Have lots of papers to grade? Lots of student assignments that need your expert, detailed feedback? Instructors and students alike know the value of formative assessments, but instructors know how much time quality, detailed feedback takes to supply. Shortkeys is a helpful program that can help instructors provide detailed feedback and save time in grading by reducing the need to re-type the same passages repeatedly.
Shortkeys is a macro program, which is a program that allows you to set up replacement text for a small number of user-defined keystrokes. If there is anything you type multiple times, this program is for you. There is a limited-use free version, called Shortkeys Lite. The full program costs around $25.
Benefits of using this program:
- Significantly reduces grading time – a clear benefit for instructors
- Much more efficient than copying and pasting from Word files
- Reduces errors due to typos
- Significantly improves the depth of feedback instructors can provide, given time limitations – a clear benefit for students
- Useful for URLs, HTML code, phone numbers, email addresses, library card numbers, page references in textbooks, or any other information you find yourself having to look up more than once
How it works:
The user programs each “shortkey” code and types out the replacement text. Once the shortkey is saved, it is ready to be re-used. For instance, for a shortkey that is programmed to explain a comma splice and how to fix one, a user could set the shortkey as “##cs.” As soon as the user types that code, a full explanation about comma splices is placed in the document: This is a type of run-on sentence called a comma splice, which is two complete sentences linked with nothing but a comma. Two complete sentences need more than a comma to separate them. To correct this, change the comma to a semi-colon, add a conjunction, or simply make two separate sentences.
- To explain common grammatical and punctuation errors
- To provide examples to students, such as example thesis statements
- To refer students to outside resources
- To demonstrate proper citation styles for various types of sources
- To include “here’s what I was looking for & here’s how your assignment measured up” notes for student assignments
- To record summaries and announcements that you re-use in my courses from term to term
- To remind students of course policies, such as late policies
- To record HTML code you use frequently in Blackboard
Where to get it:
To order the software or to download a free trial version, visit www.shortkeys.com.