Better Feedback on Code with In-Line Comments

Aug-11-2020 | Product News

Codio’s new In-Line Comments feature improves students’ ability to quickly identify teacher comments and allows for back-and-forth communication—all right next to the relevant code.

Single-line comments on the left files and a multi-line comment on the file on the right.

There's no need to enable or activate them—In-Line Comments are already live! When you are working in a code file inside Codio’s native IDE, you can quickly and easily make in-line comments. Here's how...

How Codio In-Line Comments Work

To add comments, teachers access student work as normal. To create single-line comments, users simply click to the left of the line number. For multi-line comments, highlight the lines you want to include, and click to the left of any line number within the selection. Comments can be written in plain text or use markdown syntax to make them easier to read for students. The commented code, highlighted in yellow, visually pops from the rest of the file.

teacherMakingComments

Additionally, similar to Google Docs and GitHub, you can create a thread between users that directly references part of a file. This allows students to respond to comments as they iterate on their code.

A student asking a clarifying question about a comment, creating a comment thread in the code file

This also means teams of instructors can see what their colleagues noted as problematic for consistent feedback to students.

Comments are not permanent disrupters in code files. Users can edit or delete comments they authored. Students can resolve a comment or comment thread by editing the highlighted section of code.

studentReviewingComments

Students and teachers can see all code comments in an assignment or project by navigating to Education > Code comments in the top menu bar. Resolved comments are denoted as "Obsolete". Live or un-resolved comments have an arrow icon that when clicked, takes the user to the comment's location in the code.

Codio’s Remote Feedback Toolset

In-Line Comments round out our improvements to help you provide remote help and feedback to students both synchronously and asynchronously.

Quickly understand how students built out the code you are giving feedback on with our Code Playback feature.

Synchronously, you can use our cursor presence feature while on a call to find what students are looking at, highlight pieces of code to them, and make changes to student code.

Asynchronously, you can leave in-line code comments. Students can either resolve them by simply modifying the code, or respond to the thread if they are confused. This allows you or others on your instructional team to see and continue previous conversations without attempting to remember your feedback for each student.

These same tools can be used by students collaborating on group assignments.

Future Updates

As we hear of more users going online, we are attempting to make remote instruction as effortless as possible. In-Line Comments are our most recent step in easing remote code review. Keep an eye out for streamlined workflows for pair/group assignments.

If you have a feature request, please use our in-product Feedback tool to let us know!

Elise Deitrick

Elise is Codio's VP of Product & Partnerships. She believes in making quality educational experiences available to everyone. With a BS in Computer Science and a PhD in STEM Education, she has spent the last several years teaching robotics, computer science and engineering. Elise now uses that experience and expertise to shape Codio's product and content.