University of Oregon

How does the Self and Peer Evaluation tool work in Blackboard?

Below are screenshots for instructors and students to review which displays an example of the evaluation process. One important point for instructors to keep in mind when creating the tool is to wait until all of the adds/drops with enrollment have occurred in the course. Because if the tool is made available and students drop or add the course, they will not able to participate in the evaluation process. The Blackboard Self and Peer Assessment tool is a great tool for those instructors who want to have students grade their peers. It guides students through the process of reading their peers' assignments, and then answering questions and assigning points to those questions that are posed by the instructor.

However, the tool tends to be a bit rigid in the way that it has been implemented, so it's important to have a good understanding of how it works, before it is chosen for - and introduced to - a class.

How it works:

  1. When the instructor creates the assignment, she/he identifies two time periods:
    • The assignment period (with an assignment due date) - similar to a normal assignment
    • The review period (with a review due date) - during which students review assigned papers and optionally do a self-review.
  2. When creating the assignment, instructors can also:
  • create a set of assessment questions for peers to answer, along with a number of points possible for each question, and optionally an area for feedback for each question (similar to a rubric);
  • choose how many peers should evaluate the submission;
  • choose whether the student will see the peer evaluations;
  • choose whether peer assessments will be anonymous to the student; and
  • choose whether students should assess their own submission.

  3. After the original assignment due date, Blackboard automatically and randomly assigns submissions to other students in the class; when the review period begins, students are able to begin assessing the assigned peers' work. Students who miss the deadline for the assignment due date or for the review are not able to submit after those dates have passed!

  4. Self and Peer Assessment assignments are automatically added to the Grade Center, and by default are included in the grade calculation. However, instructors need to go to Course Tools in the Control Panel to access the grades, and need to transfer the scores to the Grade Center by using a link there.

Tips, Tricks, and Things to Note:

  1. Have a dry run for the students and instructor(s) / TA(s), so that everyone is comfortable with the process. Have two dry runs if the first one identifies problems.
  2. Make sure students understand the importance of having their assignments in by the original due date!
  3. Consider including the prompt and criteria in the "Properties" section in addition to the "Question" and "Criteria" sections, because students cannot readily see that information otherwise.
  4. While students are adding and dropping the course, there may be an uneven distribution of peer assignments; e.g. a student may have one or two more assignments to review than his friend has. This evens out later on.
  5. If enrollment is integrated with the student information system, median grades (not average grades, which is the default) may be affected while students are adding and dropping the course.
  6. When assigning the number of points possible for each assessment criteria item, it's important to select "Partial Credit" instead of the default "All or Nothing" (if that's what is intended!)