Boost the Power of Comments When Grading Google Docs

The greatest thing about Google Apps for Education is that teachers can go paperless.  By making lessons available on Google Classroom, or affording students the flexibility of submitting work via Google Docs, there is little to no need for paper submitted work.  And, it also takes away the argument of “my dog ate my homework”.  Unless your dog eats the internet, I think that excuse is gone.

The only thing greater than going paperless, is the ability to leave comments when grading student work. If you haven’t already noticed by now, there is a Comments button at the top right of any Google Sheet or Doc.


Teachers can also change from Editing to Suggesting in a Google Doc.  Suggesting allows any edits typed on the page to become suggestions that students can use later to update a Draft before turning in a Final Submission.

But when it comes to grading digital submissions, one of the complaints I hear from teachers is that they tire of typing the same comments over and over again.  There is a way to combat this task, if you feel the same way.

In Docs and Slides, users can use the Preferences in the Tools menu to set up frequently used phrases.  

For instance, if you wanted to leave a comment such as “hyphenate this word”, but you don’t want to type it over and over again, you could use the substitution “hyp” to auto insert the phrase.  

  1. Just go to Tools, and click on Preferences
  2. In the Replace / With boxes, type your shorthand preference in Replace and the long version of your comment in the With box.
  3. Click OK
Now you’re ready to use your substitution.  In Suggesting Mode, just click where you want to make a suggestion, type your shorthand comment, and click enter.

Happy Grading!

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