Teach Feedback

From Go Slow Collaborative Activities with G Suite: Click Here for More Information

We have to teach students to give high quality feedback. EXPECT that they will give crappy feedback at first. This is a skill to be taught and it involves some critical thinking and analysis so it does not come easily.

When we ask students to leave feedback comments don't be surprised when they come up with gems such as "Good job" and "I also like the Raiders."

Assign a Collaborative Activity and Ask Students to Leave Feedback

You can not talk a student into being a critical thinker. You have to let them think. Get feedback and think some more!

Assign students to a collaborative document and let them leave less than awesome feedback. Then pull students into small groups and review the activity.... NO.... review the FEEDBACK!

"Hey guys grab your Chromebooks and come on over here. We are a community of learners who helps each other get better. Does "Good job" help this person get better? What is a better feedback comment we could insert?"


Monday: Collaborative activity with feedback

Tuesday: Collaborative activity with feedback.... pull out small groups to look at Monday's feedback.

Wednesday: Collaborative activity with feedback.... pull out small groups to look at Tuesday's feedback.

Thursday: Collaborative activity with feedback.... pull out small groups to look at Wednesday's feedback.

Friday: Wednesday: Collaborative activity with feedback.... pull out small groups to look at Thursday's feedback.

The assignment is not the assignment. The assignment is the FEEDBACK and it's going to take some time to get students providing high quality feedback to each other. It also takes me awhile to get students to learn how to write a good essay! Do not get discouraged. Teaching how to "Critique the thinking of others" is a valuable life skill.


Decide on a series of collaborative activities you want to do with your students where you ask them to leave feedback to other students. Plan for taking time to work with students on analyzing the feedback and going back and inserting better feedback.

Show students how to do a plus mention in a comment!

When inserting a comment use +emailaddress to alert a particular person to that comment. You should get in the habit of using that too! The person you plus mention will get an email alert of your comment.

Optionally when including a plus mention you can assign an action task. For example if you want to assign a student to come back and fix their grammar, check the checkbox to "Assign."


One collaborative activity you might want to try is DiscussionTab. Facilitate a class discussion through a spreadsheet! Create a list of prompts and DiscussionTab automatically creates a sheet within the spreadsheet for each prompt. Students then all contribute to the same spreadsheet and leave feedback comments!

Step 1: Use my DiscussionTab template


Step 2: Make a list of questions

In column A type your progression of questions that will guide your discussion.

In column B you can put a word or two for the tab name.

Step 3: Use the DiscussionTab Menu

Choose "Run DiscussionTab"

Note: if you teach multiple sections choose "Copy for Multiple classes" and it will automatically create 7 copies. Look in your Google Drive.

Step 4: Authorize

Authorize the script and let it run!

Step 5: Share with Students

Share through Google Classroom as "Students can edit file" or change the sharing permissions to allow students to access and edit.

Students will select a cell and respond to the prompt. Ask students to insert feedback comments to other students.

Step 6: Review FEEDBACK comments with students!

This can be in real time as you have the discussion "Let's look at the comments" or another time where you're pulling small groups to analyze the feedback.

Spreadsheet Comments

TIP: On the tabs of the spreadsheet you can see how many comments are made. When you are in the spreadsheet and hover over cells the comments appear. If you instead click on the comment count on the tab (it changes from black to yellow) the comments all become visible at the same time!

Feedback NOW

You've seen me create several Google Slides where I edited the Slide Master to create a template. I love to do in class collaborative Slides where students get feedback NOW while they still care about it.


  • Create a Google Slides
  • Name it (with assignment number)
  • Link into Google Classroom as "Students can edit file"
  • Ask each student to add a slide that represents the learning objective.
  • Each student needs to reply to at least 2 students.
  • You reply (insert comments) to a few students.
  • The assignment is the FEEDBACK not the slide they create!!
  • They get the feedback NOW while they are working on the activity.
Feedback NOW.mp4

Resist the urge to do the thinking for the students.

Resist the urge to design templates.mp4

When we create a template we are doing the thinking for the students. Sometimes I need a template, but as often as possible (and maybe even more often than that) have students do things from SCRATCH. NO TEMPLATE!

It is an ESSENTIAL 21st century skill that students can design digital documents in order to clearly communicate their ideas.

Have a Template

Need a template where it is just a single blank slide? This really let's kids do the designing of the digital document. Only choice is a blank choice.

1) Go to http://alicekeeler.com/blankslides

2) Rename it (include assignment number!)

3) In Google Classroom link to it from Drive as "Students can edit file."

Blank Collaborative Slides Lesson Plan Template

Create a Template

Use the Slide Master!

Delete the layouts.

Note you can not delete layouts you've used so if the layout will not delete, click on another one.

Rename the slide layout.

Suggestion that the FIRST layout be the one students will use.

Design the graphic organizer

Design the slide layout how you want. It by default has "Title" style and "Subtitle" style placeholder text boxes. You can delete those. Anything you put on the layout is LOCKED DOWN!

Graph Paper Template by Alice Keeler

Notice in this graph paper sample slides you can add additional slides that contain graph paper. However, you can NOT move or adjust the graph paper.

Add placeholder text

Know your text boxes! Look for the tiny triangle next to the text box icon in the toolbar.

Text box is LOCKED DOWN!

The 3 placeholder options place a text box down that is intended for students to fill in. Notice the placeholder text in this order of operations activity.

13 - 6 + 3 = 10

Beware the worksheet!

When you provide placeholder text that tells students where to put information you run the risk of making a worksheet. One way to help students learn to be independent thinkers who make decisions is to let them decide where to place the text boxes.

There are many good reasons to provide a template with placeholder text. Just be thinking... am I including the 4 C's in this lesson? This is one way to help avoid creating a digital worksheet.

Add more layouts

Click the plus icon in the toolbar to add additional layouts. (Note you must be in the Slide Master to add layouts and not just slides to the presentation.)

Collaborative Lesson Planning

For this activity you are planning a SERIES of collaborative activities so you can teach students how to give higher quality feedback. You may want to try my Collaborative Lesson Plan Book Add-on.


I have created a spreadsheet that you can share with other teachers who are collaborating with you on lesson planning. Use the "Make Lesson Plan" menu to generate a new lesson plan template in the spreadsheet. The lesson plan template is automatically shared with your collaborators.

Notice on the bottom of the spreadsheet there are 3 tabs.

Look for the "Lesson Plan Templates" tab and put an X next to the lesson plan template you would like to use. (You can create your own templates and add them to the list as well.)

(c) 2017 AliceKeeler LLC