Revisely is an online application that allows teachers to give their students writing assignments, which can then be edited and annotated through the system for the students to review. Revisely’s setup is centered around creating an assignment, having students hand them in through Revisely by copying and pasting the text into the system, and then reviewing each student’s assignment with personalized comments or canned positive and negative feedback.
The Revisely dashboard shows clearly how many student assignments that are nearing their deadline have not been turned in yet (and allows teachers to send a reminder notification) as well as how many assignments are ready for review. It also provides a progress chart that shows average grades and standard deviations, allowing teachers to easily see how their students are doing. When revising student work, teachers can provide specific feedback by highlighting snippets of text and adding comments for the student to read. Users can choose to use Revisely for essay assignments, though many of the sample assignments are also for business letters, like a cover letter for an internship position.
Revisely also offers a plagiarism checker, as well as a spelling and grammar checker much like Microsoft Word’s so that teachers don’t have to focus as much on that component of revision. Furthermore, because Revisely was developed in The Netherlands, it offers Dutch, English, and Spanish options, which is a nice change of pace from all the English-centric edtech products on the scene.
The dashboard and correction interface are a little tough to navigate, and although Revisely provides an introductory tour through its main features, it may take quite a bit of tinkering around to figure out how to use all the different functions. Although the positive and negative feedback database of canned responses (e.g., "Complex concept properly explained" or "Ambiguous statement")—that are even sorted alphabetically or by category—are an easy way to avoid having to type out endless comments, they can occasionally seem a little robotic or detached, given their automated nature. It might be more organic and thus more helpful for teachers to provide specific feedback, not items pulled off a pre-planned menu of options.
Although Revisely has a smooth and detailed interface with a lot of options for teachers to provide constructive feedback for writing assignments and track student progress over time, there are still several features that feel somewhat extraneous and clumsy. These problems may ultimately turn teachers away in favor of the old-fashioned way of essay editing, breaking out the good ol’ red pen.Image: Job search by kate hiscock via Flickr