Google Classroom provides teachers with numerous opportunities to communicate and collaborate with students, but perhaps the “quiet student in the back” of the Google Classroom comments is the PRIVATE comment.  

Private comments differ from class comments in that they DO NOT appear in the classroom stream…they are communication strictly between teacher and student.  Private comments are an effective way to leave feedback on a specific assignment and to begin a dialogue with students regarding progress towards instructional goals.   The private comment feature also provides an opportunity for students to ask the teacher a question privately.  In my experience, students are much more likely to “speak up” digitally when they need clarification or are struggling with a concept.   I’m all for a feature that opens up teacher-student communication and builds trusting classroom relationships!

Alice Keeler recently shared a nifty & effective twist on the private comment.  Rather than limit this feature as a vehicle for student questions, Alice suggests creating a Google Classroom assignment in which the assigned task is to leave a private comment.  

1.Create an assignment in Google Classroom. In the assignment instructions, simply include the directive to type their work in the private comment line:







2. Students will need to click the TITLE of the assignment so that the Private Comment option will appear.  The should type their response as a private comment, click “POST” to post their comment, and then click “MARK AS DONE.”

3. The best part of this nifty trick?  Rather than WAITING for students to submit documents, or opening 32 separate documents, student work is RIGHT THERE in Google Classroom, where you can quickly & easily read, respond, and give a grade if you’d like:

4. To respond to students’ private comments,
         *In the Assignment View, click on the student’s name in the right sidebar:

*Type your response in the space provided and click “POST.”

Students will get an email each time you provide a response to their private comments!  This can begin a useful dialogue between you and your students!

*** ALICE KEELER TIP: Add your INITIALS to your response to private comments:

Want to try it as a “student?”  PLEASE join my Demo Class! (See the image below for the Class Join Code!)

                           Is this your FIRST time to join a Google Classroom?  Click here FIRST!

Need more info?  Want training?  Contact me or your campus LT for support!


Assigning Private Comments in Google Classroom – Easy, Effective Feedback
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