Showcase Classroom FAQs – Using OneNote for engaging feedback

showcase-classroom-cropped-logoWe have seen thousands of educators, colleges and universities come through the Showcase Classroom, each at a different stage in their journey of digital transformation, and in every session we are asked a range of questions about our technology and how it can make a real impact in the classroom. These questions and discussions will form the basis of our Showcase Classroom blog series, where we will be sharing the insights, experiences, tips & tricks and more, from those who pass through the Showcase Classroom. We hope you find them useful!

Catch up on FAQ #1 - Demonstrating learning through Sway

Frequently Asked Questions

Using OneNote for engaging feedback

In our previous post, we looked at how learning could be demonstrated using Sway. This explored features of the tool and how it could be used to engage students to express themselves. The ease of use, as well as a range of pre-set designs meant that this addition to the classroom allows more time to be spent focusing on the content and delivery of work. Many of our recent visitors to the Showcase Classroom come from secondary schools. During these sessions, we dived deeper into their day to day challenges, and one thing that was a recurring theme was the topic of how feedback is given to students. Many of the questions centred around how to make feedback more efficient, engaging and effortless.

Earlier this week we were challenged with the statement:

“We want students to interact with feedback, and get full insight into just where it is coming from and why. However, they are just looking for a grade”

In education, the importance of high quality feedback goes without saying. Relevant feedback that can be easily understood will naturally aid improvements in academic performance. Many of our Showcase Classroom attendees have expressed that students have a somewhat blinkered view, focusing just on the grades they achieved, rather than the reason for their scores. This has led to the need for more engaging ways of marking work! So how do you ensure that in depth feedback is well received and used, without adding extra workload for educators?

OneNote is a great asset for collaborating in education. Although this tool offers many solutions to assessing work, the audio feedback feature is one that every educator should be aware of. Audio feedback has been developed as a more engaging way to mark assessments and offer insights. The feature is accessed through Insert > Record Audio, and in an educational setting the feature would allow you to record over any student work on OneNote. Recordings can be paused at any point and all notes taken will be automatically synced in real time with vocals.


This interactive form of assessment enables students to follow step by step breakdowns of how their work was marked, and an explanation around improvement. The OneNote platform also means that this feedback will be digitally archived and available for future reference. From the markers perspective, being able to simply vocalise feedback in real time is far less time consuming than the original handwriting approach. This is particularly relevant for topics in which answers are based upon interpretation and reflection.

It goes without saying that all educators differ in their most efficient practices of work. We would highly recommend trying this tool out for yourself. For more insight into the audio feedback feature and the many other tools in OneNote visit our Microsoft Educator Community where there is a tutorial on this very topic!

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