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PeerMark™ is a peer review assignment tool. Instructors can create and manage PeerMark assignments that allow students to read, review, and evaluate one or many papers submitted by their classmates. With the advanced options in PeerMark instructors can choose whether the reviews are anonymous or attributed, decide if students should be excluded from reviews, or pair students to assign students specific papers to review.


The basic stages of the peer review process:

  • Instructor creates a Turnitin paper assignment
  • Instructor creates a PeerMark assignment and sets the number of papers students will be required to review, and creates free response and scale questions for students to respond to while reviewing papers
  • Student papers are submitted to the Turnitin assignment
  • On the PeerMark assignment start date, students begin writing peer reviews
  • For each assigned paper students write reviews by responding to the free response and scale questions
  • Once the PeerMark assignment due date passes no more reviews can be written, completed, or edited by the writer
  • On the PeerMark assignment post date, reviews of the students’ papers become available for the papers’ authors to view

Distribution of Peer Reviews


PeerMark assignments may use or mix the following methods of distribution of the papers to be reviewed: 

  • Automatically by the Turnitin system
  • Manually selected by the instructor for the student to review
  • Self-selected by the student

For example: The instructor may assign students to review four total papers with the following paper selection combination: two papers automatically selected by Turnitin, one paper selected by the student to review and a self review.

Creating a PeerMark Assignment


PeerMark assignments can only be created if a class has at least one paper assignment. A PeerMark assignment requires a paper or review assignment to be ‘based on.’ This allows the PeerMark assignment to have a pool of papers to use as the basis for the peer review. 

The assignment the PeerMark assignment is based on should meet the following criteria: 

  • The due date of the base assignment comes before the start date and time of the PeerMark assignment
  • If anonymity in the review is desired, student submissions should not contain the name of the author in the text or at the top of the paper

Step One - PeerMark Settings


To create a PeerMark assignment, click on the New Assignment button from within a course. Select PeerMark Assignment from the Select your assignment type page and then click on the Next Step button. Step 1, PeerMark Settings screen will load.


1. Click on the Add Assignment button from within a class



2. Select PeerMark Assignment and click on the Next Step button to begin creating a PeerMark Assignment



3. Select the paper assignment the peer review is based on



4. Select a Point value for the assignment. Select whether to award full points if review is written by placing a check mark in the Award full points if review is written option



5. Next, select the dates for the PeerMark Assignment. The dates the instructor must select are: the start date, the due date, and the post date. The start date is the date students can begin reading papers and writing reviews. The due date prevents students from writing reviews after this date. The post date is the date students will have access to reviews written by their classmates



6. Click the Save & Continue button to continue PeerMark assignment creation



Advanced PeerMark Settings


When creating a PeerMark assignment the instructor may select to view and change any of the advanced assignment options in Step 1 of PeerMark creation. The advanced assignment options are viewed by clicking on the Show more options links located below the point value field and below the assignment dates.



Clicking the Show more options link below the point value will reveal four additional options: the assignment title field, the assignment instructions field, the anonymity option, and the non-submitter participation option. 

Assignment title and Assignment description and/or instructions


The PeerMark assignment title is the title that will appear for the PeerMark assignment when a student views the expanded view of the PeerMark assignment. The assignment instructions also appear to students in the expanded view of the PeerMark assignment and they are meant to allow instructors to give students basic guidelines for completing their reviews. 



Anonymity and Non-submitter Participation Options


The author and reviewer anonymity option appears as, “Allow students to view author and reviewer names”. When this option is selected, students will see the name of the author of the papers that are being reviewed and the names of the students who wrote the reviews for the papers. The non-submitter participation option appears as, “Allow students without a paper to review”. When this option is selected, students who have not submitted papers to the paper assignment the PeerMark assignment is based on will be allowed to write reviews for other students’ papers.



Click on the Show more options link below the assignment dates to view three additional options related to the assignment dates.


View Access Options


There are two options when creating a PeerMark assignment that provide the ability for students to read every student paper after the PeerMark start date, or the ability for students to read every student paper and reviews of the papers after the post date of the PeerMark assignment. The two options are: “Allow submitters to read all papers after Start date” and “Allow students to read ALL papers and ALL reviews after the Post date.” 



