6 Tips for Assessing in OneNote

  1.   Distribute everything! 

The Distribute and Review functions are easily my favourite Class OneNote tools. With a couple of clicks, I can distribute a page or section out to all of my learners.

Distribution changed my world!

The best part though, is when I want to review or assess their work. I just go into Class  Notebook tools, click on review work and follow the prompts. Then, I have the work of all my students, right there in front of me! This function has dramatically reduced the amount of time that I spend marking.


There are a few tips though;

  • Train your learners to NOT change the title. If they do, OneNote will not recognise that student’s work, and you will have to find it manually. (Not cool people! I remind my learners that they want me in a good mood when I’m assessing, not grouchy because they played with the title.)
  • Distribute EVERYTHING. Even if it is just a title such as “T1 W2 Recount” and a blank page. You never know when you might want to review work.
  • Don’t let learners create their own Sections. Each individual’s section will then be listed, and this is downright irritating when distributing and reviewing work.


  1. Allow alternative assessment methods for learners that need it

When I’m planning assessments, I ask myself what it is that I’m trying to find out. If the answer isn’t about spelling, grammar and punctuation, then I incorporate multimodal assessment features, especially for students with additional needs.

OneNote is great for this, particularly by allowing the insertion of

  • dot points
  • audio responses (read more here).
  • images
  • videos (though sadly, not in Mac at the moment)
  • Youtube will embed directly into OneNote for Mac.

    Audio responses are great for students with dyslexia.

  1. Put questions and answers in tables

This is to make it easy for responses to be clearly written. This makes marking easy, as you don’t have to go searching for student answers amongst the text. More about tables in OneNote can be found in an earlier post here.

No more hunting for answers – I know exactly where to find them!


  1. Keep a copy of the marked rubric in a separate teacher-only location

 Kids will be kids, accidents happen, and I don’t like having to do a job twice. While I mark in the Class OneNote, I also have a second OneNote, containing my assessment data, and I copy and paste the completed rubric with my comments into a page per child.

Two Notebooks open – on the left is my ‘for teacher eyes only’ record, on the right is the Class OneNote.

It takes just a couple of seconds to do, but it provides a back up in case an accident (or “accident”) ever happens. It also means that when I met with parents, I have all the assessment rubrics in the one place.

I used to screenshot the completed rubric and then insert it back in as an image so that students couldn’t change their own grades, but it’s never happened, and I’m diligent about making the copy immediately, so I’ve scrapped the extra work  as being unnecessary.

  1. Include WALT, WILF and rubric in the assessment.

My students learn best when they know what they are learning, why they are learning it, and what I’m looking for when I mark an assessment. With that in mind, I make use of tables and the audio recording tool to enable students to have the best opportunity for success. (read more about differentiation here.)  Whenever I get the chance, I prefer to create the rubric with the learners, so that they understand exactly what they are being assessed on.  This is easy enough to do, and I can distribute the page out to them after we have made the rubric together.

Students refer to these regularly, along with the assessment rubric.

  1. Consider embedding a Form for a self marking component

Marking is one of my least favourite activities as a teacher. When possible, I include a Forms quiz and insert it into OneNote as a part of an overall assessment.  Just create the quiz in Forms, click on’ share’, get the Url and insert into OneNote. OneNote will embed the Form, making it easy for students to find and complete.

An embedded Form is great for a quick assessment.


What I love the most about assessing in OneNote though is simple logistics. I teach in a Village environment, which this year consists of 67 students, three teachers and three support staff. It simply isn’t possible to carry that many books home. Also, it’s very possible for books to go missing, or for another teacher to need them at the same time. With OneNote, I can assess efficiently, from anywhere.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



  1. Great tips…I’ve been using Class Notebook all year with my students and hadn’t heard of many of these tips. This will make my life easier! WINNING!

    • Glad I can help! I hope that you and your students continue to enjoy your OneNote journey – this is my fourth year, and I don’t know what I”d do without it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *