Crowdsourcing Memes for Student Feedback

Thursday, January 14, 20166:14 PM

It started with BitMoji. I learned about these fun, customizable emojis at NYC #GafeSummit a few months ago, and instantly thought about how I could use them with my students. I threw a few into presentations, Tweets, blog posts, and my web site, but wanted to do more.

Then last week, I was giving feedback to an essay and a student kept using the word connotation incorrectly. Over and over again, she used it but it was slightly off. I wanted to comment with “wrong word” or “clarify diction,” when The Princess Bride came to mind. As Inigo Montoya says, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” I found the meme below, and in addition to my written comment, I added a link to this meme, then tweeted it out.

Memes For Feedback

As my Tweet drew some comments and I began to brainstorm, I decided that I wanted to do more of this. In addition to written and verbal feedback, I wanted to provide more visual feedback, too. I’ve seen a few teachers Tweet about using memes lately, both in instruction and as student creations and want to continue to develop these ideas. Below, I’ll describe the plan in more detail. For now, I need your help.

Share your favorite memes to use with students or for feedback at

The Crowdsourcing Plan

Over the next few weeks, I plan to Tweet out the form and collect memes to use with students. The form asks for a link to the meme, a description of its purpose, keywords, and for attribution. With this, I want to create a database of memes to use with students and for feedback.

  • Using Forms, Sheets, and Awesome Table, I plan to create an indexable database of memes for teachers.
  • Using the New Visions script, formFolio, the form results will also populate a view-only folder for teachers to download and preview any of these memes.

With these tools, anyone can contribute to the project with no risk of losing the memes or data. We can also use them to help make feedback for fun and meaningful for our students. Please take a few minutes to add your memes and thoughts! Down the line, I will likely have my students create their own memes for common writing issues, too.

Consulting the Experts

This project also got me excited because two Google and Apps Scripts experts jumped right into the conversation. Google’s Jonathan Rochelle suggested I work on an add-on to insert images as comments directly in Google Docs. New Visions’ Andrew Stillman jumped in to explore the possibility, concluding that it’s not currently possible in Google Docs. He provided some documentation of the issue to Google to request an update which could make this possible in the future. 

I love that with the power of social media, the ideas and answers came so quickly. For now, the form and database is a good solution. While inserting a link for the comment instead of the image isn’t ideal--I hate the extra click--I like the possibilities. 

How do you use memes in your classroom? What are your favorites to use with students? Share your ideas at or on Twitter.

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