In a stack of papers called Grading.

  • Dec
  • 26
  • 2007

I want to get this out there before I head off to my brother’s for a few days so here’s CommentPress. This looks promising for grading student writing online. Thanks to James for mentioning this a few days ago. I wouldn’t have known about it, otherwise.


A blogger posts an entry and commentors can add comments to specific paragraphs, as well as to the entire entry. A list shows the number of comments at each spot in the entry. Instead of all comments falling at the bottom of the page, they appear next to the exact words that sparked the comment.


Maybe this can turn into the online writing tool I want, a system where students login, post essays, view comments from peers, read feedback from me, see their grades, and look at other writing grouped by final grades. The bulk of my time spent grading writing comes from writing comments. I type much faster than I write.

Also, like it or not, many comments are repeated. Even though you’ve spent time crafting a writing piece, many of your problems or praises are the same as I’ve seen elsewhere. I don’t know what to make of that because I need to think of my time as well as my students’ responses (“Oh. He wrote that on your paper, too? Then he didn’t really mean it on my work. Lame…”).


A way to allow students access to only their own writing, along with any writing made available for peer review, will be key. The final site won’t show anything to users not logged in; it’ll only show that author’s entries when logged in, along with all entries in the “Peer Edit” category. I don’t want students to see how I’ve graded their colleagues’ papers since that’s not their business. Students then login and post their drafts. Maybe I’ll set up a “Final Draft” category. That’s the category I go and grade. I just need to make sure that Google doesn’t index the site.

What do you think? See any possibilities for using CommentPress in your subject area?

1 comment

1. jentery says:

[1/30/2008 - 4:00 pm]

I use blogging for my English course at the University of Washington. If you want to chat more about it off-blog, then let me know.

In the meantime, here’s the course site.

Thanks for your post! I, too, am in constant search of the ideal, online writing tool for students.