Blackboard self and peer assessments

The Self and Peer Assessment tool allows you to set students an assessment that can be submitted as normal and then assessed by themselves or their peers based on criteria that you create.

This guide will take you through the steps to creating and managing a self or peer assessment. However, this is a complex tool and we recommend that you test this feature with your students before using it for assessment to ensure that both you and the students are familiar with how it works and how grades can be applied.

Please note: If you wish to use the Turnitin Originality Reports as part of the peer assessment process then you will need to use Peermark – peer assessment through Turnitin.


Create a new self/peer assessment

There are three stages to creating a self/peer assessment in Blackboard.

  • The assessment framework
  • The self/peer assessment questions
  • The criteria for the questions

The first stage is to set up the dates for submitting the work that is to be assessed and then the dates when the self/peer assessment of this work will take place.

Step 1
Navigate to the Assessment area of your module.

Step 2
From the action bar at the top of the module click Assessments and, from the drop down, select Self and Peer Assessment.

Step 3
First you will be asked whether you wish to create a new assignment or import an existing one. Select New unless you have previously used this tool and have a pre-existing assignment you wish to reuse. For more information see Reusing self and peer assessments

Step 4
Give your assignment a name and enter any instructions in the text box. It is useful for students if you set out how the self/peer assessment process works. You may also choose to attach a document to the assignment – this could be the full assignment brief or a file they will need to use as part of the assessment. You do not need to include the questions that you want students to answer as part of the self/peer assessment process – these are added later.

Step 5
Set the submission period (including time) for the assignment that is going to be assessed and then the dates for the self/peer assessment period. The self/peer assessment must be after the submission date.

Step 6
Set the following options according to your preferences:

  • Allow Anonymous Evaluation: Anonymous evaluation hides the names of the submitters and the evaluators.
  • Allow Self Evaluation: Selecting this option allows students to evaluate their own submissions.
  • Show Evaluation Results to Submitter: If you wish for evaluation results to be shown to the student who submitted the assessment select this option. If the evaluation is anonymous, submitters will not see evaluators’ names.
  • Number of Submissions to Evaluate: Specify the number of submissions each evaluator should evaluate. Submissions will be distributed among evaluators based on this number. Specify 0 submissions to evaluate if this assessment is only for self evaluation, having selected Allow Self Evaluation above.

Step 7
You can choose whether to make the assignment available immediately or only before/after certain dates in order to restrict access. If you don’t want to restrict access then just leave this section blank.

Step 8
Click the Submit button to save and create the assessment framework. You will then need to add questions for the self/peer assessment portion.

Step 9
You will then see the Assessment Canvas area. This is where you can add questions/prompts for students to answer when assessing their own or their peers’ work. Click Create Question.

Step 10
Enter a question or prompt that the students can answer. You may wish to specify requirements for the answer such as minimum word count/detail. You can format the text and include links, images and other features as needed.

Step 11
You can opt to provide a model response to demonstrate to students the type of answer you are looking for. The students will be able to view model responses as they peer/self assess.

Step 12
Click Submit to save the question.

Step 13
You will now be returned to the Assessment Canvas where you will see your new question. You can add as many questions as you require. However, you also need to create Criteria for each question that students can use to apply points or assess the work against. The criteria allow you to use more specificity than the question. To add criteria click the grey action button next to the question to reveal the menu and select Criteria.

Step 14
You will now see the Add/Edit Criteria area for the question you selected. You can add a general criteria that you write yourself or a word count criteria. Click the type of criteria to be added.

Step 15
For a general criteria simply enter your specifications. For a word count specify the recommended word count and any allowance (acceptable number of words above/below).

Step 16
You then need to choose from the following options to apply points to the criteria:

  • Points Possible: Enter the number of points possible to attain for fulfilling this criteria.
  • Assign Points:
    • All or Nothing – The reviewer can either give the maximum points or no points at all. For example if the points possible is 5 then the assessor can give either 0 or 5 points.
    • Partial Credit – The reviewer can choose how many points out of the meximum to give. E.g. If the points possible is 5 then the assessor can give 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.
  • Allow Feedback to User: If you select this option then the peer reviewer can specify why they are awarding the number of points. This is shown as part of the feedback to the student who submitted the work.

Step 17
Click Submit to save the criteria.

Step 18
You will now be returned to the Add Criteria area and should see the criteria below your question. You can add multiple criteria to a question. Once you are done adding criteria click the OK button on the bottom-right of the criteria window.

Step 19
This will take you to an overview page for the assessment. From here you can return to the Assessment Canvas to add or edit questions/criteria, edit the framework/properties of the assessment (e.g. dates, number of submissions to be assessed by each student, etc), or export the assessment for use in another module. Or click OK return to your module.

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Preview the assignment

The Self and Peer Assignment tool has a built-in method for testing how your assignment will function and how it will appear to students.

Step 1
Navigate to the Assessment area or folder where you placed the assignment. Click the View/Complete Assessment link.

Step 2
This will take you into the Assessment Canvas area. Click the Preview button on the top right of the canvas window. This will allow you to select from:

  • Preview Evaluation – This page offers a view of all of the evaluations, regardless of their status.
  • Preview Submission – This page offers a complete view of the Assessment. Each question can be previewed in turn by clicking its name. These pages are read only.

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Manage and monitor the assessment and grades

Once the assessment is live you can keep and eye on which students have submitted, and who has completed their assigned self/peer review process. You can also check their overall grades and, if required, send these grades to grade centre as a final mark for the assignment.

Step 1
In the Course Tools menu select Self and Peer Assessment.

Step 2
This will take you to a page with an overview of any self and peer assessments in the module. Hover your mouse over the title of the peer assessment you want to manage to reveal the grey circle icon. Click this to reveal the action menu.

Step 3
The menu will show three options:

  • View submissions
  • View evaluations
  • View results

View submissions
This will show you a grid of all students on the module along with the assignment that they submitted to be peer assessed. You can use this to download/view their submission and to monitor which students have not submitted as the deadline approaches.

View evaluations
This will show you a grid of all students on the module with a list of the peers whom they have been allocated to assess along with the status of those assessments (not started, in progress, complete), links to the evaluations, and the points they have allocated to each one. This allows you to view what students are doing and monitor which students may or may not be engaging.

View results
This will show you a grid of all students on the module with the average percent and score that their work has been awarded by their peer evaluations. You also have the ability to send these results to Grade Centre if desired by clicking the Send results to Grade Centre button. Doing this will release these grades to students. Depending on whether you have set this assignment as a summative or formative assessment you may or may not wish to do this.

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