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PeerMark within Blackboard (Instructors)

General Information

Informing Students about PeerMark

Using PeerMark within Blackboard

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Resources

General Information

PeerMark is an online tool for distributing 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 the class for their review using criteria established by the instructor. Student work can simply be evaluated against those standards, or peer reviewers can also be encouraged to add inline comments, overall comments, and/or some basic editing marks. Instructors may also write a PeerMark review. 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 to have students submit their work. Detailed Turnitin assignment creation instructions are available on the ITS Turnitin within Blackboard (Instructor) web page. Once the initial Turnitin assignment has been created, instructors must create a second PeerMark assignment based upon the original assignment.

The PeerMark instructions below are intended to help instructors use this resource within Blackboard. Information is also available for using PeerMark outside of the Blackboard environment. Consult this Blackboard Tips and Tricks handout for an overview of PeerMark. Consult the ITS Training site to register for an upcoming session on Turnitin and all of its components.

Informing Students about PeerMark

When creating a Turnitin assignment to be shared with peers through PeerMark, make certain to incorporate the following into the assignment instructions.

  • Papers must 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.


Using PeerMark within Blackboard


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. In addition, ITS has created a Quick Guide for GradeMark designed to highlight the basics of using the product.

Additional Resources

For additional information on instructor usage of PeerMark, view the Turnitin training site or consult the following 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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