There are four main types of comments available in Google Classroom. Here’s a quick overview:
Class comments are made on the “Stream”. Depending on your settings choices, students and teachers may post and comment on the Stream. This is a great way to establish the lines of communication, or continue discussions outside of class time. A good rule of thumb with commenting is that teachers need to set up norms and expectations with the students prior to and during the initial few weeks of using the comments feature. Students will rise to the occasion, and effectively use this feature to get the help they need and share ideas. Being patient, setting up expectations and consequences, and continuing to make it a focus in your class is key.
Private comments are made on individual assignments. They can be used by students to ask clarifying questions, teachers to provide feedback or encourage corrections, and generally create a space where the teacher and student can have a private chat.
When assigning work to be completed in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and a number of other Google tools, the teacher and student has the opportunity to make and leave comments directly within the documents. This allows the teacher to input specific feedback to be made about individual elements of a file, or a student to ask a “how-to” or “what if” question about an individual element.
When grading assignments in Google Classroom, teachers have the ability to add and select from a bank of frequently used comments. This is a huge time-saver, and super useful feature in Google Classroom.