If “Allow submitters to read all papers after Start date” is selected students are able to read all the papers submitted to the base paper assignment by clicking on a link within PeerMark inbox labeled Read All Papers. 

If “Allow students to read ALL papers and ALL reviews after the Post date” is selected, students will be able to read every paper submitted to the base paper assignment and read every review written for each paper after the PeerMark assignment post date.


Note: Unless the option: “Allow students to view author and reviewer names” is selected students will not see the names of the paper or review authors.

Late Papers 


When creating a paper assignment it is possible to set the assignment to accept late papers. If the instructor has chosen to allow late papers in the paper assignment a PeerMark assignment is based on the “Late Papers” date option will appear. The “Late Papers” option allows the instructor to select the last date papers can be submitted to the base paper assignment and still be included in the pool of papers to be reviewed in the PeerMark assignment.


Step Two - Distribution


In step 2 the instructor determines how many papers will be distributed to the students in the course.

Selecting the number of papers each student will review


1. Click on the Edit link to adjust the number of papers each student will have to review. The default is to have each student review 1 paper automatically distributed by PeerMark



2. Place the number of paper(s) automatically distributed by PeerMark or papers selected by the student to review within the appropriate fields



3. Select whether you would like the student to write a self-review by clicking in the require self-review check box. A self review uses the same free response and scale questions the student used to write reviews of their classmates’ papers but the review is for their own paper



4. Click on the Save button to save any changes or Cancel link to cancel any changes



5. Click Save & Continue to move on to Step 3 of PeerMark assignment creation or to view the advanced distribution options click on the Show more distribution options link



The advanced distribution options allow instructors to choose to exclude student papers from distribution or specify which student papers a student(s) will have to review. PeerMark will automatically distribute papers to students but an instructor may choose specific student pairings which will then add an exception to the PeerMark distribution which will adjust its logic according to the instructor’s rules.

Pairing students for review


1. To assign a student(s) to review a specific student’s paper, click on the Pair Students button



2. Clicking the Pair Students button opens up the pairing field. Click on the BROWSE for student link to select a student you would like to be the reviewer. Then click on the BROWSE for student to the right of WILL REVIEW to select the student whose paper will be reviewed



3. An instructor can select multiple students to be a reviewer of another student. Once one reviewer has been selected an instructor may click on the plus icon to the left of the first reviewer to open up another search box which the instructor can then use to select another student to be a reviewer



4. Once the pairing of students is complete, click on the Save pair button to save this pairing



Students may also be excluded from review by clicking on the Exclude Students button. Students who are excluded from review will not be able to write or receive reviews.

Excluding students from review


1. Instructors can exclude students from review by clicking on the Exclude Students button



2. Click on the BROWSE for student link to select a student who will be excluded from review papers and will not have a paper distributed for review



3. Select a student from the drop down list



4. Once a student is selected, click on Save exclusion to exclude the student from the review



Student pairs or exclusions can be edited or deleted up until a student has begun a review which will lock the assignment settings. To edit a Student Pair or exclusion click on the edit button to the right of the student pair or exclusion you would like to edit.



To delete a Student pair or exclusion click on the trash can icon to the right of the pair or exclusion you would like to delete.


Step Three - Adding Questions to the Review


Step three allows an instructor to choose scale and free response questions for the 
PeerMark assignment. 

A free response question example would be:

 “What is the thesis of the paper?”

Free response questions allow an instructor to pose these questions for students to answer in their peer review and can include minimum length requirements. A scale question example would be

 “How well does the introduction pull you in as a reader? Scale, Not very well to  Really well”

Scale questions allow students to rate the paper on instructor chosen areas of writing. To add questions to a PeerMark assignment click on the Add Question button.


