Blackboard’s Self and Peer Assessment tools allow an Instructor to create an exercise with a list of questions and grading criteria that students can use to assess their own work or the work of their peers. Once students submit their work, the Instructor can monitor the assessment process, download the assessment submission and results, and add the assessment marking to the Grade Center.

The Self and Peer Assessment tools were designed to promote reflective learning and facilitate the objective, analytical, and learning comprehension skills of students. Reviewing the work of fellow students through criteria-based reference evaluation allows constructive feedback. The constructive feedback that students give to and receive from their peers can enhance their comprehension of the subject material and provide valuable insights into their own efforts.


Creating a New Self or Peer Assessment

The Self and Peer Assessment process begins by creating a new Assessment.

Blacklboard - add peer assessmentStep 1: From a Content area or any other area, select Self and Peer Assessment from the Assessment menu.


Step 2. Complete the CreateSelf and Peer Assessment form, making sure to fill in the required fields “Name” and “Number of Submissions to Evaluate”.

Note:  The number entered in this field does not include the creator of the Assessment. Enter zero (0) in this field if Self Evaluations are the only kind desired for this Assessment.

Blackboard - Create Peer Assessment form (top)


You can also add:

  • Instructions and other information that may be helpful in completing the Assessment
  • Submission Start Date and Submission End Date. This is the date range during which Students can submit answers to an Assessment.
  • Evaluation Start Date and End Date. This is the date range which Students can submit evaluations of their peers’ work (if using Peer Assessment) or their own (if using Self Assessment).

Further down the page you can also click the appropriate radio buttons to:

    • Allow Anonymous Evaluations
    • Allow Self Evaluation
    • Show Evaluation Results to the Submitter
    • Make the Assessment Available


Step 3: Click Submit.  A new column in the Grade Center will be created with the same name.


Adding a Question to an Assessment

The Self and Peer Assessment Building Block allows an Instructor to create one or more Questions, each with one or more Criteria, to be presented to their Students for completion and evaluation. 

Questions are the basic component of any Assessment. Questions provide both the structure and content of the Assessment. Questions can be simple or complex:

  • What year did Queen Elizabeth I die?
  • What is the square root of 144?
  • Explain why Napoleon’s armies were defeated at the battle of Waterloo.

When creating Questions, a Model Response (i.e., an example of a correct response to a Question) can be provided. The Model Response allows Evaluators to compare submitted answers to an example. It is not displayed to students taking the Assessment, only to the Evaluators after the Assessment has been submitted.

Questions are added on the Assessment Canvas.

Step 1:  Click Create Question.

Blackboard Peer Assessment - create question


Step 2: Enter the question in the Question text. 

Step 3: Enter a Model Response.

Blackboard Peer Assessment - model response


Step 4: Click Yes to make the Model Response available

Step 5: Click Submit.The Question will appear on the Assessment Canvas.


Adding Criteria to a Question

 The Criteria that accompany each Question provide the means to evaluate the responses to those Questions. The number or Criteria can also range from one (“Did the answer = 4?”) to many:

  • Does the response place the issue within the broader context of the subject?
  • Is the response well organized and clearly laid out?
  • Was the response proofread carefully? Was it free of significant grammatical, spelling, or typographical errors?

In general, essay questions may require many criteria per question while shorter questions may only require one or two criteria.

To add criteria to a question:

Blackboard Peer Assessment - add criteria Step 1: On the Assessment Canvas, select Criteria from the Action Menu.






Step 2: On the next page, select Create Criteria or Word Count Criteria. Note that you can also search for and apply criteria  already developed for other questions.

Blackboard Peer Assessment - Create Criteria


Step 3: On the next page, enter the criteria.

  • Enter the number of Points Possible
  • Assign points based on All or Nothing or Partial Credit
  • Decide whether or not to Allow Feedback to User

Blackboard Peer Assessment - add criteria


Step 4: Click Submit

If an Instructor wants to evaluate the length of an answer, it is possible to add a Word Count Criteria to a question. An Instructor may specify that an answer should be around 200 words. The Word Count Criteria enables points to be awarded based on the length of an answer (for example, points awarded if the answer is within 20 words of the 200 word maximum.


Re-using Questions and Criteria

Questions and Criteria can be stored and reused in other assessments. Reusing Questions and Criteria insures consistency across courses. Once an assessment has been created, Questions and Criteria can be added from a central location.

To add a Question already created,select the Search Questions option from the Assessment Canvas. 


Previewing the Assessment

There are two ways to preview the Assessment once it has been created, by Submission and Evaluation. These options provide the Instructor a chance to see the Assessments as their Students will. Instructors can use these preview options to fine tune the Assessment.

The Preview option is available from the Assessment Canvas for the appropriate Assessment. Select either Evaluation or Submission from the drop-down list.  

Blackboard Peer Assessment - preview questions


Evaluation Preview Page: This page offers a view of all of the evaluations, regardless of their status. Click the Evaluator User name to display their Evaluation page.

Blackboard Peer Assessment - evaluation preview


Submission Preview Page: This page offers a complete view of the Assessment. Each question can be previewed in turn by clicking its name. These pages are read only.

Blackboard Peer Assessment - submission preview


Each Question is displayed in a grouping of tabs. Navigate through the tabs to display the submitted response for that question. Click Model Response to display the Model Response for that question in a separate window.

Blackboard Peer Assessment - preview questions


Completing the Assessment

Once the students have accessed the Assessment in the Content or Assignment area, they will see Submission and Evaluation date ranges under the Assessment listing. In addition to submitting answers directly on the question page, Students can also submit a local file or copy an item from the Content Collection to support their answer.


Evaluating the Assessment

Evaluating an Assessment allows Students to provide their peers valuable feedback on the answers they have submitted. This feedback can provide improved comprehension of the material.

Users can access the Assessment using the same link they used to complete it and begin the evaluation. The Evaluation Overview page lists the number of submissions the Student needs to evaluate (including their own), with the Evaluators own name at the top of the list.

Blackboard Peer Assessment - evaluation preview


If Anonymous evaluations are enabled, the evaluator does not see the name of the Student whose Assessment they are evaluating.

Note: Assessments can only be evaluated during the evaluation period designated during the Assessment creation.


Monitoring the Submissions and Evaluations

Assessment Submissions can be monitored and reviewed during the Assessment process. Submissions can be downloaded as a collection or on an individual basis so they can be reviewed later. The Submissions are bundled in a .zip file that contains an HTML file for each Submission. The Submissions can be opened and read in any web browser.

To monitor the submissions for an Assessment, follow these steps:

Blackboard Control Panel - Tools menuStep 1: In the  Control Panel select the Self and Peer Assessment link under Course Tools.

Step 2: Under the name of the appropriate Assessment, select what you want to view.

Blackboard Peer Assessment - view menu




The submissions, evaluations, or results will be listed in alphabetical order by name. From here, you can view or download the submissions as needed.

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