The Perils of Online Teaching

To be honest towards the end of the semester I tend to get buried under a huge pile of final papers, rewrites, and final exams!


Most students do not realize the amount of time it takes educators to read their assignments and add thoughtful comments on their papers that will help them improve their writing.

To provide my students with feedback on their writing I use a couple of apps that I think work really well because I can hand write by feedback on my ipad and the students receive a pdf of their homework assignment with my comments. The app I like the most is UPad. For one thing it is super intuitive and extremely simple to use.


Once I found the right stylus then it feels as if I am correcting on paper and not an IPad screen. When I am done reading and writing my comments and feedback I save the file and export it. The other app I like to use a lot especially if I have a lot to say is iannotate.


This is a more sophisticated app and has a lot of bells and whistles that UPad does not have. It takes a little bit longer to get the hang of this app, but it is still worth using. The feature that I like the most is that I can record my voice instead of writing comments. This app allows me to talk to my students like I did during office hours when they had questions about their papers. Once I am done reading a student’s paper I can save the paper and export it. The process is slightly different, but the end result is the same.

Most students like hand written comments and audio versus the track changes that can be done via Microsoft word. They feel that the instructor cares enough to go the extra mile and provide them not only thought provoking comments but will also hand write them.

I would recommend either app for reading and commenting on student papers. Of course, their are numerous apps out there and I think that it is a matter of personality and preference. So if you don’t like the two I am using feel free to go out there and explore…



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