peerScholar Student Guide

peerScholar Logo

peerScholar is a peer review tool that allows you to exchange feedback on assignments with peers in your class. peerScholar assignments have three phases: creating your work, assessing the work of other students, and reflecting back on your own work. In reflecting, you will consider the feedback you received from peers and, depending on the course, you may also be asked to evaluate that feedback and/or revise and resubmit your work.

peerScholar is FIPPA compliant (i.e., it follows provincial privacy policy) and its data is stored securely in Canada.

What will I use it for?

Your instructor may have you use peerScholar to do any of the following:

  • Submit online assignments
  • Evaluate peer work and provide feedback
  • Evaluate your own work
  • Reflect on feedback received from peers

What do I need to use peerScholar?

A supported web browser

peerScholar runs in your web browser and supports using Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. Check the peerScholar supported browser page for more details.

A peerScholar student account

A peerScholar account will be created for you after you load a peerScholar assignment in Canvas.

Tips

  • Although peerScholar is a separate application from Canvas, you will access peerScholar through Canvas to properly register in your peerScholar course.

How do I use peerScholar?

You will first access peerScholar through your Canvas course. Then you can participate in the course activities assigned by your instructor within the peerScholar application.

Click any bar below to find instructions and tips for using peerScholar.

Enroll in your peerScholar course

A peerScholar account will be created for you once you click a peerScholar assignment link from Canvas.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and find your peerScholar assignment by clicking Assignments or Modules in the Course Navigation. (Which area the assignment will be listed in depends on your course instructor.)
    • You will need to click the peerScholar link from each Canvas course that uses peerScholar to access the activities specific to that course.
  2. Click the peerScholar assignment you want to open, then click Load peerScholar Link in a new window.
    • Depending on the assignment settings, peerScholar may load in a new browser window or load directly within the Canvas assignment page.
  3. Once you see an overview of assigned peerScholar activities, you have successfully enrolled in your peerScholar course.

Tips

  • Assignments in peerScholar are called activities, but these terms are interchangeable.
  • If you can’t see your course or assignment and believe this is an error, contact your instructor or teaching assistant so they can check your status in the peerScholar course.

Understand the peerScholar workflow

Assessments in peerScholar are completed in three stages:

  1. Create - In the create phase, you will be asked to submit a type of digital assignment. Many instructors may ask you to submit written assignments, but submissions could also include other digital mediums like images or videos.
  2. Assess - In the assess phase, you will be presented with anonymous peer work to analyze, mark, and provide feedback on. You may also be required to assess your own work, depending on the assignment. Instructors may provide a custom rubric to guide you in providing feedback.
  3. Reflect - In the reflect phase, you will read and consider the peer feedback you have received. Depending on the assignment settings, you may be asked to evaluate each piece of feedback you received and/or implement feedback suggestions by submitting a revised version of the original work.

To learn more about peerScholar's phases and the underlying purpose of each, you can read the peerScholar vision document.

Hand in work with peerScholar

To access peerScholar, you will first need to open the peerScholar assignment from within your Canvas course.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and find your peerScholar assignment by clicking Assignments or Modules in the Course Navigation. (Which area the assignment will be listed in depends on your course instructor.)
  2. Click the peerScholar assignment you want to open, then click Load peerScholar Link in a new window. Depending on the assignment settings, peerScholar may load in a new browser window or load directly within the Canvas assignment page.
  3. You will seen an overview of the activities assigned to your course. Click one of the phases, either Create, Assess, or Reflect, to complete that part of the respective assignment.
  4. Read the instructions for each phase carefully, taking note of the objectives and prompts you should answer within the phase. When you are ready, click Let's Go! to proceed.
  5. Complete the phase. You may need to type a response, attach a file, or some other task, depending on the instructions.
  6. Once you are satisfied with your response, click Submit.
    • You can also save as you complete your response, if you aren't ready to submit. The phase will be marked as Complete only once you have submitted your response.
  7. You can resubmit work up until the due date passes or the instructor manually closes the phase. Once the due date has passed or the phase has been manually closed, your submission will be locked.

Tips

  • While completing the assignment, pay close attention to the submission dates. Instructors can either manually open and close phases on demand, or pre-schedule due dates so that phases open and close automatically. You will only be able to complete a phase when it is open.
  • For each phase, read any instructions and prompts closely. Instructors may provide a custom rubric to guide you as you complete each part of the peer review process.

Troubleshoot issues with handing in peerScholar work

If something goes wrong while you are trying to submit your assignment, you will usually see an error message. Your instructor will also be able to check your progress throughout the assignment and confirm your submission. However, you can try to resolve certain issues yourself.

General Troubleshooting Tips

  1. Ensure you have a stable Internet connection.
  2. Switch to a computer, if you are submitting from a mobile device.
  3. Update your browser to the latest version, or try a different browser.
  4. Disable any extension/add-ons in your browser, or disable any VPN (Virtual Private Network, e.g., myVPN).

Unable to Complete A Phase

The assignment schedule set by your instructor will affect when you can complete each phase of the assignment. First, check the status of the phase.

  • You can only complete a phase when its status is "Open".
  • If you would like to complete a phase but it is now "Closed" or past the submission deadline, please contact your instructor or teaching assistant to ask for an extension.

Review your graded work in peerScholar

Not all instructors will release grades using peerScholar; ask if you are not sure what to expect in your course.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and find your peerScholar assignment by clicking Assignments or Modules in the Course Navigation. (Which area the assignment will be listed in depends on your course instructor.)
  2. Click the peerScholar assignment you want to open, then click Load peerScholar Link in a new window. Depending on the assignment settings, peerScholar may load in a new browser window or load directly within the Canvas assignment page.
  3. On the left sidebar in peerScholar, click Marks & Review.
  4. On the grades page, you will be able to see the grades received for each activity. Grades will be listed as "Not Available" if your instructor has not released the grades yet.
  5. You can click Review to see your original submission along with instructor feedback.

peerScholar FAQ

Yes. UBC has determined peerScholar is FIPPA compliant, meaning the data it holds is stored in Canada. Learn more about peerScholar's privacy policy.

No, the assignments you receive to review are distributed randomly by peerScholar.

Instructors may set up groups in peerScholar to be determined randomly, manually, or by the students. If it is set to allow students to choose, then you will be able to select the group you would like to work in.

Sometimes other students do not complete all their reviews. If one or more of these students was assigned your work to review, you may receive fewer reviews than the instructor set.

Where can I get more support with peerScholar?

Technical support

If you have trouble accessing peerScholar:

If you have technical issues using peerScholar:

Reach out to your instructors or teaching assistants with any questions, too, as they may be able to answer any questions related to the assignment or provide real-time assistance in helping you resolve issues.

For support with online learning:

Learn more