By Ryan Taylor, Coordinator of Educational Technology Support, Office of Distributed Education
Have you been looking for a better way to grade your students’ submissions? Have your students been asking for more detail on their grades? The new annotation tool on eLearn may be exactly what you’ve been waiting for. This exciting new feature allows for a more detailed grading experience above simply giving feedback and a grade that is added directly onto the student’s submission and can be viewed by the student through Dropbox.
What is the Annotation Tool?
With the annotation tool, instructors are able to mark, comment, type, and more inline directly on a student’s Dropbox submission. Access a student submission through Dropbox in eLearn, and you will notice a new grey bar across the top of the submission. This is the Annotation Toolbar which contains all the tools you need to create insightful annotations for your students.
Using the Annotation Tool to write directly on a submission is easy and only requires a mouse. Use the Pen tool to hand-write on the submission with your mouse. Choose a color and click and drag to write on the submission.
You can also Highlight by hand to give extra emphasis to an area.
Or, choose the Highlight text option to only highlight selected text.
Make a mistake while writing? You can use the Eraser tool to erase hand-written annotations.
Perhaps you want to type instead of hand-writing. The Annotation Toolbar has text tools built-in as well. Use the Note tool to type a note that will be minimized in an icon which can be moved around on the submission.
You can also use the Text tool which allows you to type directly onto the submission. The Text tool does not get minimized like the Note tool, but it can be moved around the submission. Text color and background can also be changed.
When you are done annotating, don’t forget to give the student a grade and feedback. While annotating is great for students to get a more detailed understanding of their grade, feedback is still important because it is shown in their Gradebook. To finish, click the Publish button which will allow the student to see all the annotations you added.
What the Student Sees
Students will need to navigate to the assignment Dropbox and click on the submission. There they can choose to view the inline feedback which are your annotations. Notes can be seen by hovering over the icon.
For a more in-depth look at the Annotation Tool, please visit the corresponding Knowledge Base article where you can find more information on each tool in the Annotation Toolbar and an instructional video about the use of annotations.
For any questions about using eLearn call 615-230-3665 or send an email to eLearn@volstate.edu and someone from Distributed Education will get back to you.