edX Peer Assessment

Empower students to be proactive in learning with Open Response Assessment.

Improve students’ metacognitive skills by creating an opportunity to allow knowledge diffusion and exchange of ideas through self- and peer-assessment. The edX Peer Assessment tool allows students to gain insights to the grading process from an instructors’ perspective, in addition to empowering students to be proactive in their own learning.

How does edX Peer Assessment work?

Students go through a series of sequential stages, beginning with submission of a response (e.g. a paragraph, an essay, or even an image), to learning how to assess with instructor’s guidance, followed by assessing peers’ and the student’s own response based on criteria provided by the instructor (e.g. rubric), with the option of instructors’ input at the end. The following workflow indicates the phases that students go through when completing an assignment using the edX Peer Assessment tool:


Students submit their response to the prompt(s) provided

Learner Training

Students learn how to assess by going through a series of sample responses set up by instructor.


Students assess their own and peers’ response and evaluate it against a rubric.

View Grades

Results are calculated by an algorithm and students will be able to view their grades after. Instructors’ also have the option to input their comments and grades (staff assessment).

How can edX Peer Assessment help me?

edX Peer Assessment not only cuts down time spent on grading, it also allows for faster feedback, while information is still fresh in students’ mind. During the Learning to Assess stage, instructors can use this opportunity to use samples responses of different levels and guide students to learn how to assess. As a result, through this process students are able to refine their critical thinking and reflection skills, in addition to promoting a more collaborative atmosphere throughout the course.


  • Facilitates active learning in students through justifications of their selected responses.
  • Diffusion of knowledge and exchange of ideas. Students are exposed to different perspectives and approaches during the review process.
  • Encourages students to interact and learn from their peers.
  • Allows for file uploads in addition to providing a text response.
  • Easy to set-up and steps are intuitive for students.


  • Cannot include hyperlinks when submitting a text response using the text editor box.
  • Grades cannot be pushed back to UBC’s learning management system.
  • Unable to make changes to submission or submit new responses.
  • If it’s a self and peer assessment, the marks assigned from peer assessment will be counted, not the self-assessment.


  • Currently only available on edX or edX edge. No integrations with the institution’s LMS.

Tips for using edX Peer Assessment in your class


  • Familiarize yourself with the process of creating submission forms, as well as all the assignment options that can be turned on/off. Preview it as a student and do testing before making it available.
  • To allow enough time for peer assessments to be performed after learners have submitted their own responses, set the response due date and time at least one week before the peer and self assessment due date and time.
  • Make sure you have a well-designed and clear rubric for the assignment. A good rubric is very important in helping to eliminate ambiguity in the peer grading process.
  • Include “training” activities to familiarize your students with the rubric criteria and what to look for. You can utilize the Learner Training in the tool or design your own training activity.
  • Consider including a content-specific discussion component after the open response assessment component to give learners an opportunity to raise questions regarding the peer assessment. Additionally, the consideration of extending due dates allow the discussion moderation team to monitor course discussions for questions about, or reactions to, peer grading, and to address issues when necessary.

Getting Started

Discuss ideas and options with the Arts Learning Centre Drop by the Arts Learning Centre for a chat in Buchanan C105A
Email Arts ISIT Helpdesk Contact ArtsISIT arts.helpdesk@ubc.ca for assistance or a demonstration!
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