Peer Assessment


Peer assessment or peer review is a process where students review and/or assess each other's work. There are two main reasons to use peer assessment:

  • To save the teacher's time
    Reviewing papers or essays and providing quality feedback takes a long time. Time that a teacher may not have. To ensure that each student still gets feedback, peer assessment can be used.
  • To improve the student's understanding of the course objectives.
    Looking at someone else's answers on the same assignment allows the student to look at the assignment from a different perspective. Especially if the teacher provides criteria the student should look at while reviewing.

In itslearning, peer assessment is an option within the assignment tool.

Peer assessment process

Setting up the assignment

You can enable peer assessment by enabling 'Require peer assessment' when creating or editing an assignment.

With peer assessment, student's answers are distributed when the deadline passes. Because of this, you need to set a deadline before you can enable peer assessment.

When you have set a deadline and enable peer assessment, you can choose how many peers each students can assess (between 1 and 5).

Group assignments are disabled when peer assessment is enabled and vice versa peer assessment is disabled if you already have made the assignment a group activity.

Submitting an answer

Until the deadline has passed, the assignment will be the same for the student as regular assignments. The only difference is that they can see in the right panel that they will have to review an certain amount of peers when the deadline has passed.

Assessing peers

After the deadline, itslearning will automatically assign the configured number of students/answers between the students that have submitted an answer. This also means that students that did not submit an answer are excluded from the peer assessment process.

Note: in the assignment we have a so called 'soft grace' period. If a student is already on the Answer page we allow to submit a few minutes after the deadline, as the student's clock can be a few minutes off. This means that the actual distribution of peer answers is around 5 minutes after the deadline.

The student will see the assignment on their task list again, with the action 'assess peers'.

When the student opens the assignment, the students he/she needs to assess are shown on top of the page. Below that, the students that will peer assess him/her are shown.

When assessing a peer, the student has the same assessment options as the teacher would have. They can:

  • view and annotate on the submitted document (for the most common document types);
    • Note: for peers, files will always open in itslearning's document viewer, not in Office Online
  • assess with a rubric, if the teacher has provide one;
  • set the grade or score they would give the assignment, if the teacher has set an assessment scale;
  • give overall feedback in the rich text editor.
    • It is also possible to download the submitted answer, annotate it locally and attach the edited file to the feedback.

Peers cannot:

  • Change the submission status of the assignment
  • Request a plagiarism report
  • Set the mastery status of learning objectives

Opening an answer file in the document viewer:

By clicking 'Save and assess next' on the assess page the student can move to the next peer they need to assess.

Viewing peer assessment

As soon as a peer assessment is available, it can be viewed by clicking the View button.

The peer assessment will open in a dialog.

To view the annotations on a file, the peer can click on the name of the file at the bottom of the dialog.

Teacher views peer assessments

The teacher can see the progress of peer assessment in the Status column of the answer grid. This displays how many students have already peer assessed this students. For example, in the picture below 1 student has already peer assessed Erik.

From the assess page, the teacher can access the peer assessments a student has received, and this student has given to others.

It is also possible for the teacher to give an overall assessment as they can do for a regular assignment.

Manually adding and removing peers

For teachers, it is also possible to manually add and remove peers after the peer assessment process has started.

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