Productive Nerd – TextExpander and Grading

Some of you use to read my old web-site, The Productive Nerd. I expalined just a bit why I took that site down here, – but that doesn’t mean that I stopped thinking about productivity in higher education.

One my primary frustrations in higher ed is the lack of control we have in the selection and implementation of learning management systems. For several years, I curated my own LMS in Evernote because I was tired of recreating courses in new platforms. My institution has seemingly settled on Canvas, and I’m happy for this. But for a time, we used a Turnitin plug-in, and we were encouraged to grade papers in the TII Feedback Studio. One advantage of the TII feedback studio was the ability to create and share grading libraries – called QuickMarks – between users. The idea was that one could create a QuickMark with feedback, resources, and even links for additional help. I enjoyed TII’s QuickMark platform a great deal, and had developed an extensive library of my own grading marks. Guess what? The connection between the Canvas and TII has broken, and students can’t see my feedback on TII Feedback Studio anymore. So I’m back to finding a solution I can own despite changes in platforms.

This is where TextExpander has come to my rescue. There are several options like TE. These programs essentially create your own set of “autocorrect” shortcuts called “snippets.” For example, when I type the snippet “;sig” on my keyboard, my signature file automatically fills in the followin text…

J. Scott Self, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Educational Leadership
Abilene Christian University | Dallas Campus
scott.self@acu.edu | https://calendly.com/drself/edd

I use this program so much that I can hardly type on someone else’s computer.

So I recently took a couple of days to refine and curate a TextExpander Snippet group for Grading. You can download and edit these to your own purposes. If you’re using text expansion software other than TE, you can find my current snippets in a word document HERE. The advantage of a snippet is that I can provide a great deal of information to the student in the stroke of a few characters. For example, my grading snippet for “Citation:Integrating Sources” (my shortcut for this snippet is ;cintegrate) expands to provide the following information…

Integrating Sources

There are many rules related to proper source integration. Take the times to watch some or all of these videos to learn how to smoothly integrate sources when developing your ideas.

Integrating sources

Choosing and using quotations

Providing context to lend authority when integrating sources

Paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting #1

Paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting #2

Brackets and parentheses with quotes in APA

Quotations and paraphrasing in APA

Citing references in-text in APA

The real benefit to using my own system of grading slugs is that I am no longer dependent upon Turnitin Feedback Studio – or any other platform – continuing to hold my grading information. I own it myself, and I can use my snippets in Canvas Speedgrader, TII Feedback Studio, in comments on PDFs, or in comments on Word or gDocs. Additionally, my students get a lot of feedback along with resources and references.

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