5 Tips to Providing a Helpful Review in Commons

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni


We can all use constructive feedback on our course content and teaching materials. Whether it's a technical comment about settings or a qualitative thought about design, every little bit helps refine our resources. If you are interested in leaving reviews for resources in Commons​, read these tips ​to ensure your feedback is well-received.


1. Rate each resource.


What will it be? One star or five? Ratings are one way users are able to filter their searches. So the more you rate resources, the better searches become in Commons!


2. Preface your review with perspective.


It's always nice to know the context in which you are offering your review.

  • Are you assessing a science project because you are a subject matter expert?
  • Are you evaluating a quiz because you're a Canvas pro-user (whose had a lot of experience designing quizzes)?
  • Are you an instructional designer giving overall feedback on a course or module?
  • Are you a teacher who imported this resource into your course and are offering your assessment of things that worked and didn't work in your classroom?

It's good to lead with some context so the author knows how to effectively interpret your feedback.


3. State (at least) 1 'Good' and 1 'Modify'


Basic feedback 101-type stuff: share one thing the author did successfully and one area upon which he/she can improve. Keep it short, but concise.


4. Provide opportunity for follow-up (optional)


Hopefully, you see your role as a reviewer as being more than just a person providing feedback. Posting reviews in Commons is a chance for you to enhance your reputation and build your professional network. Offer your contact information at the end (email or community profile URL) so the author can reach out to you for follow-ups.


5. Endorse other reviews (optional)


If you find that others have reviewed the resource you're about to review, read through their reviews and click 'yes' if the feedback was helpful. One way to give another reviewer a 'thumbs-up' is by building off of their reviews and letting them know that their feedback was helpful, as well. Smiley Happy


What else do you think is important to include in a review?

Include your thoughts in the comments below!

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