Session 5C | Paper 2 Adding a peer contribution element to group assignments on Moodle with the updated peer assessment activity

Lisa Baker, Educational Technologist, City, University of London, Digital Education (LEaD)

Dr Russell Gerrard, Associate Professor of Statistics, City, University of London, The Business School (formerly Cass), Faculty of Actuarial Science and Insurance


Peer assessment forms part of a module’s assessment design. It is an assignment type in Moodle which allows students to assess each member of their own group’s contribution to a group assessment. It promotes equal participation of all group members and empowers students to participate in the feedback process.

The session will provide an overview of the Business School’s peer assessment activity, including some background on its development and the pedagogy behind the recent updates.

The Moodle activity is available for use across the university and to Moodle users throughout the sector. It ‘enhances the learning experience of students’ by providing an opportunity to assess ‘the contribution of individuals to a group project’ (Johnson & Miles, 2004).

Peer assessment was introduced to incentivise engagement, and to achieve fairness in groupwork. ‘Peer evaluation is an effective way for each student to participate actively in a team project.’ (Lee & Lim, 2012) and ‘allows students to recognize areas of their strength and weakness as team members’ (Lerchenfeldt et. al., 2019).

Group members assess each other’s contribution to a group assignment. Previously students graded their peers between 0 and 5 for their groupwork contribution. Following feedback from staff and students, students now assess their peers against three criteria descriptors linked to stages of their project’s development: group participation, research and analysis, and writing/presentation of final submission. The descriptors encourage reflection on the whole groupwork process, and avoid misinterpretation of grades. Students also provide a comment to justify their choices.

The descriptors are translated into grades for the grade calculation. Students’ grades are calculated using the peer grades they receive and the group grade awarded by the lecturer. ‘Typically, instructors evaluate the quality of the final product without knowledge of the team work process’. (Lee & Lim, 2012). The newly developed calculation now ensures that a student’s own grade is only affected by the peer grades they receive, and not by the grades they give others.

Peer assessment can be applied to individual groups or to a whole cohort, and now allows for individual peer grades to be overridden by faculty if required.

Slides from the session

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Recording of the session:

Paper 2 starts from 28:02 into the recording.


Johnston, L. & Miles, L., (2004). Assessing contributions to group assignments. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 29(6), pp.751-768.

Lee, H.-J., & Lim, C. (2012). Peer Evaluation in Blended Team Project-Based Learning: What Do Students Find Important? Educational Technology & Society, 15 (4), pp.214–224.

Lerchenfeldt, S., Mi, M. & Eng, M., (2019). The utilization of peer feedback during collaborative learning in undergraduate medical education: a systematic review. BMC Medical Education 19, 321.

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