I have been thinking of a useful and easy-to-use tool to share with colleagues, and i remembered that i once needed to grade exam papers “à distance” and found something very helpful by looking online.
A while ago, some of my students sat for a make-up exam while i was away for a conference. The grades were due before my return so i had to correct the exams “à distance”. The exams were scanned into PDF documents and shared with me through Google Drive. I had to grade and send them back in electronic format also, to give students feedback about their work. I obviously didn’t want to print and re-scan all the exams once done, some were quite lengthy. So i started grading them by inserting comments and adding text boxes into the PDF files though the “Annotate”option.
I quickly realized that this would take forever and it wouldn’t allow me to write/draw certain things i needed to convey to the students. In fact, I just wanted to “manually write” on those files. So i looked for a tool that would make my task easier and more Eco-friendly. PDF Reader seemed to be a good solution, among many other similar such applications, which i could download on my iPad for free. All i needed was my PDF exam files and a stylus and my iPad, and i was good to go.
I downloaded the files and imported them into my PDF Reader application, then i graded them using the stylus, adding annotations and comments, as i would if i was grading the actual hard-copy exams using a regular pen!
This discovery allowed me to finish my grading and send back the files in very short time, it was piece of cake! Ever since, i have been using to grade project reports that students submit online for example. I think such tools (similar tools are suggested here: http://appadvice.com/appguides/show/pdf-annotation) are very practical and easy to use to provide feedback on any type of assignment that is electronically submitted by the students.