Giving students feedback is extremely powerful. We know that as educators. We also know that it can be time consuming. Providing timely and well-crafted feedback requires vast amounts of mental energy and thought.
Google Slides is a great tool that can be used to not only give feedback, but start a conversation with students. Eventually, with good practice and explicit teaching by the teacher, this can lead to student-to-student collaboration that betters and enriches student work.
Google Slides — Comment Feature
It’s an obvious, but powerful choice. It keeps track of time, has a ‘resolved’ checkbox, and, let’s be honest: Students like to write back and engage with the comment feature!
You can see above how this helps teacher and student keep track of feedback, and when students resubmit, you can see their comments and what they have actually done to their work to improve. A tip is to ask students to highlight the part that they changed, so you can go directly to that portion of their work.
Also, in your feedback, leave a question. This takes away the ‘pressure’ and judgement of feedback, and turns it into an action — something they can do to improve their work.
The comment trail will go back and forth between you and your student — at any time you can resolve if you fill the feedback conversation has ‘ended’.
Explicit Teaching of Peer Feedback
This can be done in many ways, but I found the simplest and most effective was to model through conferencing and small group instruction. I asked questions to evoke student thinking and reflection, and once we decided on some of the most effective questions, students asked each other.
- What are you thinking (as a student is working), or what were you thinking?
- What will you do now? How will you know it is the best option?
- What will happen if you need to go back?
- What would this look like if _____________ changed?
- What point of view is missing? What information do you need to include?
Check out this great Ministry Monograph — Asking Effective Questions
Google Slides — Camera and Collaboration
The camera function in Google Slides is amazing for documentation. Let’s say that your students are working with math manipulatives, or in the photos below, some Squishy Circuits, and you want evidence of learning. The Google Slides camera feature is the perfect way to have students add their photos, and write about their learning.
Since students are sharing the same Google Slide, students can now see each other’s work. They can ask each other questions, clarify each other’s thinking, and you can watch it all happen and participate in real time.
Having face-to-face conversations with groups and students is extremely important, and you can still do that, but this enables you to talk to groups you didn’t get a chance to talk with in depth. You can circulate with your device, converse, and comment. All student work will be gathered on one Google Slide for you to access at any time.
When you want to do consolidating and highlighting, you can project the slide and lead conversations, and create your anchor charts and success criteria with the work completed. Students will know personally what their next steps are (based on your feedback in the slide deck), and will see their work in relation to your learning goals, and the overall measures of success (by doing a whole group highlight/reflect/consolidate session).
The power of Google Slides really happen when the slides become collaborative. So, when you assign a slide deck, check students can edit. Do it! I promise it will be messy, loud, fun, and an amazing experience for you and your students.