Using iAnnotate to enhance feedback on written work

Kristi Upson-Saia, Suzanne Scott


This paper discusses an iAnnotate feedback model used by the authors to comment on written work in first-year writing courses. We aim to show that the use of iAnnotate, like other emergent technologies, mitigated a number of issues that regularly undermine high-quality feedback (such as the time it takes for instructors to write detailed comments and the challenge for students to read illegible handwriting or to keep track of hard copies of their papers).  Yet, we contend that our feedback model goes beyond these practical benefits and, more importantly, enhances student learning.  Specifically, we argue that it aligns instructor and student standards, elucidates for students the different types of comments instructors make (and clarifies that they ought to prioritize some comments over others), helps students and instructors identify recurrences and  patterns of comments (thus also helping students and instructors diagnose general writing strengths and weaknesses), and conditions students to engage with feedback not only as a justification of their grade, but as a launching point from which they can develop as thinkers and writers.  The success of this feedback model is partly attributable to the features of iAnnotate and partly attributable to the classroom complements we designed as part of the feedback model.


feedback; assessment; e-assessment; technology; technopedagogy; e-learning tools; iAnnotate; visual learning; writing instruction

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