me her classroom policy is that she does not release the grade until students reply to her feedback. Avoid the trap of perceived busy work by asking students to demonstrate learning, not just collecting their points and moving onto the next thing.

More Than One

What I am looking for in the comment indicator is a number bigger than one. A conversation, not a comment.

Make more than one

Feedback Improves Learning, Grades Do Not

“When we give a grade as part of our feedback, students routinely read only as far as the grade.”   – Peter Johnston

I have read quite a bit of research on grading. I can not find any research that supports traditional grading practices as being good for learning. Grades detract from learning. Grades are poor forms of feedback and indicate that gathering points is more important than learning. Technology allows us new opportunities to interact better with students and improve learning. Google Classroom has made it easier to have those feedback conversations that make learning better.

 

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