Creating a free response question in PeerMark creation


1. Click on the Add Question button and select Free response 



2. Enter the question in the Question field and enter a value in the Minimum answer length field



3. Once the question and minimum answer length have been entered, click on the Add Question button to add the free response question to the PeerMark assignment


Creating a scale question in PeerMark creation


1. Click on the Add Question button and select Scale



2. Enter the question in the Question field



3. Select the scale size. The highest scale value is 5



4. Enter in the labels for the scale in the appropriate fields. An example for labelling the scale question: “How well does the introduction set up the Thesis of the paper?” would be 1: Not very well to 5: Extremely well



5. Click on the Add Question button to add the scale question to the PeerMark assignment


Adding a question from a PeerMark library


1. Click on the Add Question button and select the library you would like to add a question from



2. Click on the Add this question link to the right of each question you would like to add to your PeerMark assignment



3. Click on the Add all questions button to add all the questions to the PeerMark assignment



4. Click on the Finished adding questions from library link when you have added all the questions you want from this library



Once the instructor has added all the questions they want to the PeerMark assignment click on the Save & Finish button to complete the PeerMark assignment creation.


Editing or Deleting Questions


Free response and scale questions can be edited by clicking on the Edit link to the right of the question.



Free response and scale questions can be deleted by clicking on the trash can icon to the right of the question you wold like to delete.



Clicking on the trash can icon will open a prompt asking “Are you sure you want to delete this question?” Click OK to delete the question.


Once the instructor has edited or deleted the questions they want click on the Save & Finish button to save any changes.


Reordering Questions


Within step 3 of PeerMark assignment creation an instructor may reorder how the questions appear for a student in their peer review. An instructor may wish to do this if they want their students to see the questions in a specific order. To reorder the questions click on the Reorder questions link.



Change the order of the questions by dragging them to where you would like them placed. Click on the Save order button to save the new order or click Cancel to cancel any changes.



Warning: Once the start date of the PeerMark assignment has passed and a student has begun a peer review, the assignment settings for the PeerMark assignment will become locked and no further edits to the distribution or question options will be allowed.

Viewing Student Reviews


Once the start date of the PeerMark assignment has passed students may begin writing peer reviews. The system will automatically distribute the value of papers entered into the paper(s) automatically distributed by PeerMark field within the PeerMark assignment creation. To view which papers students have reviewed or are currently reviewing click on the View link next to the PeerMark assignment.



The PeerMark inbox will open displaying all the student names, how many reviews out of the total number of reviews assigned to the students have been completed. Instructors can then view an individual student’s reviews by clicking on the Show details link to the right of the students name.



Instructors can click on the show all details link to expand each student’s review details. To collapse all the review details click on the hide all details link.



An excel file containing the scale responses for each review and scale response averages for a paper or reviewer is available for download for the PeerMark assignment. Click on the Download Scale Responses (xls) link to begin the file download.



Within the more details of a single student the instructor can view the progress of the student’s reviews or read the student’s completed reviews. All the reviews written for this student are visible to the right of the student’s reviews.



Grades for the PeerMark assignment can be edited from within the PeerMark inbox.

Editing review grades within the PeerMark inbox


1. Once the due date for the PeerMark assignment has passed instructors can edit student grades for the PeerMark assignment in the inbox by first clicking on the show details link to the right of a student’s name



2. Click on the Edit Grades link located below the written review links



3. Enter the new grade in the Grade field



4. Click Save Grades to save your changes


Writing a Review of a Student Paper


The instructor is able to write a review to supplement those that students will receive from their peers. The instructor is provided with the same free response and scale question structure as the students.


An instructor can begin writing a review of a student submission from within the PeerMark inbox by clicking on the View link next to the PeerMark assignment.



Within the PeerMark inbox click on the More actions drop down menu and select Write instructor review next to the student’s name whose paper you would like to review.


Writing a review for a selected paper


1. All the free response and scale questions that need to be completed for the peer review are located on the right side of the PeerMark screen



2. To answer a free response question, click in the text box below the question and type in your response. The word minimum for the response is listed below the text box



3. To answer scale questions, click the radio button above the number for the rating you are giving this writer for the question



4. Answer all remaining free response and scale questions. Once the questions are completed, click on the Submit button at the top of the PeerMark page to submit your review


Adding Comments to a PeerMark Paper


PeerMark allows users to comment directly on a paper within a review. 

PeerMark Tools Palette


The PeerMark Tools palette contains all the commenting functions available to a user. To access the Tools palette click on Tools on the PeerMark toolbar.



