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Learn@Illinois Moodle - Workshop Activity

Learn how to use the workshop activity. The workshop activity is a peer assessment tool that can be used to collect work from students and have students evaluate each other using rubrics, comments, or ratings. Students also receive a grade for how well they assessed their peers, giving students an incentive to provide accurate feedback.

For a permanent link to this information, please use:

Workshops activity icon

Examples of Using Workshop Activity

  • Students can peer review drafts as a way to get feedback before submitting their final paper.
  • Final projects can be submitted through Workshop and peer graded instead of (or in addition to) being graded by the instructor.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I switch phases?
    Click the empty blue circle icon to switch between phases. The current phase has a solid black circle icon. When a workshop is first open, it should be in the "Setup phase". When students are peer reviewing one another, it should be in the "Assessment" phase.
  2. Do I need to use groups?
    Using groups with this activity is not generally needed, as students are matched in the "Allocate submissions" page (see #4). You may use groups if you would like students to review only the work of those in their smaller groups.
  3. How can I have the phases switch automatically so that I don't have to manually do it?
    See our help document Making Workshop More Automatic.
  4. How are students matched with each other?
    Settings for matching students with other students are available in the "Submission phase" column by clicking "Allocate submissions". Students can be most easily matched by "Random allocation." Under this tab, you can set the desired number of reviews per submission (recommended) or per reviewer.
  5. Can students assess themselves?
    Yes, this is an option. In the "Settings" tab, expand "Assessment settings" and check the "Students may assess their own work" box.
    Then, under the "Submission phase" column on the main page, click "Allocate submissions". Go to the "Random allocation" tab and check the "Add self-assessments" box. The self-assessment will be in addition to the number of peers they are reviewing.
  6. Should I use Workshop or Forum for peer review?
    We recommend using Workshop for peer review involving peer grading and rubrics, while using Forum is recommended for giving written peer feedback without peer grading.
  7. Is Workshop for instructor grading too?
    No, workshop is only designed for peer grading. Instructors may create a new assignment for students to submit final revisions or create a grade item in the gradebook to enter the grades manually after reviewing them in the Workshop interface.
  8. How is the submissions grade (the grade for the students' submitted work) calculated?
    The "Grade for submission" is the average of the peer's reviews and (if enabled) their self-assessment.
  9. How is the assessment grade (the grade for the quality of the students' assessment of their peers) calculated?
    The "Grade for assessment" is the score given for how well the student evaluated their peers. This score is calculated based on how close the score a student gave is to the mean score given to that student. To get the assessment scores, you may select various options under "Comparison of assessments". This reflects the amount the students are penalized for being far from the mean. For the least penalty (highest grades) choose "very lax" and for the highest penalty (lowest grades) choose "very strict". Then click "Re-calculate grades" as many times as you need to until you are satisfied with the assessment scores.
  10. How do I edit the assessment criteria?
    At the top of the page, click the "Assessment form" tab.
  11. How can I allow students to type in feedback?
    Go to the "Settings" tab and in the "Feedback" section, make sure that the "Overall feedback mode" is set to be either "Enabled and optional" or "Enabled and required."
  12. Why aren't the grades in the gradebook yet?
    It is only when the workshop is closed that the grades will appear in the gradebook. First, make sure that you are in the "Grading evaluation phase" and click the orange "Re-calculate grades" button. You may select various options under "Comparison of assessments" to make the grades higher or lower. For the highest grades choose "very lax" and for the lowest grades choose "very strict". Edit any other grades that need adjusting. Finally, click on the empty blue circle icon to close the workshop.

Best Practices

  • Use clear descriptions of activity in the description field including:
    • How students will be graded including any grading guides and rubrics
    • Formatting rules
    • File types that will be accepted
    • Examples of exemplary submissions
  • Specifically, make sure to provide clear instructions in the "Settings" tab in the following fields:
    • "General" -> "Description"
    • "Submission settings" -> "Instructions for submission"
    • "Assessment settings" -> Instructions for assessment"
    • "Feedback" -> "Conclusion"
  • Communicate dates in a way that is easy to maintain
    • Rarely use hard due dates (e.g. September 22, 2017) - opt for relative dates (e.g. Tuesday of Week 1) whenever possible
    • Use the year when typing hard due dates so that if it does not get updated, it will be clear that this is the wrong date.
    • When you would like to collect submissions at midnight, consider using 11:55pm instead. Students are often confused when something is due on Monday at midnight, but the system says that it is due on Tuesday at 12:00am.
  • If you are using "Mean of grades" as the calculation method for your category in the gradebook, keep in mind that regardless of the point values you assign the grades for submission and assessment, the grades will be weighted the same.

Groups and Groupings

  • Using groups with this activity is not generally needed, as students are matched in the "Allocate submissions" page.
  • See our Groups and Groupings page for more information.

Related Topics Documentation

Keywordspeer review, peer grading, allocate, allocation, submission, phase, switch, grading, boost   Doc ID77284
OwnerATLAS-TLTGroupUniversity of Illinois LAS
Created2017-10-10 14:28:10Updated2023-03-21 11:50:39
SitesUniversity of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
Feedback  0   0