[Peer Review] Assigning Grades for Peer Reviews

Part of participating in online coursework involves working with other students to improve drafts and engage in the learning community. When students are assigned peer reviews, let's be honest, they aren't motivated to complete it unless there is a grade attached. I would love the ability to grade peer reviews.


This could be as simple as complete/incomplete, or more complex where the completion of peer reviews was part of a grading rubric for the assignment. But it would be nice if there was something in the grade book, some academic weight given to participating in these reviews, that doesn't involve manually looking up peer reviews outside of the grade book.

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Community Contributor

I'm a bit puzzled,  @Hildi_Pardo ‌. The teacher absolutely can leave their own feedback/comments on the paper through SpeedGrader. Are you referring to leaving comments back to the people who left reviews?

Community Champion

Hi  @scain ‌

 So sorry for the delay in responding.  I was able to visit with the teacher to actually see the issue, and she's been able to take some screenshots.     Perhaps we are doing something wrong?    But when the Assignment is set for Peer Review, she does not have access to editing tools for the original student's document.    I apologize this was not clear in my first comment.

Here are some screen shots from the teacher's course.

File Upload Assignment WITH peer review turned On - she loses access to markup tools:


File Upload Assignment (NOT a peer review assignment) - she has access to markup tools:


Community Contributor

Ah! Are the peer reviews set to be anonymized? I believe that's the cause of the confusion. To anonymize peer reviews the system disables inline comments. It's irritating that it can't just anonymize the inline comments too, but I expect that's a future DocViewer improvement.

Community Champion

Should I submit this as a separate idea?  (Or does anyone know if this Idea is already out there to vote on, and add to?)


Community Champion

 @Hildi_Pardo ‌ and  @scain , there is indeed an existing idea open for voting:

And there's a related idea for students:

Community Member

Totally necessary: being able to grade the peer reviews, e.g. by adding a rubric to grade peer review submissions.

Community Novice

Yes - please implement this idea! We have to use another LMS until this is implemented, as grading peer reviews is crucial to our course, and the only option Canvas offers is inconvenient.

Community Member

I am glad you're working on this Allison and appreciate the update. I'd like to make a suggestion instead of the large-scale overhaul of the assignment function that you are proposing. (Not that I am opposed to the overhaul, but that I think there might be a simpler fix that could be implemented sooner.) My hope for this "Idea post" is actually much simpler than what you are talking about above: I would just like to make it easier to factor peer review into a student's grade (in the sense of a more streamlined workflow, fewer clicks, etc.). I would propose two very simple possibilities for implementing this (initially, and short of a wholesale overhaul):
1) Make it possible to simply create "assignment 2" like what you described above (linked to the target assignment and used to give credit for completing a peer review on the target assignment) and automatically give students credit for that assignment when they complete a review (subject to manual changes on the gradebook if I decide the review is not sufficient).

2) When using SpeedGrader for "assignment 1," make it possible to see whether the student has submitted a peer review yet. That way, I could just put a criterion in the rubric for assignment 1 that says "completed peer review," and I could easily determine this (and factor it into a student's grade) while grading assignment 1. (This is a separate suggestion from the first, but I see no reason why they could not be implemented together.) 

Hope this helps, and thanks for your work on this.

Community Champion

I believe you might be right that a simplified approach would be a faster first step rather than waiting for everything everyone wants to be possible.  I would like to suggest an approach to your assignment 2 creation: adding a submission type: internal tool.  There is already an external tool submission type, and an internal tool submission could work much the same way, except that when copied between courses "internal tool" should specifically look for the matching "assignment 1" to be in the same course. (This could also help those who want discussion replies to be a separate item in the gradebook, or in any case of step-by-step assignments that instructors want to link together.)


When creating "assignment 2" instructors would select the internal tool submission type, and then select the internal activity (ex. assignments or discussions) and then select the specific "assignment 1" activity (ex. rough draft or discussion 2).  Instructors could add instructions in this assignment that explain the next step (complete the peer review or reply to your classmates).  The student view should show the "assignment 2" instructions with an in-set view of the "assignment 1" activity selected by the instructor, so that they do not need to search for it.


I'm OK with all grading options staying as they already are in assignments, because I believe you are correct that getting this done will be faster if it is simplified.  Long-term, however, I would like to see the speedgrader include a way to compare submissions to assignment 1 and 3, see the complete/incomplete/not assigned status of assignment 2 peer reviews (or actual replies from discussions in-context), as well as a way to view the feedback and rubrics from all 3 assignments.  Eventually, I would also like to be able to select complete/incomplete for an assignment 2 and have the status of the associated peer review automatically transfer to the gradebook using the dates I program in assignment 2 to determine availability and respond to the late policy. 

Community Novice

I don't agree that students need a grade attached to everything. The type of thinking is counterproductive if we are truly trying to instill a cooperative learning environment. And many of the assignments build on each other. In order to do well on one assignment, the students often need to respond to other students. I also think grading this type of submission could be a problem--extremely subjective. Further, the students in these classes are not lacking in assignments--MANY assignments! Making this something that is graded, instead of something the frees more naturally, will defeat the purpose of what we are hoping to achieve which I believe (again) is a cooperative learning environment.