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Respecting sections when automatically assigning peer reviews

Respecting sections when automatically assigning peer reviews

(15)

Situation

Canvas does not respect the sections when assigning peer reviews when automatically assigning peers in an assignment is set. This means a student from section A might be assigned as peer to a student in section B. This is problematic in case people from Section A and Section B are not collaboratively related.

Suggested solution

  1. When automatically assigning peer is enabled, Canvas should by default, respect the section of each student separately to match the section of the peer to be assigned.
  2. An option should be available to override limiting by section. This could be done by adding the checkbox "Allow assigning peers from different sections":

    218985_pastedImage_6.png

Example

Lets say the following students in different sections are assigned to the same assignment:

StudentsSection
Student A1A
Student B1B
Student A2A
Student B2B
Student A3A
Student B3B
Student A4A
Student B4B
Student A5A
Student B5B

When Canvas is looping through all students in the assignment to find a peer it should look for the section of each student is in and select a peer from the respective section only. So e.g. Student A4 (from section A) will never be assigned as peer to Student B2.

The suggested solution would work for the following scenarios:

  • Assignment with one section assigned where peers are assigned to students from the respective sections
  • Assignment with multiple sections or "Everyone" assigned where peers are assigned to students from the respective sections
  • Assignment with one section assigned where peers are assigned to students not respective to any section
  • Assignment with multiple sections or "Everyone" assigned where peers are assigned to students not respective to any section

This feature request is related to this question Using Peer Review in a course with multiple sections, where the suggested solution appeared not to work.

32 Comments
bethany_winslow
Community Participant

I only just found out that this is a missing feature I had assumed would be there. It's such a basic essential. Please prioritize this Canvas developers! This and the dates confusion are two of the reasons I often just recommend creating very small group discussions to complete peer reviews. 

kdsouza822
Community Member

Yes!  This would be hugely appreciated!!  Manually assigning peer reviews for an individual section is very time consuming.

cc0494
Community Member

Yes, please make this happen. What used to be an easy task on paper--having students trade essays in class to peer review--can't be done with virtual learning. We need to be able to do this in Canvas by section.

wet2
Community Member

At a minimum, Canvas needs to allow filtering reviews by Section (after submission), but assigning by section (up front) would be ideal. 

mwolfenstein
Community Participant

@wet2From a FERPA standpoint (which is the big concern here for many of us) I don't think that filtering after submission would cut it. Another way to frame this is that you can manually assign reviews currently which certainly works to prevent FERPA violations, but it's potentially a lot of work depending on the size of your sections. Only by respecting sections in assigning reviews can you get the benefit of the automated review assignment while also meeting FERPA.

wet2
Community Member

You'll have to explain how filtering by section is a FERPA violation when not filtering isn't.   Students are filtered by section in virtually every other part of Canvas.  And, if allowing peer reviews to be non-anonymous is FERPA violation how is filtering by section?    

wet2
Community Member

Edit:  if allowing peer reviews to be non-anonymous is not a FERPA violation how is filtering by section?    

mwolfenstein
Community Participant

I didn't mean that filtering by section is a FERPA violation, but that since the feature request is about auto-assign, filtering by section wouldn't cut it in terms of meeting the user need since just having the filter by section still leaves you manually assigning and if you're manually assigning already filtering would do very little to save labor for the instructor. 

wet2
Community Member

Sorry for the misunderstanding.  One of the (unwritten) reasons filtering by sections would help us is that I manage a course with multiple instructors and multiple Course Assistants.  The filter feature would help both manage/grade their own responsibilities.   

mwolfenstein
Community Participant

@wet2That makes a ton of sense, and I can absolutely see how in your use case just having the filtering added into peer review assignment would help. The common use case at my institution is faculty how have combined online sections where the in-person classes would not actually be combined sections, and I'm under the impression that this is something that's become way more common under COVID than it normally would be, but that it's also surfaced an issue where a lot of us were unaware that faculty were combining sections like this previously and then using discussions or peer reviews that were cross section without their awareness of the FERPA issue. That said, there are definitely a variety of different institutional needs Instructure needs to meet, and I think it's definitely helpful for all of us to have that perspective as well. Thanks for the illuminating chat.

KATIEKEYES
Community Member

Agreed!

jillianporter
Community Member

Yes, please! Separate sections can have different requirements for the same assignment, so it's important to be able to automatically assign reviewers while respecting the sections.

Thank you!

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