OverviewWhen you open a project shared with an assignment inbox, you can add comments to the project as a whole, or on specific source references and notecards. Note that you cannot edit a student's references and notecards directly. A student can add another student as a peer-reviewer or full collaborator on a project, and those students can also write comments on the project components. All comments are "public" (i.e., all teachers and students who have access to a project will see all the comments written -- there is no concept of private comments, or comments that are directed to a particular user).

Read "How to write and respond to project commentsto understand how commenting works from a student's perspective. 

This article applies to: 

✔︎ NoodleTools School Subscription

 NoodleTools Individual License

 NoodleTools MLA Lite

 NoodleTools Express


A student who has shared a project with one of your inboxes may write comments or respond to questions in that project. When a student sends a comment or question to you, it will initially be in a "to-do" state.

Important: "To-do" does not mean "unread" -- a comment that is a "to-do" for you is one that you have neither responded to nor marked as "done."

On the Inboxes screen, next to each inbox, the number of comments in the "to-do" state is displayed in a red circle.

Step 1:

Expand an inbox by clicking its "+" icon. The number of comments in the "to-do" state for each shared project is shared in a red circle (and in total will equal the number displayed next to the inbox).

Step 2:

To view and respond to comments, you have a few different options:

Option #1: Quick-access comments panel for just the "to-do" comment threads (as well as any general project comments).


Click the comments icon next to the project to open a comments panel on the right. The panel displays:

  • A "general project comments" thread (whether or not that is currently in a "to-do" or "done" state)
  • Any source citation and notecard comment threads that are in a "to-do" state (i.e., the student has written a comment that you haven't responded to or marked "done" yet). Open the "Source Comments" or "Notecard Comments" sections by clicking on those headers.

You can click on the blue link at the top of any citation or notecard comment thread to open the associated citation/notecard in the main panel to the left. 

Option #2: View and respond to ALL citation and notecard comments

The comments panel in Option #1 only displays source and notecard comments that are in the "to-do" state. You can view ALL source and notecard comment threads by viewing them under each citation and notecard on the Sources screen.

Click the "eye" icon at the top of the Sources screen to show or hide all notecards, depending on what you are currently reviewing. Also make sure the "Comments" checkbox is marked in that show/hide panel.

As you scroll down the list of citations, you can easily identify comment threads that are in a "to-do" state for you because the to-do/done toggle next to the comment will be red.

Option #3: View and respond to notecard comments (with the context of notecard piles)

You can also view and respond to notecard comments from the Notecard Details View. Click on notecards (or piles) in the left panel to display the notecard content in the center panel (where you'll see the comments interface).

The reason you might choose this screen to review notecard comments is that unlike with Option #2, you can view the notecards in the context of the notecard piles the student created. If that is important or helps you identify the right groups of notecards to review, this might be useful.

Step 3:

To leave feedback or answer a question, type into the text field and click Send. The "To-do" toggle will automatically change to "Done." Alternatively, if a written response is not necessary, you can just click the "To-do" toggle to change it to "Done."

You have a few options when writing comments: 


You may classify your feedback to help the student understand your expectation. The options are comment, question, action required, compliment, and grade/score.

For instance, if a student should make changes based on your feedback, using the "action required" classification would be appropriate.


In future NoodleTools updates, we expect to provide you with new views and analysis of comments you've written based on this information. For now, it is mainly just informational for you and the student.

Require responseWhen a student receives your feedback, it becomes a "to-do" item for them. Normally, they have two options to clear a to-do -- they can either enter a response and click "Send" or they can click the To-do/Done toggle switch to mark it "done" without writing a response.

If you want to require the student to write a response (i.e., eliminate the option of just clicking the toggle switch to mark it done), mark the "Require response" checkbox before you click "Send."
Save to my comment bankAre you writing a comment that you know you want to re-use in the future? Mark the "Save to my comment bank" checkbox before you click "Send" and the comment will be saved for later use. To re-use the comment, just start typing any part of the saved comment into the "Enter your comment" field and any matching comments in your comment bank will show up in a dropdown as you type.

On the Sources screen, you can click the "More" (three dots) icon at the top of the screen and select "Comment Bank" to view your saved comments. Comments are categorized as Project, Source, or Notecard comments (based on what item you wrote the comment on). Under the Options menu, select "Edit" or "Delete." You can also add a new comment.

After you send a comment, it can be edited or deleted as long as no one has responded yet. Click the pencil or trash icon next to the comment. Note that students do not have the ability to edit or delete comments, which helps make sure they use the feedback system responsibly. 

Hint 1: 

If an inbox has multiple teacher recipients and a student writes a comment, it becomes a "To-do" for all of those teachers. However, once one teacher replies, the thread is marked "Done" for all teacher recipients at that point.

Hint 2:

Students collaborating on a project will see comments from their teammates and replies from the teacher. The author's name (or username, if no name has been specified in the user's profile) is displayed below the comment. Comments are also color-coded to help distinguish between multiple users.

If you (as the teacher) write a comment on collaborative project, that becomes a "To-do" for each student that is a full collaborator. If student 1 marks it "Done," it remains a "To-do" for student 2. Remember that comments cannot be directed to a specific student at this time -- if you wish to make it clear who you are speaking to, be sure to include their name in the text of the comment.

If a student is added to a project as a peer reviewer (as opposed to as a full collaborator), comments written by the other students or the teacher do not become "To-do's" for that student.