Peer Assessment Tools

The University of San Diego offers two tools to assist with peer assessment. There is Blackboard’s Self and Peer Assessment tool and then Turnitin’s Peermark. Peer Assessment generally is used in group work as a way of holding each member of the group accountable. It can also be used for assessing individual papers or projects in rough draft stages to receive feedback before turning in the final paper.

Some advantages of using peer assessment tools include*:

  • Agreed marking criteria means there can be little confusion about assignment outcomes and expectations.
  • Encourages student involvement and responsibility.
  • Encourages students to reflect on their role and contribution to the process of the groupwork.
  • Students are involved in the process and are encouraged to take part ownership of thisprocess.
  • Provides more relevant feedback to students as it is generated by their peers.
  • Can help reduce the ‘free rider’ problem as students are aware that theircontribution willbe graded by their peers.

Blackboard’s Self and Peer are very useful for courses that are already set up in Blackboard. Students can submit open ended responses to peer assessments or upload a separate file and may also grade other students’ work anonymously. Blackboard assigns who grades each student randomly so students cannot choose who they grade.

Turitin uses PeerMark to enhance the peer review. Some of the major features include:

  • Student submissions are checked by Turnitin
  • Two types of questions: free response (comment) or scale
  • Students can comment directly on another student’s the paper
  • On post date, reviews of the students’ papers become available for the papers’ authors to view
  • Integration within Blackboard; can set up from
  • Papers can be distributed automatically by the system, manually by the instructor, or self-selected by the student


  • Column created in Grade Center
  • Scores given by students to students do not get passed to Grade Center
  • Instructor can see all peer feedback at once and must make final grade decision

For more information take a look at the PeerMark guide.

The iTeam has created a brand new Blackboard Organization with tons of resources, tutorials and examples on getting started with Peer Assessment. Contact the iTeam to gain access to this org!

*University of Sydney Peer Assessment Article


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