Support from FASE's Education Technology Office

Getting started with peerScholar

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PeerScholar is a Quercus-supported peer assessment tool that enables students to engage in a collaborative feedback process and allows them to provide constructive reflection on each other's work.

This guide brings together information that you might need in order to set it up properly. 

Important note about grading and peerScholar:

Please do not use peer assessed marks as final student grade. (You might end up having to pay the students TA rate if you do). At U of T, Instructors or TAs, rather than students, must provide the final grades on peerScholar assignments.

These final grades may be informed by peer feedback and must be interpreted by an expert grader in combination with other pedagogical factors that are relevant (e.g., the quality of peer comments, etc). This approach allows the evidence-based pedagogical benefits of peer-assessment to be harnessed in a way that is consistent with current institutional labour practices.

For more information, please see PeerScholar breakdown on the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation website.

1. What is peerScholar 

PeerScholar is an online peer and self-assessment system that is available for use in Quercus courses and currently being used across campuses at the University of Toronto. It was developed by Professor Steve Joordens and Dwayne Pare at the University of Toronto Scarborough and designed to encourage students to engage in critical and creative thinking, analytical reasoning, and effective communication of their ideas via peer assessment.

See the PeerScholar breakdown for more information.

Please do not use peer assessed marks as final student grade. (You might end up having to pay the students TA rate if you do) 

With current configuration, peerScholar is accessed from assignment settings in Quercus, as opposed to logging into the peerScholar website directly.

2.1. Create New Assignment in Quercus

  1. Select Assignment option from the Navigation Panel
  2. Select +Assignment button

2.2. Connect the assignment to peerScholar

  1. Select External Tool as a Submission Type
  2. Select Find button (leave the address field blank)
  3. Scroll down and select peerScholar
  4. Choose Select button
  5. Scroll down and select Save button

While in assignment settings, define any other relevant settings for the assignment such as Points, Assignment Group, Assigned to, etc.

2.3. Open assignment in peerScholar interface

  1. Select Load *assignment name* in a new window button.

A new window with peerScholar interface will load where you can set up a peerScholar activity and assignment.  

What's next?

See our article "How to set up a peerScholar activity" that will help you set up a Classic Activity type of peerScholar assignment in your Quercus course.

Previous Article Overview: PeerScholar User Interface (January 2015)
Still have questions? Contact the FASE EdTech Office