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NoodleTools for Faculty

Learn to use NoodleTools as a teaching and assessment tool. You can also use NoodleTools for your own research projects

What Can You Comment On?

When you open a project shared with you in a project inbox, you can add comments to:

  • the project as a whole
  • on specific source references,  and
  • notecards

Note:  You cannot edit a student's references and notecards directly. You can also comment on student papers written in Google Docs and shared with you.

If your students are working as a group collaborating on a project, those students can also write comments on the project components. All comments are "public" (i.e., all teachers and students who have access to a project will see all the comments written -- there is no concept of private comments, or comments that are directed to a particular user).

Read “How to write and respond to project comments (the basics)” to understand how commenting works from the perspective of your students.

Reading Comments from Your Students

You or your students can initiate the commenting process. Students who have shared their projects with your inbox can send you comments or questions, which you'll see indicated by a red circle with a number displayed on the comment icon in the upper right of your Inboxes screen and next to the Inbox name. Open the inbox to view a breakdown of the number of comments for each project. See below.

To view the comments, open the project and click the comment icon in the upper right to display the To-Do/Active Conversations panel. Click on each comment to view and reply, if needed.

Writing Teacher Comments

As a teacher, you have more options than do students for writing or replying to a comment, as described below.

1. Classification

Classify your comment to help the student understand your expectation. For instance, if they need to go into a notecard and make changes based on your feedback, using the "action required" classification would be appropriate.

2. Require response

When a student receives your feedback, it becomes a "to-do" item for them. Normally, they have two options to clear a to-do item. They can either enter a response and click "Send" or they can click the To-do/Done toggle switch to mark it "done" without writing a response. If you want to require the student to write a response, mark the "Require response" checkbox before you click "Send."

3. Save to my comment bank

Are you writing a comment that you know you want to re-use in the future? Mark the "Save to my comment bank" checkbox before you click "Send" and the comment will be saved for later use. To re-use the comment, just start typing any part of the saved comment into the "Enter your comment" field and any matching comments in your comment bank will show up in a dropdown as you type. 

4. Edit my comment bank

Click this link to view your saved comments. Comments are categorized as Project, Source, or Notecard comments (based on what item you originally write the comment on). Under the Options menu, select Edit or Delete. You can also add a new comment.

5. Editing and deleting comments

After you send a comment, it can be edited or deleted as long as no one has responded yet. Click the pencil or trash icon. Note that students do not have the ability to edit or delete comments, which helps make sure they use the feedback system responsibly. 

To see this process in action from a student's perspective, view the NoodleTools video (2:18) below:

"To-do" vs. "Done"

For a particular student or teacher, each thread of comments is in one of two states -- "To-do" or "Done." The "To-Do/Active Conversations" panel (click the comment icon next to "My account" to open it) displays only items that have comment threads in the "To-do" state. When viewing a project, a red number on the comment icon button at the top of the screen reflects the number of items in the "To-do" state.

As a simple example of how this works, if you as the teacher write a comment on a student's shared project, that comment thread will then be in the "To-do" state for the student and in the "Done" state for you. If the student writes a response, that reverses -- it becomes a "To-do" for you, and is "Done" for the student.

There are other scenarios that might not be quite as obvious:

  • If you (as the teacher) write a comment on collaborative project, that becomes a "To-do" for each student that is a full collaborator. If student 1 marks it "Done," it remains a "To-do" for student 2. Remember that comments cannot be directed to a specific student at this time -- if you wish to make it clear who you are speaking to, be sure to include their name in the text of the comment.
  • If a student is added to a project as a peer reviewer (as opposed to as a full collaborator), comments written by the other students or the teacher do not become "To-do's" for that student.
  • If an inbox has multiple teacher recipients and a student writes a comment, it becomes a "To-do" for all of those teachers. However, once one teacher replies, the thread is marked "Done" for all teacher recipients at that point.

How to View Comments from Collaborators

Students collaborating on a project will see comments from their teammates and replies from the teacher. The author's name (or username, if no name has been specified in the user's profile) is displayed below the comment. Comments are also color-coded to help distinguish between multiple users.