Peer Review Assignment Best Practices for Instructors


Canvas has a built-in Peer Review tool that allows instructors to assign student submissions to each other for feedback. This feature can be enabled for groups and can be set up to be anonymous. 

If the built-in tool in Canvas doesn’t meet your needs, there may be other options

Before You Start

We strongly recommend working with your LSP if you want to create a peer review assignment in Canvas to create the best experience for you and your students.

  • Consider providing clear instructions or a rubric in your assignment for students on what a peer review is in Canvas, how they will grade, and how they can view their feedback.
  • Consider late policies carefully for these types of assignments:
    • We recommend reiterating to students that it is important that they submit on time so they don’t hold the assignment up for others in the course.
    • Students who haven’t submitted an assignment can no longer be invited to review others’ work. If students don’t submit, they can’t participate. 

How to Create a Peer Review Assignment in Canvas

  1. Follow the instructions in the Canvas Instructor Guide on creating a peer review assignment.
    1. If this will be a group assignment, you will see an additional option to “Allow intra-group peer reviews”. Select this if you would like Canvas to select a member of the same group for that student to review.

Note – Canvas assigns peer reviews to individuals, EVEN if it’s a Group Project assignment. The only project member who will see feedback is the one the peer reviewer was assigned to. It will not be visible to other project members.

  1. For the Peer Review section, select the check box next to Require Peer Reviews and then select if you would like Canvas to assign the reviews manually or automatically.
    1. If you select assign reviews manually, instructors will need to go in and pair up the students after students have finished submitting their assignments.
    2. If you select assign reviews automatically, you will need to select how many reviews a student is expected to do and to provide a time for when the reviews will be assigned.
      1. Instructors should provide a buffer for students to allow for late submissions and not use the same time as the due date of the assignment.
  2. Once all additional settings have been configured, save and publish the assignment.
  3. Students will receive an email and a to do list item once they have been assigned a peer to review. Students will not receive a peer to review until they submit the assignment.

Keep in Mind

  • We recommend using the Manually Assign Peer Reviews option (see screenshot below) to assign peer reviews later if they need to be done at a specific time. 

Known Issues 

The manual drag and drop option to assign peer reviews has not been reliable. For the best experience, we recommend using the “assign peer reviews now” option for this need instead.

  • Automatic (randomly assigned) peer reviews may take up to an hour to be assigned to students. We recommend letting your students know that there may be a delay before submissions are available to them to review.
  • Sometimes, Peer Review assignments in Canvas can be buggy if you haven’t cleared your browser cache before creating the assignment.

Please try the instructions linked above for your preferred browser and then open a new window and try logging in again. 

Clearing the browser cache can also sometimes solve issues students are having with peer reviews, and the above instructions may be helpful to share with them as well.

Other Peer Review Options

  • Wharton instructors – contact the Wharton Courseware team ( for a full list of your options for peer review assignments. 
  • If you’re already using Perusall in your course, consider using Perusall’s peer review functions
  • For group assignments: consider creating a Canvas discussion board or using Ed Discussion to allow students to share feedback with the entire group.

Get Help

Please contact or your Local Service Provider for assistance. 

Last Updated: 31 Oct 2023