Peer review

Students give feedback on the assignments of one or more co-students. Peer review doesn’t only help students get on track through the feedback they receive from another student; giving feedback to other students also helps them better understand the course materials. Peer review is most effective if you make an assessment model available that students can use to give feedback. 

Activity goal
Assess |
Exchange knowledge |
In class |
Post class
Hybrid |
Offline |
< 30 minutes |
< 60 minutes
Group size
Small |
Medium |

Canvas Assignment

Step 1

Give students an assignment to work on. This could be anything, including a written assignment, a research question or a presentation. 

Step 2

Set assessment criteria for the assignment. By doing so, you indicate the important criteria on which the assignment will be assessed (reviewed). You can decide yourself whether students should give each other a score on each criterion or whether they can give open feedback. 

Step 3

Have students use the assessment criteria to review another student’s assignment. They can also review more than one student’s assignment. Students give feedback to each other as soon as they have finished.

Step 4

Ask students to incorporate the feedback they have received from a co-student in their assignment. You can then check the improved version yourself, as lecturer, or set up another peer review. 

Step 5

One option is to have students reflect briefly on the feedback they have received from a co-student and how they have incorporated this in their improved version of the assignment. They can add this to the assignment. 

  • Please consider the tools and materials mentioned here as suggestions. In many cases it’s possible to use alternative tools. Please turn to the Learning & Innovation team of your faculty (EUR or EMC) first to see which online and offline tools are available and how to apply them.

    You can facilitate peer review easily online via assignments in Canvas:

    1. Produce an assignment in Canvas.
    2. Open the assignment settings and click on 'Require peer reviews'. Select whether you want to use the manual or automatic option to assign students to review each other's work. There's also an option to have the peer review take place anonymously. You can find more information about setting up a peer review assignment in Canvas in this manual
    3. Add a category with assessment criteria to the assignment. This gives students direction in giving feedback and improves the quality of the peer review. 
    4. Make sure that you give clear instructions to the students. For instance, add links to information on how to conduct a peer review in Canvas.