Canvas highlights 3. Peer Assessment

Canvas Highlights 3. Peer Assessment

[note: this post has been updated to reflect a terminology change on the Sussex Canvas VLE, to align it to Sussex terminology]

Continuing our Canvas highlights series, this week we are looking at peer assessment. In Canvas it is possible to set ‘Assignments’ to enable students to mark and review each other’s work. In addition, the ‘Discussion’ tool can be used to enable peer assessment. As with quizzes, peer reviewed assessments can be scheduled to open and lock at certain times and can be assigned to multiple groups, allowing for reasonable adjustments or to organise students by seminar or workshop groups. These peer reviewed assignments are quick to set up and the many different settings allow you to tailor the assessment to your module.


Peer assessment in Canvas


Notable features:

  • Anonymous submissions and reviews/marking
  • Tutor-created rubrics to guide student marking
  • Automatically or manually assign peer reviewers
  • Multiple submission formats allowed – any file type, website URL, paper submission, no submission (e.g. presentations)
  • Tutor has final say over students’ marks

There are many ways in which peer assessment can be used within teaching, both for summative and formative assessment. One idea would be to ask students to submit a draft or shorter essay midway through the term and ask them to mark each other’s work against the module’s assessment criteria. This would enable students to get to grips with the criteria prior to their assessment, provide them with useful feedback to take forward into their final assessment and would give them valuable writing practice. Alternatively you could ask students to mark each other’s presentations during face-to-face teaching sessions. In this case, providing students with a rubric would help to guide their marking and would standardise the type of feedback that students receive.

If you would like to learn more about the peer assessment features in Canvas see the following FAQs:

We have a dedicated Canvas section on the TEL website ( and you can subscribe to this blog or follow us on Twitter (@SussexTEL) to receive all our Canvas news and information, including training for all Sussex staff.

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  1. […] Canvas it is possible to set up an Assignment as a Peer Assessment. This can be used to gather peer feedback for drafts or outlines of essays, reports etc. […]

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