The Impact of Technology on Student Perceptions of Instructor Comments

Kathleen J. Hanna, David Yearwood


The lack of writing skill among college graduates is often blamed on poor teaching, or alternatively, failure on the part of schools and instructors to teach the basic grammar and punctuation skills that employers remember learning in their own school years. While it may be true that teaching techniques and course content have changed over the years, a far greater cause of student inability to write clearly may be students’ negative perceptions of instructor comments. If this is indeed the case, as borne out in some earlier studies by Bardine, then how might students who grew up in a digital era view electronic comments? The prevalence of technological tools to make electronic notations increases readability, but what impact might instructors’ use of technology in making comments have on tone, completeness, and length of comments when viewed through the lens of the student writer?


teaching; writing; technology; teach comments; grading

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