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Improve Student DocViewer Comment View/Accessibility

Improve Student DocViewer Comment View/Accessibility

Students are limited to a miniature window through which to view what can be some detailed teacher comments on written assignments using the SpeedGrader CrocDoc function. To see comments teachers have written using the red pointing arrow on the document itself, students must shift the miniature window while following the yellow dotted line to the actual comment that is positioned in the far margins of the document. And they must do it all while reading what amounts to 5-point fonts. Students cannot maximize this small screen. Downloading the document as an "annotated PDF" does no good either. The "annotations" include only the red arrows, but no comments.
Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.


This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

Community Participant

Hi Erin,

I finally got a chance to check out the improvements. It definitely looks like it works a bit better. I like how the link position is adjusted when the window is resized. On a large screen, the link can look a bit lost:

290321_Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 2.42.38 PM.png

I still wish students didn't have to make the extra click, and that they got something that just looked like the SpeedGrader as soon as they clicked the assignment in their gradebook. As it is, when they click the assignment name, they get a title, a grade, a time of submission, and instructor comments on the far right side. There is a lot of empty white space. When they click "View Feedback," they get a preview of their file surrounded by a lot of unnecessary gray space. What prevents the white space from being replaced by a Doc Viewer view? Why the extra click? Also, from the point of view of Instructure, why maintain two separate interfaces for viewing and leaving feedback when the SpeedGrader view is far superior and would work great as is for students?

Anyway, thanks again for keeping this updated.

Community Member

I do hope that a better experience is implemented for students to view document mark-ups and comments. The instructor/TA view is effective when adding comments/annotations using the DocViewer mark-up options. The student experience should be parallel and as seamless. It's so hard when students have to side-scroll left and right to match up what they wrote in their assignment to the comment on the right-hand side. It would be great to have a true full-screen view or a pop-out window option. 

Community Participant


Community Participant

This is the proposed idea: After a paper or other written assignment has been graded, students should be able to easily access a presentation of their paper that is similar—in size and viewability—to the instructor's view in the speed grader (that is, the paper and the instructor's comments should be properly laid out for easy viewing). And, ideally, students should be able to get, with one click, from their grades list to this view of the annotated paper.

There is a way for students to access the comments that instructors put on their written assignments, but the process is more difficult for the students than it should be. (And if they have not already done so, I encourage other instructors either to try the process themselves using the student view function or to look over the shoulder of a student while he or she tries to access an annotated paper.)

For those who haven’t tried it, the process, at present, is as follows. After clicking on the assignment in the grades list, the student has to make another selection (“View Feedback”), which can be missed. Making that selection, then, brings up a document viewer that only shows a part of a page, and makes it difficult to see the instructor’s comments. (See the image below.) It is possible to get to a full screen view, but doing that is even less intuitive than reaching this point, and, at any rate, all of these steps shouldn't be required.