The Tools palette contains two commenting tools and several composition marks that instructors can use in reviewing and editing their students’ papers. 


Commenting Tools


Within PeerMark an instructor may comment on the paper they are reviewing. A comment is equivalent to the notes that an instructor may write in the margins of a paper. 


A comment might be: 

“Your thesis is unfocused. Consider refining your thesis in subsequent versions of this paper.”

A comment may be up to one thousand characters in length.

Adding a comment to a paper


1. Within PeerMark, to add a comment to a paper click on the paper where you would like to comment. A comment icon and comment bubble will appear



2. Enter text into the text field of the comment bubble



3. (Optional) If the comment references a specific area of the paper, you can click and drag on the paper while the comment bubble is open to create a highlight over text. The color of the highlight can be selected before clicking and dragging. Multiple highlights can be created for each mark if there are multiple areas to reference. Highlights may be overlapping



4. Click the Save button to save the comment



The comment can be edited at any time by clicking on the mark symbol for the comment. The Edit and trash icons will appear, click on the edit icon or double click the mark to open up the comment box. Edit the comment and click Save to save any changes made to the comment. To move a comment, click and hold on the mark symbol and drag the icon to a new location. To delete a comment click on the trash icon.


Inline Comments


Inline comments allow an instructor to add comments directly on the paper. The inline comment appears as type overlaid on the paper. The instructor may select a color from the drop down menu for the inline comment.

To add an inline comment, select the type tool from the Tools palette. Select a color from the color pull down by clicking on the drop down menu for the type tool.



The user can click on the paper where the comment should begin. The inline comment will show up as a light gray highlight over which typing may be done. When finished, click elsewhere on the paper or select the highlighter tool from the Tools palette. The inline comment will appear as typing directly over the paper.



An inline comment can be deleted by moving the cursor over the comment and then clicking on the gray trash can icon that appears to the left of the comment. Deleted comments cannot be recovered.


The inline comment can be moved by clicking and dragging the comment to a new location on the page. Releasing the mouse will affix the inline comment to the page in the new location.

Composition Marks


Composition Marks are standard editing marks that instructors can utilize when editing and reviewing their peers’ papers. To add a composition mark to a paper click on the mark you want to add in the tools palette and drag the mark to the desired location on the paper.



Tip: Composition mark symbols with yellow backgrounds on the palette are dynamic. These marks require further modification when added to a paper. Some of these marks are resizable using handles at the corners of the mark. Others allow for text to be added in a text field. This allows further customizing of these editing marks.


To move a composition mark click on the mark and drag it to the new position on the paper and release the click. To delete a mark place the cursor over the mark, the trash icon will appear. Click on the trash icon to delete the mark.


Reading Peer Reviews


Student reviews that have been completed can be accessed from three locations:


  • The inbox for the PeerMark assignment can be reached from the class homepage by clicking on the View link to the right of the PeerMark assignment
  • The student portfolio page, which shows any submissions made by the student including peer reviews. This can be accessed by clicking on the student name from the students tab

Reading Reviews from the Assignment Inbox


To read the reviews of student papers the instructor can click on the View link to the right of the name of the PeerMark assignment from the class homepage. 



To read a student’s reviews, click on the More actions link and select Read all reviews student submitted to the right of the student’s name.

Grading Reviews


Instructors may grade the reviews written by the students. If the option award full points for written review is not selected in PeerMark assignment creation, instructors can provide a grade within PeerMark. Once a student’s reviews are opened place the value in the Grade field you would like to give this student for their review. The instructor may wish to use the Previous and Next arrows to scroll quickly through each review written for this paper.



If the instructor has selected the option to Award full points if review is written within the PeerMark assignment settings then every completed review by a student will be awarded 10 points. A completed review is when all the questions an instructor has added to the review have been answered. Once the due date has passed for the PeerMark assignment the student’s total grade for the assignment will be available for the instructor to view. 


The total score for all reviews for a reviewer will be normalized to the point value that was selected for the PeerMark assignment during assignment creation. This is true whether the Award full points if review is written option is selected or not.


