Is there a way to make comments directly on the document (like you do in Word with track changes) that a student has uploaded? I need to comment within the document not just in the comment box on the side. I am currently downloading all documents to word doing all the comments and then re-uploading the documents to moodle - a time consuming process.
Hello. I am going to move your post to the Assignment forum where it is better suited. There are various options for commenting and annotating inline. See Assignment FAQ
Your students could type directly into Moodle and you can comment inline in their text editor. Alternatively they can upload either PDFs and you can comment on them if your systems admin has enable Ghostscript, or they can upload other documents like Word docs and these will be converted to PDF so you can annotate them if the admin has enabled either Unoconv or Google document converter (these all depend on your version of Moodle) The documentation on Assignment should point you in the right direction.
Mary has provided a thorough summary of the options.
I'd just make my own comment that, despite the inconvenience, I continue to find direct commenting within Word the fastest way of operating on a complex document.
The PDF annotation feature is a graphic canvas that doesn't understand text. It requires deft mouse/pen navigation to select the words of interest. A comment placed then seems to take up a lot of room. I acknowledge that you can collapse the markers. It may be on par with Adobe's PDF annotations. However, Word organises these more effectively, in my opinion. If you've got a lot to say, the comments still don't get in the way.
For a few simple paragraphs, the inline editor may perhaps do the job.
If I'm trying to highlight changes, I'd still favour Word's Track Changes. (I must say though that these days - in my context - I rarely 'give' answers to my writing students in this way.)
Download/Upload as ZIP is potentially a way to save some time. It used to be my method, but I got cold feet with the use of folders recently.
I would like to second this as a suggestion. Many of our instructors need to have the ability write directly on the submitted assignment document. The reference to comments is confusing and indirect; therefore less effective. Instructors can be concise enough to save space on the document.