OneNote in Education eBook – Chapter 7: OneNote for providing invaluable feedback


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Over the last weeks we have been exploring the individual chapters of our recently published OneNote in Education eBook, that was created with the help of #MIEExpert Emma Hicks. Having covered everything from the basics of OneNote to how it can be used for different types of learning and assessment, the penultimate chapter looks at how OneNote provides a platform that allows feedback to be quick, varied and engaging and is effective and visible throughout students work. If you've missed the series so far, make sure you take a look back:

 Chapter 1: What is OneNote?
Chapter 2: OneNote Class Notebook
Chapter 3: OneNote for collective learning
Chapter 4: Assessment for learning
Chapter 5: OneNote for peer assessment
Chapter 6: Independent Learning

If you would like to see the complete eBook, you can find it on our SlideShare:

Chapter 7: OneNote for providing feedback

Effective feedback is a crucial part of improving learning however it often feels time-consuming and repetitive to both the teacher and student. Clear proof that feedback has had a positive impact can be difficult to attain. Students want to see that their changes have been successful whilst the teacher wants to see that the changes have been made. OneNote provides a platform that allows feedback to be quick, varied and engaging and is effective and visible throughout students work. It is collated in one digital space so the concern that work is completed once and never seen again is no more, and the dreaded marking sweep is a pain free positive professional experience.

Audio feedback

For the students who glance at their final grade disregarding the time-consuming detailed feedback that we teachers type away there is a genius solution! OneNote enables the teacher to provide audio-feedback. To ensure that your students are taking in every target you can possibly give them I would suggest recording your feedback and then asking students to bullet point what they are required to do to improve. This encourages students to focus on the qualitative feedback not merely their summative assessment or grade.

Live teacher feedback as “coach”

OneNote provides instant and direct access for the teacher to each of their student’s work. This access can be utilised both in a classroom and outside of it. The teacher has access to all students work and can provide live and instant feedback like a coach in or outside of the class. Students can pose questions which can be answered by the teacher and vice versa to cement understanding. This process is individual, instant and private, a real positive for students lacking in confidence when performed in class time. Within higher education this process can be utilised to offer private tutorials without the need for both parties to meet. I have found this very beneficial for my A level groups during their non-contact time or when setting research tasks.

Tags toolkit

As you can see in the eBook, the tags support me in providing specific and constructive feedback. It also lays the feedback out in a way that is easy for students to digest.

Familiarising students with the different tags is a quick and easy process and I have heard of other teachers issuing a key resource for the tags, although I believe these to be self-explanatory.

Monitoring feedback

With OneNote I am able to monitor the progress made by my students in their redrafts quicker and more easily than before. I can instantly identify if my feedback has been taken on board and implemented into improved learning gains. Additionally clear, implemented and readily available feedback supports my professional profile as I am able to evidence a variety of effective marking and feedback techniques even with short notice. The example in the eBook (left, bottom) shows several redrafts of a student’s assignment. With each page they have understood and implemented the feedback that I had previously given to them. If called for a marking sweep, I can print off both pages and show the teacher student dialogue within my marking. The evidence we often need as teachers is stored and accessible. More importantly than this however is the students ability to reflect on their progress, with reference to their clear and visible improvements. Students understand how and why they gained their grade and what they need to do to improve, developing the process of their learning.

The platform that OneNote provides in giving feedback is arguably its most beneficial feature. Never before have I seen such engagement from my students when responding to feedback through the use of tags, or such an impact in the success of their responses. The accountability of their contributions and their responsibility in looking after their own Notebook breeds pride and progress, something that I had not anticipated. It has and continues to save me time planning and marking for lessons, but also in compiling evidence that I am providing effective feedback for my own professional accountability.


In the final chapter, we will look at how OneNote helps teachers organise their time and manage their workload through the use of OneNote Staff Notebook.

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