Introducing REVIEW Peer Rating: A Simple Tool for Student Feedback


After trying several commercially available tools the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Business Digital Learning team approached Academ in late 2016 to discuss the development of a Peer Rating feature in REVIEW. Staff at the UNSW Business School had identified the need to incorporate peer rating and student-to-student feedback systemically into group work.

The Business Digital Learning team, led by Danny Carroll sought input from UTS REVIEW founder, Darrall Thompson. Subsequently, UNSW Business formed a project team to scope and drive the development of the Peer Rating Tool in REVIEW. A co-design process followed with significant input from UTS and Academ.

This new feature within REVIEW creates online surveys which enable students to rate their peer’s performance in group work, give peer feedback, and communicate problems and under performers to staff.

Why Peer Rating?

“In 2012 we identified the need to incorporate peer rating and student to student feedback systemically into group work. Staff also wanted better early diagnosis of ‘problem’ groups and the ability to identify ‘freeloaders’. After testing and using a variety of other software, we decided to co-develop a Peer Rating feature with Academ in REVIEW. We did this to ensure that Peer Rating was easy to DO for staff and a great experience in giving and getting feedback for students. Overall, the tool we co-developed with Academ is intuitive, so we can systematically promote it for widespread use. This helps us promote greater student engagement in assessment, which is a strategic goal in our faculty and at UNSW.”

— Danny Carroll: Manager, UNSW Business Digital Learning

Recently reporting on a research project undertaken by O’Donovan, Price, & Rust (2004) over the course of three years found that “…inviting students into the marking process can mean that assessment broadens out from merely the assessment of learning to become an effective learning tool in its own right, facilitating assessment for learning.”

With REVIEW being largely focused on the skills students should be developing, the qualities they need to acquire and the knowledge literacy and conceptual frameworks they need to construct i.e. Graduate attributes. Integrating a peer rating feature into the software was a logical progression for the product as it seeks to continue advancing its assessment capabilities.

Benefits of Peer Rating in REVIEW


  • Early diagnosis of ‘problem’ groups and the ability to identify ‘freeloaders’.
  • Increase student engagement by personally involving them in the assessment process.
  • Opportunity to reduce the number of issues that may arise in future group work situations
  • Learn from mistakes and utilise criticism / comments received from each review to improve assessment formats, structure, objectives etc.
  • Potential reductions in marking workload — (dependant on the number of marks collated / feedback given).
  • Simplified system for managing assessment data which can be exported and manipulated in a variety of formats.


  • All students are encouraged to participate in legitimised, elaborated and systematic process that support learning.
  • Students feel ownership of the assessment (and learning) process rather than alienated or victimised by it.
  • Students’ understanding of the meaning of the criteria and standards is richer.
  • Collective participation helps establish and support a community of learners who collaborate and cooperate in supporting each other’s learning.

“We’re happy that the new Peer Rating feature in REVIEW, developed through an inter-university / vendor partnership model, elegantly serves the most common peer rating and feedback use cases that we identified. Better yet, it allows for further development on the platform for more customised and specific peer feedback needs. We see the addition of Peer Rating and Peer to Peer feedback in REVIEW as very complementary to the presence of self-assessment, which is already a native feature in REVIEW’s DNA.”

— Danny Carroll: Manager, UNSW Business Digital Learning

Interested in learning more about REVIEW and it’s Peer Rating functionality?

Contact Academ today for a free product demonstration here.