Since ProfHacker first launched (can it really be five years ago?), we’ve written numerous posts referencing Google Docs. One of my own earliest posts dealt with using Google Docs in my writing course when portfolio readers might still need paper copies of students’ work, and Ryan’s written about using it to run a peer-review writing workshop.
Google Docs remains an excellent tool for working with students on their writing skills, and in late June, Google added a new feature that makes it even more useful: “Suggested Edits,” which I first learned about from an article PCWorld ran about a month later.
Suggesting edits will likely look familiar to those accustomed to Microsoft Word’s “track changes.” To use the feature, anyone looking at the document who has sufficient privileges to comment on it can choose “Suggesting” from the dropdown menu at the far right of the toolbar. When that’s selected, any edits made appear as suggestions, but without altering the original text. The suggestions will also appear as an explanatory comment in the margin. The document’s owner can then decide whether to accept or reject the suggestions.
I see this as a potentially powerful tool to use in helping students improve their writing. I plan to start using it in my writing classroom, and will of course continue to use the commenting and revision history features.
Have you tried the suggested edits feature in Google Docs? Have you found it useful? Let us know in the comments.
[CC-licensed image by the author.]