How to ace online grading and commenting.

From grade school to higher education, teachers can save time and paper with digital tools to customize worksheets, add comments, and assign letter grades online.

A teacher sitting at a desk using their computer to grade homework online

Why grade online?


More and more education has gone remote, so teachers and students have adapted to the virtual classroom experience. With digital document tools, teachers can easily get their grading done wherever they are. And as PDFs prove much more efficient and convenient than paper, even teachers who conduct classes in person can assign, collect, and grade student work online. 


Go digital with Acrobat

A teacher and their students using laptops to review schoolwork in a classroom

More than a grading tool.


To move from paper to PDF, you don’t need a specialized learning management system or a school district–approved assessment tool. With Adobe Acrobat Pro, teachers and students can use a single app for much more than simple grade submission.



Make worksheets easier.


With PDFs, educators can create fillable worksheets that students can interact with from any device. Teachers can use Acrobat Pro to convert documents from other formats to PDF, or they can scan paper worksheets and add fields to make them interactive.


To create a worksheet in Acrobat:


Click the Tools tab. Once there, select Prepare Form.



Find your sheet. Select any worksheet file or scan your paper worksheet with the Adobe Scan mobile app, and Acrobat will automatically analyze your document and add form fields.



Add or adjust. Use the top toolbar to add additional form fields if needed, and adjust the layout with the tools in the right pane.



Save and share. Click Save. Then send it by email or upload it to Google Drive or Google Classroom. You can also click Distribute to collect responses automatically.

A graphic of editing homework on a laptop

Make edits easier.


Teachers can also use the editing features in Acrobat Pro to make changes to PDFs without having to find the documents in their original formats. Easily update grading rubrics, worksheets, quiz or exam templates, or mix up the order of questions for different sections of your class.


To edit a PDF:




Find your file. Open it in Acrobat Pro.



Click Edit PDF. Select the Edit PDF tool in the panel to the right.



Choose your tool. Select the appropriate tool to add new text, edit text, or update fonts with selections from the Format list to the right.



Adjust your images.  Add, replace, move, or resize images on the page with selections from the Objects tools to the right.



Save. Name your file and click Save.



Keep work organized and accessible.


With Acrobat Pro, educators can share links to any assignment or exam. Then students can add comments or questions, and teachers can respond right in the document. With all student work just a click away, teachers can spend less time grading assignments and more time developing lesson plans.

A graphic of commenting on homework in a document on a tablet device
A student sitting at a desk and using their laptop to submit homework online

Help teachers give meaningful feedback.


Educators know how important it is to give frequent and substantive feedback. Several studies have shown that this type of formative assessment improves student performance and teacher effectiveness.


Detailed comments from their teachers can help students understand their strengths and areas for improvement, and aid in their ability to meet learning goals. Plus, teachers gain a better understanding of their students’ capabilities and comprehension. 


Done correctly, formative assessment can take up a lot of a teacher’s time. It’s just not efficient to write notes longhand or switch to a separate document to add comments. But with PDF tools, teachers can annotate text, add highlights, add strikethroughs, ask questions, and even draw pictures. 



Foster student learning.


Online documents ensure that students can’t lose their homework. That work lives in the cloud throughout the school year. If students have questions about a reading or assignment, they can ask by adding a comment to the PDF. They can also collaborate on group work, even if they’re online learning, by using the same link to add comments to a PDF.


Students can also submit almost any assignment electronically. With Adobe Scan, a paper full of equations or hand-drawn diagrams can become a PDF with the quick snap of a photo. The student can then share it right from the app.


No matter where they are, no matter the assignment, students can submit their work and receive feedback and password-protected grades. 

A teacher sitting at a table reviewing homework on their laptop

Take all teaching work online.


Educators can digitize and protect everything from gradebooks to student progress reports with Acrobat Pro. Whatever the grading system, these PDF tools have the functionality to help teachers, students, and parents stay connected from anywhere.

And if you subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud for Students and Teachers, you already have access to these valuable tools.


Get started

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