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Peer Evaluation using PeerMark in Turnitin

Maria Toledo-Rodriguez

Life Sciences

View student feedback results:  


I wanted to improve my student's approach to clinical research writing e.g. abstracts and paper evaluations.  I thought a good way to do this would be through peer assessment of student submissions i.e. getting them to review other's work and provide feedback.

What we did

I contacted for advise about using the PeerMark tool in Moodle as I had come across it when creating an assignment dropbox.  They created some basic guidance for lecturers on how to setup a peer assessment in Turnitin and one for students about using it to peer assess.

Based on the guidance documents I setup a Turnitin assignment dropbox and went through each of the settings to see what was available.

Throughout the peer evaluation process I contacted the Faculty and School Support team for guidance at poignant times to ensure I was approaching it in a way that would meet my needs.

I decided to opt for anonymous marking and rather than an overall grade I used a basic rubric to ensure students fed back consistently across all the areas required.

How it worked

  • I setup the dropbox due date to be the same as the date at which students could start peer evaluating other's submissions and the post date for both the dropbox and the peer assessment to be the same so students received both sets of feedback and their overall grade at the same time so they could compare.

  • I gave instructions about the titling of the submission to ensure students remained anonymous to their peers

PeerMark Tool Features

  • The default is anonymous e.g. neither the reviewer or the reviewee will see any names, but it is possible to change this to ‘Allow students to view author and reviewer names’.  The lecturer will always be able to see student names in PeerMark, this cannot be made anonymous.
  • Both text and scale questions can be created like a basic rubric for students to complete.
  • Editing teachers can also complete a peer review so students can compare an experienced evaluator's assessment to their peer's assessment using the same criteria.
  • A grade out of 10 can be given to the reviewer based on the quality of their review(s).  This does not contribute to the overall score for the assignment and therefore does not feed into Grades in Moodle.  It is purely formative.
  • Submission distribution to be random or manually matched to particular students to control who reviews what.
  • Students can be manually excluded from the peer evaluation exercise.
  • Students can be required to peer evaluate their own work.
  • Students can be required to complete multiple peer evaluations, not just one.

Tips and recommendations

There were a few glitches (mainly due to me hitting buttons without having much clue of what I was doing). I learned from them so next year everything should run smoothly. We will definitively use it next year and I will give a short demo to the Neurosciences Teaching Committee (about peer marking and regular marking using moodle) to try to increase the number of “users”.  

  • You cannot modify the basic rubric questions or distribution once the exercise has started which is why it is a good idea to start the peer evaluation a couple of days after the due date for the submission just in case you need to change anything, match students etc.
  • It is not possible for a student to give a grade to another student unless you create a specific text question for student's to answer e.g. enter a numerical value out of 100.  This is because the PeerMark tool is for evaluation purposes, a formative exercise only, that does not contribute to the overall grade.
  • Students that submit their work late but within the PeerMark start and due dates set can still peer review other's submissions and their own will be added to the list of submissions to be evaluated, however if all students have already completed the required number of evaluations the late submission may not be evaluated unless evaluated by the lecturer.
  • Student's that do not submit their work at all are still able to peer evaluate other's work if the ‘Allow students without a paper to review’ option is selected in the Additional settings.

How to achieve this