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Using PeerMark - Instructors  |  Using PeerMark - Students  |  Frequently Asked Questions 
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PeerMark is an online tool built into Turnitin that is used to distribute work student work for peer review. Using PeerMark, papers, presentations, or other assignments submitted through Turnitin can be electronically assigned to one or more students in a class for their review using criteria established by the instructor. Student work can simply be evaluated against those standards, or peer reviewers can also add inline comments, overall comments, and/or some basic editing marks. Upon completion of the PeerMark assignment, reviewed work is returned to students directly through the PeerMark assignment within Blackboard.

Instructors must first set up a Turnitin assignment in their Blackboard course in order for students to submit their work. (Detailed Turnitin assignment creation instructions are available on this ITS Turnitin web page.) Once the initial Turnitin assignment has been created, instructors must create a second PeerMark assignment based upon the original assignment.

Instructors can also use PeerMark outside of Blackboard with assignments created through Turnitin's website.

The following tips will help students and instructors get the most out of PeerMark:

  • Papers should be double spaced. This will make it much easier for everyone involved in critiquing the paper to mark them up and provide inline feedback.

  • Students should remove their name and any other personally identifying information from their papers prior to submission to Turnitin if the assignment has been set up to added to the global Turnitin repository and/or if the assignment will also incorporate PeerMark where anonymity of the author is to be maintained in that process. Instructors will be still be able to identify the students' papers via the PeerMark submission list in Blackboard.

  • Turnitin deadlines must be met. If a paper is not submitted by the deadline, it will be unavailable for subsequent peer review.


Using PeerMark in Blackboard - Instructors

Step 1: Create a Turnitin assignment

PeerMark is a feature within Turnitin. Therefore, you must first create a Turnitin assignment within Blackboard in order to use PeerMark. Whether you choose to use the Originality reporting or not will be determined by your settings when you create the Turnitin assignment. See the Using Turnitin within Blackboard web page for detailed instructions regarding how to set up the initial Turnitin assignment.

Step 2: Synchronize the Blackboard Roster with Turnitin

  1. Under the Control Panel, expand the Course Tools section and select Turnitin Assignment.

  2. Click on the linked name for the Turnitin Assignment created in step 1 above.

  3. Click on Roster Sync.


Step 3: Create a PeerMark Assignment

To create a PeerMark assignment in Blackboard:

  1. Select a content area (e.g. Coursework > Module 1) in the Blackboard course.

  2. With Edit Mode "on," click on Assessments and select Turnitin Assignment from the drop-down menu.

  3. Once the Turnitin page opens, select the "Assignment Type": PeerMark Assignment.

  4. Click the Next Step button.

  5. Select the existing Turnitin Assignment created in Step 1 that will become the basis of the PeerMark activity from the drop down box.

  6. Assign a Point value for the PeerMark phase of the assignment. Those are the points that will be given to the student reviewers for their reviews. Optionally, you may click on the box to Award full points if review is written.

  7. Click on the Show more options link. Review the settings and make decisions regarding
    • Assignment title
    • Assignment description and/or instructions
    • Additional Settings
      • Allow students to view author and reviewer names
      • Allow students without a paper to review

  8. Establish the Start, Due, and Post dates and times for the PeerMark assignment.

  9. Click on Show more options. Review the settings and make decisions regarding whether to
    • Allow submitters to read all papers after Start date
    • Allow students to read ALL papers and ALL reviews after Post date
    • Specify the last date for papers to be submitted and still be included in the pool of papers to be reviewed.

  10. Click on Save & Continue.

  11. Click on the Edit link on the PeerMark Settings screen to establish how papers will be distributed and then click on the Save button.

  12. Click on the Show more distribution options on the PeerMark Settings screen. Note that you can manually pair and/or exclude students from the PeerMark assignment.

  13. Click on Save and Continue.

  14. Click on the Add Question button and begin to create the criteria your students will use to evaluate their peers' papers. Note that you can create your own Free Response or Scale questions, or choose items from a Sample Library. Add as many questions as you like. When you are finished, click on Save & Finish.

