How do teachers grade formal writing effectively and efficiently online when you have a student load of 100? I have tried countless times to grade from the dropbox, and I always end up giving up, because students are sloppy about submissions, I can't grade easily on the go, and it takes a much longer time to open the documents.
Dropboxes are a pain in the keester.
I suggest the following admittedly DIY strategy:
1. Have the kids post their essays on a blog. There's no reason why you should have to manage dozens of unwieldy Word documents. Plus, if it's posted to a blog, you can easily grade it from anywhere you can connect.
2. Cut-and-Paste the student's essay into a Word program.
3. Comment on the paper in 'Comments Mode' and record your grade.
4. Email the edited version back to the student.
Bam! You're done! The one thing the super-savvy among you may try is to convert the paper into a pdf before sending it back to the student; you can do this in Acrobat Pro or via Open Office. [ADD 2.12.09 5:24PM] Then the student may post the essay with the teacher's comments on their blog.