Tech Tip – PhraseExpress

by Leslie Johnson

If you find yourself writing the same things to students over and over again, try using a program called PhraseExpress. A simple version, available for free download and approved for use on LCC computers, can make grading go much more quickly. PhraseExpress can create shortcuts for all sorts of regularly used text and sentences. The best part is that PhraseExpress can be used in browsers (such as Chrome or Firefox), which means it can complete those phrases within Desire2Learn.

For instance, when I am grading my students’ annotated bibliographies, I often wish to let them know what’s incorrect about their documentation. To make myself easily understood, I have to formulate complete sentences explaining what to do differently. Therefore, instead of writing out “Capitalize the first letter of each major word in article titles,” I can teach PhraseExpress to complete the sentence for me. Now, when I type #mlatitle into a dropbox feedback form, PhraseExpress will ask if I want to include the whole sentence. I say, “Yes,” by simply striking the Tab key.

It takes a little effort in the beginning to program PhraseExpress to do what you want, but it’s a huge time saver in the end and the learning curve is not very steep. I’ve even taught the program simple phrases, like “WRIT 122,” so that I can quickly change the subject line in any D2L course mail that I send out.

You can purchase more robust versions of PhraseExpress as well as download a PhraseExpress app to your Android or iPhone. To learn more about the freeware version of PhraseExpress, visit their website.

Please feel free to stop by the CTE during open hours for assistance using PhraseExpress.

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