Compare to Automated Comment Tools

Several programs, such as Grammarly and WriteLab, offer automated responses to student work. From a writing center perspective, how is using an UBERdoc different from using automated comment tools?

Customization. The comments in an UBERdoc can be customized to any university, writing center, student, or session. Your writing center has full control over which comments act as templates for your consultants and how they are worded.

Accurate and clear explanations of surface-level issues. Automated grammar checkers and comment tools consistently flag false errors and misdiagnose the issue or the solution. An UBERdoc provides correct explanations while challenging your consultants to recognize the issue and the appropriate solution.

Inclusion of global issues. The UBERdoc helps consultants comment on global issues dealing with essay structure, citation, and format. Most automated programs are designed only to assist writers with surface-level errors that can be detected with programmed patterns.

Stronger consultants. The UBERdoc still requires consultants to identify weaknesses in student writing and consider possible solutions, which helps them develop a deeper knowledge of writing and written response. By using the UBERdoc, consultants will have access to a catalogue of accurate information they can learn from and share with student writers. When automated comment tools detect and generate comments for students, the consultants lose training and learning opportunities.

Limited comments. Consultants know better than to overload a student with too much information or too much help, and the UBERdoc allows them to decide how many comments to provide and how to shape those comments to best assist the student’s development. Automated comment tools cannot make such judgments and aim to find every issue in a student text. The UBERdoc allows users to scaffold their feedback to aide writing skill development.

Purpose. We shared our UBERdoc both to share the idea of creating an UBERdoc and to provide a template from which you can build your own. We are genuinely interested in improving online training and consultant feedback and receive no monetary benefit for maintaining this website and its resources. Automated comment tools are owned by corporations or individuals looking to make profit.

Free of cost. Our UBERdoc is free to download, and your own UBERdoc is free to create. Automated programs are usually free in limited form and cost institutions thousands of dollars in annual subscription fees.