DocAppender-The Ultimate Peer Assessment Tool

Teachers know the power that descriptive feedback has on student learning. Guidelines that I've always adhered to is that descriptive feedback be specific and constructive. Starting with praise is a good introduction before moving on to areas of growth. Mr. D highlights the monumental difficulty of assessing large numbers of essays here.

Traditional marking on an essay (Image Courtesy of

I do a number of argumentative writing pieces in science throughout the year on topics ranging from evolution to the merits of atomic theory and with over a hundred students working on a writing piece, peer evaluation as a formative assessment has come in handy so I wanted to share how DocAppender has made this easier for me.

What is DocAppender?

What Doc Appender does is take a google form submission (which is collected on a spreadsheet) and adds it to the bottom of the document. This works very well in conjunction with Doctopus as the student documents are already housed in a folder. Typically, I have had the students print out their drafts and allow peers to mark on them, but use a Google Forms to assess the work using the project rubric. What I really like about DocAppender is:

  1. The evaluation is pasted in pasted in the bottom of the document. Papers often get lost, left in lockers, and having the comments in the documents for reference if students want to work on this outside of class time is great. 
  2. Using a form submission helps marginalize bias from other assessors. I have students print out two copies of essays, but if there is one rubric that has already been filled in or highlighted at the bottom of the document, the peer might give a similar evaluation. 
  3. Class sharing for peer review in doctopus makes too many documents. If you're like me and use doctopus frequently, you'll know if you give the entire class viewing or commenting rights on each other's document, everyone's incoming folder in Google Drive gets flooded with copies of these documents of their classmates. 

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