Turnitin PeerMark



While analogue peermarked learning activities are not new, they are not straightforward to manage, even when staff and students are on campus.

PeerMark is a peer review assignment tool within Turnitin. Academic staff can create and manage PeerMark assignments that allow students to read, review, and evaluate one or many papers submitted by their coursemates. With the advanced options in PeerMark, the reviews are anonymous or attributed.

Why use PeerMark?

  • to enhance and streamline pedagogically sound approaches to assessment
  • to encourage student engagement with rubrics
  • to provide assessment-based opportunities for reflective practice
  • to provide feed-forward on submitted formative written work in prepararion for summative written work
  • to expand the range of credible assessment models at Royal Holloway, University of London

Try it out in the Flexible Education Development & Support course. 



Built upon existing Turnitin Assignments

  • A PeerMark activity is built upon an existing or additional Turnitin assignment
  • A PeerMark activity has its own Start, Due and Post Dates
  • Reviews are anonymous by default, but can be attributed where appropriate

Multiple distribution methods

  • Students can receive a specific number of papers to review
  • Students can select papers to review
  • Papers can be distributed randomly, or to specific students
  • Students and their work can be 'paired' for reciprocal review
  • Students can be permitted to review their own paper, for self-reflection
  • A mixture of the methods can be used

Range of marking & feedback tools

  • Open' or 'closed' questions - with minimum word count requirements
  • Inline comments
  • Bubble comments
  • Numerical marks
  • Students can also be permitted to rate the reviews they receive

Academic oversight

Academic staff can:

  • Review student papers
  • Review and supplement peer reviews
  • Provide marks for reviews


Is there a local case study?

Yes.  Peermark is used in Criminology and Biological Sciences, and is being piloted in CAPITAL and Politics & International Relations. You can read about the Criminology PeerMark pilot, which received a College Teaching Prize commendation.  Below are the benefits which arose during and after the pilot:

Feedback and Feedforward

  • Essays can also be marked by the convenor, as usual, using Turnitin Feedback Studio (formerly known as GradeMark). This provides the opportunity to add any correctives as to the peer feedback, assign essays a final mark, and also write additional feedback.
  • Students therefore receive more than one set of feedback on their formative work, which they are able to feed forward into their summative work.


  • Essays can be distributed anonymously, and Turnitin allows tutors to automate the assignation papers to students
  • Most of the challenges arising from the manual nature of peer assessment practices, which prove intractable as the number of students involved increases, are addressed
  • The use of PeerMark considerably reduces the volume of administrative work required in ensuring essays and feedback are returned to students, and ensuring the exercise remained entirely anonymous

Student expectations

  • The use of technology responds to changing student expectations and needs by streamlining the assessment process from submission to providing and subsequently receiving peer feedback, and then marks and feedback from the convenor; with all associated activities consolidated in the Moodle course
  • That students can use their own device at a location and time of their choosing (within the due dates set by the convenor) is a better fit with current student expectations and lifestyles
  • This contrasts with the first iteration of this peer marking exercise, in which students previously completed the activity in a guided seminar

Student engagement

  • The use of the Turnitin PeerMark facility allows convenors to set a number of open or closed questions to guide peer feedback, and set a minimum word count for responses to those questions before feedback can be submitted.
  • The use of scaffolded and structured PeerMark technology ensures that students leave substantial feedback and are required to engage directly with the marking rubric
  • The use of technology to streamline and partially-automate the normally manual, paper-based processes coincides with increased engagement


  • The use of the Turnitin PeerMark facility improves the inclusivity of peer marking activities. The anonymity of the technology creates a ‘safe space’ for students to provide peer feedback. The open and closed questions balance prescriptive and autonomous elements to the assessment. Using technology also accommodates students with a broad range of learning needs. For example, students who experience visual impairment are able to more easily participate when essays are not distributed in hard copy. The prescriptive element also assists students who experience social/communication impairment.

Potential uses

  • Encourage students to engage with marking criteria and rubrics
  • Peer feedback on formative work
  • Self-evaluation of written work
  • Annotation & review of exemplar essays

Contact the e-learning team for support with PeerMark.





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