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#01-Tracking Changes in Microsoft Word Documents

January 25, 2002

Arguably the most ubiquitous application program on college and university campuses is Microsoft Word. This powerful program has features that many of us have never explored and, even if we did, would never be interested in taking advantage of certain features. One feature, however, that deserves a look if you have not already done so is the use of Word to track changes in an electronic document.

LTA Credits

Charles J. Ansorge
Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
College of Education and Human Sciences
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
cansorge@unl.edu


Tracking changes in a word processing document is very useful, particularly for a group working on a report for a committee or task force. What I find it to be particularly useful for is commenting on assignments that are submitted to me for the classes I teach and then returning these comments to the students. This process is completely an electronic one with no paper being printed and no red pen or pencil marks scribbled on a document that sometimes defy interpretation.In addition to teaching traditional on-campus statistics classes at the University of Nebraska I also teach beginning and advanced statistics classes to students who are at a distance from my campus. In fact, students are scattered across the United States and are also located in foreign countries. I can’t depend upon e-mail mail to get students’ work to me on time. Instead, the students send me their assignments in a Word format either as an attachment to an e-mail message or they simply move their assignment to an electronic drop box located in the Blackboard course management system we use on our campus.Using the Tracking feature of Word is very easy. A more detailed explanation as well as some pictures of screen shots appears in the video that has been created for this LTA of the Week (see below).My students have responded in a positive way to my editing of their work and to the additional comments that I am able to add to their documents. Students simply roll their cursor over the yellow areas and a pop-up appears with my comments. All other changes are in red in the document and when they move their cursor to a change, they find a time stamp for when the editing was completed.
The major advantage of using the editing features in Word is that all recent versions of Word have this feature available and there do not appear to be issues related to computer platforms that cause problems. It’s worth a look at this LTA if you have not already done so.
Check the additional resource below and offer your feedback regarding this LTA. Narrated PowerPoint Slides of Instructions [2.4 Mb QuickTime Movie]

Comments»

1. RSS feeds into course management systems - why? « The Weblog of (a) David Jones - February 15, 2009

[…] Using track changes in Word […]

2. Tracking Changes in Microsoft Word Documents « TLT Group LTA « Jim Bologna's Blog - December 3, 2009

[…] Tracking Changes in Microsoft Word Documents « TLT Group LTA(Nice Quicktime movie included!) […]


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