This information applies only to the Original Course View. Your institution controls which tools are available.

What are Self and Peer Assessments?

You can use Self and Peer Assessments to facilitate the objective, analytical, and learning comprehension skills of students. Students can review the work of fellow students through criteria-based reference evaluation. They can give and receive constructive feedback that enhances their comprehension of the subject material.

Self and Peer Assessments can help distribute the workload and ensure that students receive feedback from several individuals. Students also benefit from the analytical experience of evaluating submissions against defined criteria.

Assessments are precisely scheduled to allow the proper time for the submission and evaluation process to be completed. You also schedule the time to access any content items associated with an assessment.

You have the option of to use both self and anonymous evaluations. These options may provide a comfort level that can result in more candid tests and evaluations. However, they can also impact the integrity of the assessment process.

You can export these tests, along with their questions and criteria, and then import them for later use.

Question and criteria example

Questions provide structure and content to the assessment. They are simple ("What is 2 plus 2?") or complex ("Describe the main reason for the fall of the Roman Empire.").

The criteria that accompany each question provide the means to evaluate the responses to the 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?

The assessment timeline

Create and deploy: Before any participant has submitted work, even after the submission start date

Submit: After the submission start date and work has been submitted, and before the submission end date

Complete: After the submission end date, but before the evaluation start date

Evaluate: After the evaluation start date and before the evaluation end date

Results: After the evaluation end date

Specify assessment date ranges

Three date ranges are necessary to the successful creation and deployment of an assessment:

  • Display After/Until: The date range when the assessment is available to students
  • Submission Start/End: The date range when students can submit answers to an assessment
  • Evaluation Start/End: The date range when students can submit evaluations of their peers' work on the assessment as well as their own, if self evaluations are enabled

Create a Self and Peer Assessment

You can create Self and Peer Assessments in content areas, learning modules, lesson plans, and folders.

  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.
  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.

More on attaching files

Assessment editing rules

After you create an assessment, you can edit it in a number of ways. However, you can't edit specific items in specific time periods.

These rules are presented to help prevent problems such as setting the dates incorrectly and rendering the assessment unusable. An assessment is unusable when you save it with the Submission End Date in the past or the Submission Start and Submission End dates matching each other. In this case, the only remedy is to export the assessment, import it, fix the dates, and then delete the original assessment. All submissions for the original are lost in this process.

This table defines the rules that govern the modification of assessment elements. These changes are made without system warnings.

Assessment rules
Timeline Period Can't Edit
Create and deploy You can change any element with no restrictions or warnings.


  • Delete questions
  • Order of questions
  • Submission start date


  • Add, edit, delete, or reorder questions
  • Submission start date


  • Number of peers
  • Add, edit, delete, or reorder questions
  • Anonymous evaluation
  • Delete or reorder criteria
  • Edit criteria points
  • Possible points and assigned points
  • Evaluation start date
  • Self evaluation
  • Submission end date
  • Submission start date


  • Number of peers
  • Add criteria
  • Allow feedback
  • Anonymous evaluation
  • Delete or reorder criteria
  • Edit criteria
  • Edit criteria points
  • Possible points and assigned points
  • Edit criteria text
  • Edit model response
  • Evaluation start date
  • Add, edit, delete, or reorder questions
  • Self evaluation
  • Submission end date
  • Submission start date

Edit an assessment

  1. Access an assessment's menu and select Edit.
  2. On the Edit page, select Assessment Canvas.
  3. To reorder questions, use the drag-and-drop function or the keyboard accessible reordering tool.
  4. To reorder a question's criteria, access the question's menu and select Criteria. Reorder the same as in step 3.

Edit assessment properties

  1. Access an assessment's menu and select Edit.
  2. On the Edit page, select Properties and make your changes.
  3. Select Submit.