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How do I create a peer review assignment?

How do I create a peer review assignment?

When creating an assignment, you can require students to complete a peer review of another student's work. Learn more about peer review assignments.

For peer reviews, you can manually assign peer reviews or choose to have Canvas automatically assign peer reviews for you. You can also choose to allow students to see other students' names in peer reviews or make them anonymous. When anonymous peer reviews are enabled, instructors and TAs can still view the names of student reviewers in SpeedGrader and in the student submission page. However, if anonymous grading is enabled in SpeedGrader, the names of both students will be hidden in SpeedGrader but not in the student submission page.

To complete the peer review, students are required to leave at least one comment. If you include a rubric, they are only required to complete the rubric.


  • To learn how assignment and peer review due dates appear in a student's To Do list, view the Peer Review Tips PDF.
  • Peer reviews cannot be used with External Tool assignments.
  • Students can see peer review comments if assignment grades are hidden. However, students cannot see instructor comments until after assignment grades have been posted.

Open Assignments

Open Assignments

In Course Navigation, click the Assignments link.

Add Assignment

Add Assignment

Click the Add Assignment button.

Enter Assignment Details

Enter Assignment Details

Enter a name [1] and description [2] for your assignment, as well as any other assignment details [3].

Note: The Rich Content Editor includes a word count display below the bottom right corner of the text box.

Select Submission Type

Select Submission Type

In the Submission Type drop-down menu [1], select your preferred submission type [2].

Note: The External Tool submission type does not support peer review assignments.

Select Online Entry Options

Select Online Entry Options

Select the checkboxes for the types of online entries allowed in the assignment.

Add Group Assignment

Add Group Assignment

Peer reviews can be used with group assignments. If you want to create a group assignment, click the This is a Group Assignment checkbox.

Require Peer Reviews

Require Peer Reviews

Click the Require Peer Reviews checkbox [1]. By default, peer reviews are assigned manually [2].

If you want to assign peer reviews automatically, select the Automatically Assign radio button [3].

Note: Peer reviews must be manually assigned for On Paper and No Submission assignment types.

Automatically Assign Peer Reviews

Automatically Assign Peer Reviews

If you automatically assign peer reviews, the menu displays additional options. In the Reviews Per User field [1], enter the number of reviews each student will be required to complete.

In the Assign Reviews field [2], use the calendar icon to select a date or manually enter the date for student peer reviews to be assigned. The Assign date must come on or after the assignment due date. If left blank, Canvas will use the assignment due date.

Assign Group Assignment Intra-Group Peer Reviews

Assign Group Assignment Intra-Group Peer Reviews

In group assignments, you also have the option to allow intra-group peer reviews.

Peer reviews require a student to review an individual submission by another student. However, group assignment submissions are made by one group member on behalf of the entire group, and all group members have the same submission.

By default, the Allow intra-group peer reviews checkbox is not selected, which means Canvas will filter out members of the same group when automatically assigning the reviews. However, selecting the checkbox allows assignments to be truly random and disregard student group associations.

To allow Canvas to automatically assign a peer review to a student from within the student's own group, select the Allow intra-group peer review checkbox.

Assign Anonymous Peer Reviews

Assign Anonymous Peer Reviews

If you want to make peer reviews anonymous, check the Peer Reviews Appear Anonymously checkbox.

Note: Canvas DocViewer does not support anonymous comments, so it cannot be used for annotated feedback on assignments with anonymous peer reviews.

Save and Publish Assignment

Save and Publish Assignment

If you are ready to publish your assignment, click the Save & Publish button [1]. If you want to create a draft of your assignment and publish it later, click the Save button [2].

Publish Assignmnent

When your assignment is saved in a draft state, you can return to the page and publish it at any time by clicking the Publish button.

View Published Assignment

View Published Assignment

View published assignment.

You can also attach a rubric to the assignment for students to fill out when completing peer reviews. To add a rubric to the assignment, click the Add Rubric button.


I still have a few questions:

(1) "Assign Review" (must come after due date) is confusing. What is this in reference to? What if students supply a file BEFORE this date? What happens when they supply a file after this date?

(2) What is the difference between "Assign Review" date AND "Due Date"?  

Hi @arthur_maturo_2,

The Assign Reviews field corresponds with automatic peer review assignments. So if you want Canvas to automatically assign peer reviews to your students, you would select the Automatically Assign Peer Reviews option and enter the date you want that automatic assignment to happen.

So the due date would be the date would want students to submit their work on or before (and after which the assignment would be considered late). The Assign Reviews date is the date Canvas assigns peer reviews to your students.

