Customisation of OneNote

Part 3 of a series of blog posts on OneNote in the classroom from Adrian Edgar, Independent Education Consultant. Adrian was Director of ICT and SMT at Culford School for 7 Years.

In this final part of this post, I’ll demonstrate some of the useful settings we’ve changed in OneNote to aid assessment and some of the tools we have used. To conclude, I’d like to cover some of the key points we’ve learnt from this process.

Customisation of OneNote

Using Tags – Once you get in to the process of using One Note in the classroom for setting work and receiving completed homework tasks, it is useful to set up a series of tags that pupils and teachers get used to using,

You can easily create your own tags or modify existing ones.


  • Click on the arrow to expand the tags window
  • Click on Customize Tags so you can set a range of tasks suitable for your classroom
  • Click on the tag you want to change and Modify Tag


Here are some examples of those we changed or added. You can change the basic properties of the tag.


The options are endless. The tags area good way of promoting dialogue between teacher and pupil and we found pupils are used to searching for the tags in order to guide their learning.

Using the Find Tags option allows the user to search and navigate a document by the tags.

Improving Assessment

One of the bonuses we didn’t expect when setting up this project was the pupil’s willingness to engage in dialogue with the teacher assessing their work.

We think that OneNote promotes this:

  • Teachers seem to find adding typed comments easier if they are assessing work provided online
  • Summative comments are more likely to encourage dialogue if they post further points to question or extent the pupils learning
  • Pupils feel they can reply to those comments on a one to one basis in a structured “chat” format. This social dialogue is something they are used to doing this every day on Facebook and it transfers neatly to their school work.

The benefit of this dialogue taking place in OneNote is that it stays on the pupils’ so that during revision, they can review their notes and re-read the assessment dialogue.


We think that using OneNote and SharePoint 2010 is a great way to:

  • Improve the quality of pupil note taking and help keep work organised
  • Provide good quality customised learning resources
  • Improve the quality of guided independent learning and improve assessment
  • Improve collaboration increase the quality of teacher/pupil interaction

This post is based on Adrian’s presentation at BETT 2012. View/download the full deck below.

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