PeerWise Instructor Guide

PeerWise is a tool that invites students to quiz each other by creating and sharing their own multiple-choice questions and answering those written by their peers. Developed by the University of Auckland, PeerWise can help you identify common misunderstandings in a course, while students help each other study and review course content.
Cost Yes Free
Bandwidth Yes Low demand
Canvas Integration No None
Privacy Yes PeerWise is FIPPA compliant if you abide by guidance as noted below
Similar UBC-Supported Tools (none)

What can I use it for?

You can use PeerWise to test and improve student understanding of course content:

  • Have students write practice exam questions and review each other’s questions
  • Pose questions of your own, especially for content that you know has been confusing for students in the past
  • Review and comment on the student-created questions to clarify important course concepts
  • Compile the student-created questions into a bank of questions that future students can use to study

What to know about PeerWise

PeerWise is FIPPA-compliant provided you abide by our guidance: Do not use personally identifiable information for students like emails, full names, or student numbers to create PeerWise student accounts, as the data is hosted in New Zealand.

What do I need to use PeerWise?

A supported web browser

PeerWise runs in your web browser and supports using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge. We recommend that you use a recent version of Chrome or Firefox.

A PeerWise account

PeerWise offers free instructor accounts for UBC instructors. Follow the instructions in the accordion below to create an account.

Tips

  • PeerWise is supported on Windows 10, macOS 10.13+, iOS 13+, and Android 9. We recommend using a computer to create and review questions, as it provides a better interface than a mobile device.

How do I use PeerWise?

You will first need to create a PeerWise account, then create a course for students to add questions to.

Click any bar below for instructions and tips for using PeerWise.

Request a PeerWise account

  1. Go to the PeerWise join page.
  2. Fill in your information, then click Request instructor account.
  3. PeerWise should email you with your username and password within two business days. Once you receive the email, you can log in to your account.

Tips

  • Students do not need to request an account to use PeerWise. They can create a guest account themselves, once you have prepared your PeerWise course.

Create a PeerWise course

  1. Go to the University of Auckland's PeerWise website.
  2. In the search field on top, enter “The University of British Columbia (BC, Canada)”, then click Go.
  3. Log in to your account.
  4. On the home page, click Create a new course.
  5. Give the course a title, and click Preview new course.
  6. Check that the course information is correct, and click Yes, create this course.
  7. Under “Pending courses”, click Upload student identifiers to activate this course.
  8. In the bolded box to the left of the course ID, write a list of identifiers—that is, keywords that will be used to identify each student’s account (e.g., names of cities). Each student will use one of these identifiers to register in your course.
    • To protect student privacy in PeerWise, we recommend using aliases or fake email addresses as your student identifiers. Do not use personally identifiable information for students like emails, full names, or student numbers.
  9. In the "Prompt" box, write what will prompt students to enter their identifier when they create their guest account (e.g., "Enter the city I emailed you", then click Update identifier list and prompt.
  10. Provide students with the PeerWise course ID (found on the home page of PeerWise under the course name) and their specific identifier, so they can create guest accounts.

Tips

  • Each student identifier can only be used once. Be sure to list enough identifiers for each of your students and keep track of which identifier you assign to each student.

Add a PeerWise question

By adding sample questions for students, you can set a baseline for the quality of questions you expect them to write as well as test out what the student experience is like.

  1. Go to the University of Auckland's PeerWise website.
  2. In the search field on top, enter “The University of British Columbia (BC, Canada)”, then click Go.
  3. Log in to your account.
  4. On the home page, click your course title.
  5. Under “Your questions”, click View, then click Create new question.
  6. Write your question, provide the multiple-choice answers, and click Select for the correct answer.
  7. Provide an explanation for why the answer is correct and add topics for your question. Topics are like tags—they provide ways of categorizing and searching the questions.
  8. Click Show me a preview of this question to see how the question will appear. Make edits as needed.
  9. When you are ready, click Save question from the preview page to share the question with the students in your course.

Tips

  • PeerWise allows students to create quizzes for themselves, once they answer enough peer questions. After a student has answered 10 questions, this quiz feature will be available to them.
  • You can view each student’s participation by going to “Administration” from the main menu at the bottom of your course, and then looking at the participation summary. Remember this summary will show the student identifiers you used, so you will need to reference your own records to see which student was assigned which identifier.
  • Adding topics to your questions makes it easier for students to find questions related to specific pieces of course content. Helpful topics to add to questions include the week or module where the question came from and keywords that capture related course concepts.

Review student questions in PeerWise

Reviewing your students’ questions and answers in PeerWise is a good way of checking that their understanding of the course content is correct. You will also be able to prevent wrong questions and answers from confusing other students.

  1. Go to the University of Auckland's PeerWise website.
  2. In the search field on top, enter “The University of British Columbia (BC, Canada)”, then click Go.
  3. Log in to your account.
  4. On the home page, click your course title.
  5. Under “Unanswered questions”, click View, then click the number next to the question you wish to review.
  6. Click the answer you believe is correct.
  7. If you want to provide constructive feedback for the question:
    • Inside of the explanation text box, click Improve explanation.
    • Write your explanation to the question’s answer, and click Save explanation.
  8. If you want to provide positive feedback or add additional information relevant to the question:
    • In the comments section, click Write a new comment.
    • Write your comment, and click Save Comment.
  9. Rate the difficulty and quality of the question, then click Submit rating and return to question list to save your ratings and select another question.

Tips

  • PeerWise questions are anonymous, but you as an instructor can see which student wrote each question. Do this by going to “Administration” from the main menu at the bottom of your course, clicking “View individual questions”, and then selecting a particular question ID. Remember the author will be shown as a student identifier, so you will need to reference your own records to see which student was assigned which identifier.
  • Students are able to edit their questions to respond to feedback from you and their peers. However, when they edit a question, all responses, ratings, and comments will be reset for that question. The old version of the question will be archived, along with all associated responses, ratings, and comments. But it will no longer be available for others to answer.

Where can I get more support with PeerWise?

Technical support

If you have trouble with PeerWise:

For supporting your students

Learn more


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