STAK Activity

Comment Effectively Together In Word

This activity helps students develop the skills to comment collaboratively and effectively in Word.

Collaborating in Word is a great way for students to develop their own learning by connecting to the comments and thoughts of others. But students often lack knowledge of how to collaborate effectively, which means that sometimes collaboration doesn’t occur or is hard to sustain. This activity helps students practice the skills of making collaborative comments and provides them with guidance on how to make this as effective as possible. 


On completion of this activity, students will:

  • Have practical experience of commenting collaboratively on a digital document.
  • Know how to agree and focus the purpose of the group’s joint commentary, i.e., whether it is a text to be read or it is the group’s own text.
  • Be able to select relevant parts of a text for joint commentary.


This activity has students comment synchronously online to identify strengths and weaknesses within a given text. It clarifies what students need to do to coordinate and structure an effective and fruitful collaborative commentary. 


  • Write an assignment that asks students to collaborate to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a given text.  
  • Prepare the text that students need to review in Word. An introduction/background section from a previous assignment would be suitable.
  • Upload the assignment text to the Learning Management System.
  • Allocate students into groups.


Step 1
These steps are for synchronous classroom meetings with the teacher as facilitator. Split the students into groups and take each group through the following tutorials:
Step 2
Ask each group to read the text. Then ask each group to discuss what could be relevant in the text for the assignment they have been set.
Step 3
Ask students to create references for these sources based on a pre-selected reference style.
Step 4
Ask students to turn their references into paper airplanes and throw them to another group. If you are delivering this activity online, students can swap references with another group through direct messaging or private chat with another group member.
Step 5
Now ask each group to find the sources from the references created by another group. Ask them to decide what type of material the reference is for.
Step 6
Ask each student to comment individually in their text using ‘New comment’ to highlight the strengths and weaknesses in the text. Ask students to annotate other aspects of the text which might be relevant to their assignment.
Step 7
Facilitate a joint review of each team with all the students. Each group should present their comments on the strengths and weaknesses within the text and any other elements of the text that the group found relevant.
Step 8
Ask each group to reflect on what worked well and less well when presenting their comments. Were the comments good to read? Could the comments have been given more appreciatively and constructively?
After the activity
Ask the students to use the finished document and the group discussion learning to inform writing the method section of their own assignment.


Dorthe Brauner Sejersen, VIA Library, Denmark, in collaboration with a pedagogical IT consultant, teachers from the teacher education and the Nutrition and Health Education, VIA University College, Denmark.


  • Educator prep: Moderate
  • Duration: 30+ mins

This activity is one of a series of activities from the STAK Project, focused on developing students' digital skills. 

Find out more

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Developing Students’ Digital Skills


Synchronous Written Feedback


Sharing And Co-Creating References


Good Conduct In Online Education


Developing Online Professional Communities


Bibliography Tips and Tricks


Sort and Assess Your Search Results


Mindmap Your Notes


Follow the Picture


Searching is a Journey of Discovery

Comment Effectively Together In Word