Hope this helps.


Awesome! Thanks.

But then, how do I assign a due date for their peer responses? It seems we would need 3 due dates:

FIRST: Submit a rough draft due date

SECOND: Canvas allocates essays based on custom settings date

THIRD: Students must respond to all peer review assignments by ??/??/???.

Or is this in there but I missed it?

That's exactly my question.  I posted all 3 dates on the assignment page.  I plan on manually assigning peers after the due date for the draft.  One thing I'm wondering though is if I close the assignment (no more drafts accepted) will students still be able to review peer drafts and see their peers' comments?


I did quite a bit of research to learn the ins and outs of peer review assignments and developed a handout for my faculty. It includes all the questions you asked @arthur_maturo_2 . I was going to attach it here for you if you wanted to look at it, but I don't see an option to attach a file. If you want to message me directly, I'll send it to you.

Hi @arthur_maturo_2 and @dennenl

Thanks for posting your question! Currently there's not a way to automatically assign a date by which peer reviews must be completed. If you want, you can create a no submission assignment for the peer reviews, but you'll have to manually grade them all. It sounds like @cholling has some awesome pointers and you can definitely reach out for more info! 

Thanks all! Please let us know if you have any further questions. You can also suggest updates to Canvas functionality in the Idea Conversations space. 

- Allie 

Hi, Cholling. I would love to see your handout(s).

My email is


HI Cholling,

I would also love to see your handouts on peer assignments.  


Hello @cholling, I would like to see your handout on peer review too please. Thanks,

Hi, @cholling - Could you please forward me your peer review handout too?  Thanks!

Hi, @cholling - would be really helpful if you could please forward it to me also. Much appreciated.


Hi @cholling , would like to have a copy of the Peer Review handout.


Thanks in advance!

 @cholling, can I have that handout, too, please? My email is

Thank you!

@cholling, I'd love to get your handout, too! Thank you!

@cholling, Thanks for the offer. May I also have your handout?

Much appreciated.

@cholling,  May I also have your handout?

Thanks so much


@cholling, may I have your handout too, please?

Thank you so much for your generous offer.

@cholling Thank you for your offer of a guide for peer reviews. Would you be willing to post a google doc link to the file so you do not have to individual email members? 

If not, please share your wisdom with me!

Thanks for the suggestion -- can't believe I never thought of it!

Try this -- if I did it right, you should be able to access the files 🙂 



I would like to ask whether I can assign 5 assignments to one student to peer review?

@chloenguyen You can assign additional submissions in the same assignment to a student, but not a different assignment (without setting that one up as peer reviewed). Go into the assignment then click the Peer Reviews tool. Once you see the list of students, you'll see a link beneath each student's name "assign ...another submission to assess" so that you give the student additional submissions.

@cholling. Thank you for sharing your docs! I really, really appreciate it. 🙂

@cholling thank you so very much! it helped a lot

My students are telling me they were assigned a due date for their peer reviews of midnight on the day the assignments were made. This was not my intent and I don't see (on Canvas or in this thread) any way to set this.

@jnorvell Canvas assigns peer reviews on the assignment due date. If it assigned peer reviews differently than than or if you didn't have a due date identified, you may want to check with the Canvas team.

@chloenguyen  and so many others. So glad the document was helpful!!


I used to use peer reviews all the time.  Now, it seems, peer reviews don't work the same.  Can you send your document?  It may help.  Thanks in advance.

Can you please show me how to set up a Assignment due date first then Peer Review later? Can I have 2 separate due date (1 for assignment and 1 for peer review? in 1 assignment?

Let's say your assignment is due on Feb 1. In the assignment's settings, in the Peer Review section, you can specify that Canvas auto-assign peer reviewers on Feb 4. This is only when the peer review selection is made; it has nothing to do with when the the peer review itself is due.

There is no mechanism for setting both an assignment and a peer review due date in the same assignment. There are work-arounds -- such as setting your assignment due date on Feb 1, having Canvas assign the peer reviewers on Feb 4. Then you can create a second assignment work 0 points and call it Peer Review Submission and put a date on it of Feb 10. This sequence takes advantage of Canvas's ability to auto-assign peer reviewers and adds a due date to the peer review itself without artificially inflating the grades.

Of course all of this is simply suggestion -- you can manually assign peer reviewers. You can award points for completing the peer review or alter the due dates.


@cholling  I would really appreciate a copy of your Peer Review guide too, thank you!

Just did my first Peer Review assignment and the results were a mess...!

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