Example 1 - If Award full points if review is written has NOT been selected

There are a total of three reviews in the review set for the PeerMark assignment and the point value is 100. 
 Review 1 -- The instructor gives the review a 9 
 Review 2 -- The instructor gives the review a 7 
 Review 3 -- The reviewer did not start the review

The total score for all the reviews would be 16 (9+7+0=16) out of the total possible points of 30 (3*10=30). 16 out of 30 = 0.533. Normalizing the 0.533 to the PeerMark point value of 100 would be: 0.533 * 100 = 53.3, rounded to 53. 


Example 2 - If Award full points if review is written HAS been selected 


There are five questions to be answered in the review and there are a total of 4 reviews in the review set for the PeerMark assignment. The point value for the PeerMark assignment is 100. 
 Review 1 -- The reviewer entered content for all five questions, but one is considered “unanswered” because it does not meet the minimum length requirement. The score for this review is 0. 
 Review 2 -- The reviewer answered all five questions. The score for this review is 10. 
 Review 3 -- The reviewer did not start the review. The score for this review is 0. 
 Review 4 -- The reviewer started the review but neglected to answer any questions. The score for this review is 0.


The total score for all the reviews would be 10 (0+10+0+0=10) out of the total possible points of 40 (4*10=40). 10 out of 40 = 0.25. Normalizing the 0.25 to the PeerMark point value of 100 would be: 0.25 * 100 = 25. 


The instructor may edit the grades given to student reviews or to the student’s total score for the assignment once the due date has passed for the assignment. Once the post date of the assignment has passed students will be able to view the grades for their reviews and the total score awarded to them for the assignment.

Editing review grades and overall grade in PeerMark


1. Click on the View link to the right of the PeerMark assignment



2. Click on the Show details link next to the student whose grades you would like to edit



3. Click on the Edit Grades link



4. To adjust the scores for the student’s reviews click on the previous score in the text box and enter the new score



5. To adjust the student’s overall grade for the PeerMark assignment click within the text box of the current score and enter the new grade for the student



6. Click on the Save Grades button to save any changes that have been made to the student’s grades


Printing Student Reviews


Instructors have two printing options for each student: to print reviews the student submitted or to print reviews the student received. To print student reviews click on the More actions link next to the student whose reviews you would like to print and select either Print reviews student submitted or Print reviews student received.



The PeerMark print view will open and will automatically include each students review along with the questions & answers and comments for their review.



Instructors may adjust the printing options by selecting or deselecting the check boxes next to the three print options: Include Questions & Answers, Include Comments, and Include All Reviews. Click on the Print button to print the review(s).



Reviews may also be printed by clicking on the Print link when viewing a student’s review within PeerMark.


PeerMark in the Document Viewer


Instructors may view a paper’s peer reviews within the document viewer once a reviewer submits a PeerMark review. To view a paper in the document viewer click on the paper’s title within the assignment inbox for the paper assignment the peer review is based on. 



Once the document viewer loads click on the PeerMark tab.



When the PeerMark service is active the sidebar will display a list of all the students who have reviewed the paper. 



All reviewer comments appear on the paper. Each mark made to the paper is identifiable by the reviewer’s initials.



To view a specific student’s comments click on their name in the sidebar



The list icon can also be used to select a student or to select to view All Reviews.


Viewing the PeerMark Questions and Answers


To view the PeerMark questions and answers click on the questions and answers icon.



The sidebar will load all the PeerMark questions added to the PeerMark assignment during assignment creation. The reviewers’ answers are located under each question. If all reviews are displayed the answers are identifiable by the reviewers initials.


Reviewer Mark List


To view a list of all the comments left on the paper click on the mark list icon.



The Comments List may be used to navigate to the location of a comment on the paper. Simply hover the cursor over a mark in the comment list and then click on the show on paper link that appears.


Grading Reviews


To grade a reviewer click on the reviewer’s name.



To edit the grade click on the grade next to the reviewer’s name.



Enter the new grade in the grade field. Click elsewhere on the screen to save the grade.


Training Videos

Using PeerMark


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PeerMark Overview


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Last modified
13:14, 4 Nov 2015


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