We recommend Self and Peer Assessment because: 

  • They can help students consolidate their understanding of the subject material.
  • Improve student engagement with assessments.
  • Embed critical skills that are applicable to lifelong learning.
  • Distribute the workload of providing feedback.
  • Allow students to provide feedback on the work of their peers

Blackboard Self and Peer Assessment

Read Blackboard’s guide to creating and editing Self and Peer Assessments

Using the Blackboard Self & Peer Assessment tool

Making the tool available

The Self & Peer Assessment tool is not automatically available in all sites, to make it available you will need to go into CUSTOMISATION > TOOL AVAILABILITY >

Where you’ll see two options for Self and Peer Assessment, these will need to be ticked.

Once you do this you’ll see it is added under the list of assessments in the drop-down menu.

Assignment settings

In a similar way to other Blackboard assessments, the Self and Peer assessment tool allows students to make a submission which can then be marked and released into the Grade Centre.

However, there are three key differences;

  1. There are two deadlines to set; submission dates one for the students to submit their work to and evaluation dates when student’s self and peer assess each other’s work.
  2. The results are not automatically sent to the Grade Centre. Instead they are held in the Self and Peer assessment tool until the lecturer manually releases the results.
  3. Each student has to enter the same submission point twice.


Self and Peer Assessment

You can create a Self and Peer Assessments either in content area such as Module Activities or if it is a summative assessment in Submit Your Work.

Create a new self and peer assessment

  1. From the Assessments menu, Select Self and Peer Assessment.
  2. On the Create Self and Peer Assessment page, type a name and instructions.
  3. Optionally, use Insert File in the editor to add files.
  4. Set the Submission Start Date and Submission End Date. (when students will pro
  5. Set the Start Date and End Date for the peer evaluations.
  6. To Allow Anonymous Evaluations, select Yes.
  7. To Allow Self Evaluations, select Yes.
  8. Select Yes for Show Evaluation Results to Submitter to allow submitters to view their own evaluation results.
  9. For Number of Submissions to Evaluate, define how many tests each student is expected to evaluate. The number doesn’t include the creator of the assessment. If self evaluations are the only kind you want, type (0).
  10. Make the assessment available and optionally, track number of views.
  11. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions don’t affect availability, only when it appears.
  12. Select Submit.


Questions and criteria

Questions provide structure and content to the assessment, you must add at least one criterion to each question for students to use when they evaluate responses.

They can be simple, complex, a project brief or a self-evaluation.

Students can submit a text response, add a link to collaborative document, use the mashup tool to submit video or audio or attach any file type.

Add a question to an assessment

  1. In the assessment menu > select Edit.
  2. > Select Assessment Canvas.
  3. > Select Create Question.
  4. > Add a question, and model response.
  5. > Make the question available.
  6. > Submit.


The criteria provides the means to evaluate the responses.

Each criteria must have points allocated, these should add up to 100 in order to align with the grading scales.

To add a new criteria,

  1. Hover your cursor over the question to reveal the options (downward arrow) click and select > Criteria
  2. Click ‘Create Criteria’

  1. Add text
  2. Allocate points – the total for all criteria must add up to 100*, therefore keep the points of criteria divisible by 100. (Two = 50 points, Four = 25 points, Five = 20 points)
  3. Assign how students allocate points – All or Nothing or Partial Credit.
  4. Allow Feedback to Learner – Yes / No
  5. Click OK to complete the set up.


Example of one question with four criteria.

Sharing the appropriate grading criteria with your students.

The marking criteria is available from our FAQ’s: http://libanswers.northampton.ac.uk/Learntech/faq/180767

Student (first) submissions

The first step is for all students to make a submission. Any students who don’t make a submission within the first deadlines cannot be assessed.

Student (second) assessment

Students then assess each other’s work by clicking the same assessment link.
In the screen shot below there are three names, first the students own, followed by two others (as this was set up for two assessments and self-assessment)

In this example the student has uploaded a video which displays in a new window when clicked:

(This submission has been limited to allocate, All points or none.)

Once the student has submitted their results they can then assess their colleagues.

Viewing submissions

Unlike other Blackboard assessment tools, self and peer assessments do not automatically appear in the Grade Centre.

Instead they are stored in the Self and Peer Assessment tool (within Site Tools) until they are released by the tutor:

Within here you can choose to view; submissions, evaluations, and results.

Evaluations show their grades including an average:

To view individual student results and feedback

Click the downward arrow next to a student name and select > View Results

To release the grades to the Grade Centre

From within the Self and Peer Assessment menu select > View Results > Send Results to Grade Centre.

Changing a number value to a letter grade

If you want the percentage figure into a letter grade you can do this in the grade centre column by selecting ‘Edit Column Information’ and changing the ‘primary display’ from ‘score’ to either Undergraduate or Post Graduate Letter.

You can also hide the column from students in the column menu if you want to restrict the time that peer feedback is availalbe to them in ‘Feedback and Grades’. 

Editing an assessment / extending deadlines

Staff can only edit the deadlines prior to the end of each submission point, it’s therefore critical that you make sure your submission has enough time for students to submit and assess each others work.

If you need to reset a submission you will have to export the assessment, then import all of the settings. All submissions for the original are lost in this process.

How do I decide students peer assess each others work?

The Self and Peer Assessment tool is designed to assign the groups randomly, however, there is a work-around that allows you to assign it to groups. The way to do this is to make multiple copies of the self and peer assessment, and then use the adaptive release options to make each available to selected groups. The drawback to this is that each instance of the assessment will create a new column in the grade centre, so you may need to hide the columns from instructors to keep the grade centre tidy.

How can I ensure work is graded fairly?

Anonymous marking can help to mitigate bias grading in peer assessments to some degree. However, if the grading of a peer assessment is being submitted for a students’ summative assessments, then staff may wish to consider combining the self and peer assessed grade with their own grading to avoid inflated or deflated grades.

This can be achieved by using a weighted column and balencing the weighting of the grades. For example if you were to set the tutor grade to 85% and the self at peer assessed to 15%. then the peer assessment would have the potential to influence the grade by one grade margin, ensuring that there is sufficient motivation for the students to engage with the self and peer assessment.

* This workflow is influenced by settings in the Peer and Group Assessment tool SparkPlus.

Further help

If you have a specific issue using this tool you should contact the Learning Technologists.

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