  15. Click the Save and Finish button to finalize the PeerMark assignment.


Step 4: Viewing and Grading a PeerMark Assignment

Instructors can view the student's peer reviews, add their own reviews, and grade the reviewers through the PeerMark link within the course content area where the PeerMark Assignment has been deployed.

  1. Navigate to the course content area where the PeerMark assignment has been deployed (e.g. Coursework > Module 1).
  2. Click on the >> View link for the PeerMark assignment.

Consult these Turnitin tutorials for additional information: PeerMark Overview, Creating a PeerMark Assignment, Writing a Review of a Student Paper, Reading Peer Reviews.

Using PeerMark in Blackboard - Students

Step 1: Submit a Turnitin Assignment

To submit a Turnitin assignment:

  1. Complete the assignment and save the file in an acceptable format.

  2. Navigate to the section of the Blackboard course where the Turnitin assignment has been created by the instructor (i.e. Assignments, Course Materials, etc.)

  3. Click the >>View/Complete link.

  4. Once the Turnitin page opens, read the user agreement, acknowledge you are at least 13 years of age, and click on the I agree--continue button.

  5. Choose the "submission method," enter a "submission title," click the Browse button in the "browse for the file to upload" area to select the file on the local or external drive, and then click the upload button. An acknowledgement that the paper has been successfully uploaded will be generated. A new screen will open showing a preview of the paper. Click on the submit button on the "Step 2 of 2" screen to complete the submission process.

  6. A confirmation screen will appear including a unique paper ID.

Students may be permitted one submission per Turnitin assignment or multiple submissions depending upon how the assignment is configured by the instructor. According to the Turnitin site, when multiple submissions are permitted, only one Originality Report will be processed in a 24 hour period; reports "for second or subsequent submissions will require a 24 hour delay before the Originality Report begins processing." Therefore, students should be careful to select the correct file before clicking on the Submit button when multiple submissions are allowed. Instructors may also set up a draft Turnitin assignment allowing students to submit their papers to check for possible plagiarism prior to their final paper submission. Once the final assignment is submitted, it will be stored in Turnitin global student paper repository.

Step 2: Complete the PeerMark Assignment

To complete a PeerMark assignment:

  1. Navigate to the section of the Blackboard course where the Turnitin assignment was created by the instructor (i.e. Assignments, Course Materials, etc.).

  2. Click the >>View/Complete link for the PeerMark Assignment. This will not be the same link used to submit the original Turnitin assignment.

  3. A new screen will open. Click on the Show details link.

  4. Click on the Start Review button for the first paper.

  5. The PeerMark screen will open, providing three different tools for first adding and then viewing the mark up added by you to the paper that is presented.
    1. Tools link in the upper left corner: opens options for adding inline text comments, highlighting text and adding a number of standard review marks. Click on the paper where you wish to insert a comment or inline text. Or select the highlighting tool then left click and drag your mouse to highlight a phrase and add a comment.
    2. Questions tab: presents standard questions provided by your instructor that you need to answer while reviewing the paper. Be sure to take note of any minimum response figures.
    3. Comments tab: shows all comments that have been added to the paper and clicking on any one of them will take you to the comment within the paper.

  6. When you have finished the peer review, be sure to click on the Submit button in the upper right corner of the screen. You cannot simply Save your work.

  7. If you have been assigned more than one paper to review, navigate back to the PeerMark Assignment link to refresh the list of remaining papers for review, select the next paper, and repeat the steps outlined above.

Step 3: View the Feedback from the PeerMark Assignment.

Upon completion of the review phase of the PeerMark Assignment you can view the feedback given to you by your peers and possibly your instructor.

  1. Navigate to the section of the Blackboard course where the PeerMark assignment was created by the instructor (i.e. Assignments, Course Materials, etc.).

  2. Click the >>View/Complete link for the PeerMark Assignment.

  3. A new screen will open. Click on the My paper link.

  4. Your paper will load showing you all of the feedback (inline comments, markup, etc) received from those individuals who reviewed your paper.

Additional Resources

For more information about or additional help with Turnitin, contact Information Technology Services at (618) 650-5500 or via email at

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