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Peer review assignment or discussion?

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First I'll describe the assignment as it is in D2L (which is where the course last ran). Then, please tell me whether you think this would work as a peer review discussion, PR assignment, or whether I should keep it as a regular discussion. I'm new to Canvas and don't know the quirks of PR. Thanks! 

In D2L: students in a business communication course have a series of messages they need to write. First, they submit their rough draft of the messages to their small groups, along with some short responses to some planning questions (who's your audience, what's your level or formality, etc). They submit these messages and the answers to the questions in the body of the discussions, not as attachments. Then, each person has to read all the rough drafts of everyone in their small group and say, with a word limit, one thing they liked about the groupmate's submission and one thing they think could be improved. Their performance in leaving feedback is evaluated using the same discussion rubric used for all discussions (original post is so many words, responses are so many words, grammar is professional, on time, etc). Students then revise their own message and submit to the D2L dropbox for instructor evaluation. 

  1. Do you think this is something that would work in either PR discussions and assignments? If so, which? I don't need this to be anonymous. 
  2. How would the instructor grade the REVIEWER'S performance?
  3. Could the instructor leave specific directions to leave written feedback RATHER than use a rubric, which doesn't seem to work in this class? (has been tried before, students just click the full credit box)
  4. How would all this interact with the gradebook?


  • This activity must be graded
  • must allow students to enter written responses and not clicking on a rubric
  • students must be able to review 4-5 other students' work
  • Instructor must be able to see rough drafts and reviews very easily

Thanks, I really appreciate any advice.

3 Replies

Happy to help I hope all goes well when you run the course.


Just the instructor needs to see the final draft, so I think we'll probably keep the peer review in discussions, as you suggest, with the final product being delivered in assignments. Thanks, Randy. 

Learner II


There are some issues with the Peer Review tool in Canvas so I wouldn't recommend that you go that route. Rumor has it that the tool will be rebuilt with many of the features that have been requested by the community but as it sits now, I would recommend that you use a similar approach in Canvas as you did in D2L. Create your small groups with a group set, build the discussion board making it a group discussion so students only see the posts from members of their groups.

Rough drafts would be submitted to the group discussion board and all group members would respond with the one thing they liked and the one thing they recommend for improvement. The only person in this scenario that would be able to use the rubric from grading is the instructor.

Once the students have posted their rough draft and their group mates have provided feedback, I would suggest that you create a separate assignment that can be used for students to submit their final draft. Do you want the other members of the group to see the final draft as well or are you just using the peer review activity to provide feedback to each other to improve the final draft for submission?

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