Friday, February 19, 2016

PeerMark by Tori Svoboda

PeerMark is one of the three tools featured within TurnItIn. It is an online, peer evaluation tool that allows students to read, review, and evaluate papers submitted by their classmates.  Originality Reports and GradeMark are the other tools.

I use PeerMark in most of my graduate courses in Student Affairs Administration for the process of students seeking feedback from peers and making writing a more public rather than private process, with fairly low stakes.  Using PeerMark lessens writing apprehension for students of varying writing abilities, who find themselves less concerned that everyone else knows how to write better than they do.  It also positions students as competent and active voices in the writing process, rather than putting all of that responsibility on me. The quality of the final drafts have improved greatly, and I can focus more on responding to students' ideas rather than being distracted by grammar and style.

Students report that it is easier for them to spot errors in one another's writing, as it is to catch such errors in their own work.  They also find the process of editing for others' work helps them see patterns they might want to change in their own writing.  And, as the semesters progress, I frequently will see them adding comments to their own work, like "I know this section needs more examples.  Can you help me brainstorm some ideas of how this applies?"

I like PeerMark because it's fairly easy to set-up and later review.  D2L integration works for the initial assignment, but not the reviews.  You need to create review assignments in TurnItIn directly and create student accounts there, too.   Making sure to provide clear guidelines and a meaningful purpose can facilitate a much better student experience using PeerMark.

More information about PeerMark and its capabilities can be found at

Submitted by Dr. Tori Svoboda, Student Affairs Administration