Peer Review Tips

In Canvas, assigned peer reviews currently display inaccurate peer review due dates on the students' Dashboard To Do list. This document discusses how to work around that limitation. 

Dashboard Due Dates and Peer Reviews

When you create a peer review assignment or create a peer review graded discussion in Canvas, you can choose whether to create automatically assigned peer reviews or manually assigned peer reviews.

  • Manually assigned peer reviews show the due date of the assignment itself in the student's dashboard To Do list. However, once you assign a peer review, the due date still shows the due date of the assignment.
  • Automatically assigned peer reviews show in the student's dashboard To Do list after the student has submitted the assignment and after peer reviews have been distributed. The due date displays the date set for automatic peer review distribution.  

Both of these dates are currently inaccurate regarding the actual peer review due date. 

As a best practice, if you use peer reviews, set a clear policy for your students and explain assignments in detail so students know what due dates are expected of them—both for the assignment due date and the actual peer review date. 

Due Date Workaround


To work around the current To Do list limitation, you can use automatic peer reviews to create due dates for the assignment and the peer review. If you do not care about how the student's due date appears in the Dashboard, this workaround does not apply.

This workaround requires instructors to manually perform several components of the peer review assignment process:

  1. Create an assignment with a due date. 
  2. Require peer reviews and set them to be assigned automatically. Set the peer review due date a few days after the assignment due date (at least a week is preferred). 
  3. After the assignment due date has passed, open the assignment’s peer reviews and click the Automatically Assign Peer Reviews button. Anyone who had submitted an assignment will automatically be assigned a peer review, and their Dashboard To Do due date for the peer review assignment will appear as the peer review distribution date you set in the assignment. 


Manual Tasks Required:

  • Remember to "manually" automatically assign the peer reviews after the due date.
  • Figure out how you want to manage student submissions that are submitted after the due date (or how many times you want to push the Peer Review Button to assign peer reviews).
    • If you decide to implement this strategy, you may want to create a late policy so students know when they will no longer receive a peer review: e.g. Assignment due November 20 at midnight, late assignments accepted until November 21 at 4:30 pm, peer reviews sent out Nov 21 at 5 pm (no peer reviews sent out after that date).

Last update: 2019-03-09

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