The Workshop activity module is used for peer assessment. Students are graded on two things: the work they submit, and their assessments of other students' work. Work submitted (the Submission) is given a grade based on peer reviews. Another grade is determined by accuracy in assessing peer submissions. Instructors can provide examples for students to view and practice assessment. The instructor can choose to publish some of the students' work to share at the end of the Workshop. The instructor can also enable individual students to add text or upload files to share with their peers.

Video Example - temporary option until we can create our own.

Getting Started

Adding/Updating a workshop

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  • Social constructionist
  • Automated peer review
  • Directed and objective assessments
  • Grades for submission and review
  • Rubrics
  • Project review and feedback
  1. Select Turn editing on.
  2. Click on the Add an activity or resource link.
    screen image of activity pull-down list
  3. Choose the Workshop tool.
  4. Under the General section, type the Workshop name (required) of the assignment into the text box.
  5. Type the Introduction into the text box.
  6. Under the Workshop features section, choose to include any of the following:
    • Use examples: Enables students to assess sample work, and compare it to a reference assessment. This offers a controlled practice environment for students to assess submissions.
    • Use peer assessment: Enables students to assess other students' work. These assessments will be worth a percentage of each student's grade.
    • Use self-assessment: Enables students to assess their own work. This assessment will be worth a percentage of their grade.
  7. Under the Grade settings section, select how much weight is applied to the Grade for submission and the Grade for assessment.
  8. Select the Grading strategy.
  9. Options
    • Accumulative grading - Comments and a grade are given regarding specified aspects
    • Comments - Comments are given regarding specified aspects but no grade can be given
    • Number of errors - Comments and a yes/no assessment are given regarding specified assertions
    • Rubric - A level assessment is given regarding specified criteria
    • Decimal places in grades
  10. Submission settings: type the Instructions for submission in the text box.
  11. Options
    • Maximum number of submission attachments, Maximum file size, and if Late submissions are allowed.
  12. Assessment settings: type the Instructions for assessment in the text box.
  13. Options
    • Mode of examples assessment: This setting is available only after the 'use examples' under Workshop Features is checked. The first option means that the assessment of the example submission is voluntary, while the second and the third ones make it mandatory, which requires students to assess example submissions either before submitting their own work, or after their own submission but before peer-assessment.
  14. Access control: within the Show Advanced, define the open/close dates for submissions and assessments.
    If the submissions deadline is specified and this box is checked, the workshop will automatically switch to the assessment phase after the submissions deadline. If you enable this feature, it is recommended to set up the scheduled allocation method, too.
    If the submissions are not allocated, no assessment can be done even if the workshop itself is in the assessment phase.
  15. NOTE : If these dates aren't defined, the Workshop must be manually opened and closed for both submissions and assessments.

  16. Common module: choose group mode.
    Note: If you have group projects, the group can submit their files into one area. After the group is created, you can choose the name of the group from the list.
    • Visible to students (can be changed later), and a custom ID number of the assignment for easy reference when grading.
  17. Restrict Access: allows the instructor to set a condition on the assignment until other assignment(s) are completed.
  18. Add restrict access image
    Add restrict access menu image
    • Date: Access can be restricted from or until a certain date and time.
      Note: ALL dates must be changed when copying courses. [We recommend that you do not use the DATE option in Restrict access. Dates can be set above within the Availability.]
    • Grade: determines grade conditions which must be met in order to access the activity.
      Note: Multiple grade conditions may be set if desired. If so, the activity will only allow access when ALL grade conditions are met.
    • Group: If groups are used in the course, it is possible to restrict the activity to a certain group.
    • User Profile determines access based on fields within the student's profile, such as department or email.
    • Restriction Set allows you to set nested restrictions (of those listed above).
  19. Choose either Save and return to course or Save and display.

Anonymous Review

If you would like to create an anonymous review so that students can not see the authors names, you can edit the permissions.

  1. Click on the Workshop name.
  2. In the Administration block, click on the Permissions link.
    Screen image of Workshop Admin block > Permissions
  3. Scroll down to the View author names and click on the X on the right of the student to delete student's view of author names.
    Screen image of Workshop permissions
  4. Click on the Remove button in the Confirm role change window.

Workshop Workflow

The typical workshop activity can span days or even weeks. The instructor switches the activity from one phase to another or uses the Assessment Settings time line for automated progression options. The work flow for the Workshop module can be viewed as having five phases: Setup, Submission, Assessment, Grading/Evaluation, and ending with the Closed phase. The progress of the activity is visualized in the Workshop planner tool. It displays all Workshop phases and highlights the currently active phase. It also lists all the tasks the user has in the current phase and whether the task is finished, not yet finished, or even failed.

Setup phase

Once the Workshop is created, the next step is the Setup phase. This section is for setting up the parts of a submission that are to be assessed by students, as well as ironing out all the grading details.

    screen image of workshop setup phase

  1. In the Setup phase column, click Workshop link within the course layout.
  2. In the Settings block on the right, click on the Edit Assessment Form link.
  3. Type the Description of the aspects of submissions that will be analyzed when grading. Use multiple Aspect sections as necessary
  4. Note: For example, an essay may have separate aspect sections for introduction, body, conclusion, sources, etc.
  5. Select the Best possible grade/Scale to use and the Weight of the aspect.
  6. Click Save and preview to see how the assessment form looks, and then click Save and close.

Submission phase

The Submission phase is for setting up which students assess who (as well as who the instructor assesses, if that is desired). This enables students to begin submitting their work.

NOTE: Random and Manual allocations apply to current submissions. Future submissions will not be accounted for.

  1. Click on the light bulb icon near the top of the Submission phase column.
  2. Screen image of switching to submission phase
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Note: By clicking Continue, students are able to submit assignments for assessment.
  5. In the Submission phase column, click on Allocate submissions.
    1. Manual Allocation: Assign specific submissions to reviewers, and reviewers to submissions. Manual allocation may also be used to edit assignments after Random or Scheduled allocation.
    2. Random Allocation: Select from the dropdown list a number or reviews per submission, or a number of submissions per reviewer.
    3. Scheduled Allocation: Only supports random allocation. Enable scheduled allocation by clicking the checkbox under "Scheduled allocation settings."
  6. Using the pull-down boxes, select who each Participant is reviewed by, and who each Participant is a reviewer of.
  7. Return to the Workshop main page by clicking the Workshop's name in the Navigation block (left side of the page).

Assessment phase

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Scheduled Allocation

Manual and Random allocations only apply to current submissions. Future submissions will not be accounted for.

Scheduled allocation can be enabled to automatically assign reviewers between the submission and assessment phases. This is the only method that can be applied before all students have submitted their work, but will still apply to future submissions.

The assessment phase allows the students to begin assessing others' work.

  1. Before the Assessment phase, you will need to set the Allocation. Click on the Allocate submissions link.
    screen image of Sub phas allocate
    1. Option One: Manual allocation. This allows you to choose which student will be assessing who's work. If you have less than 3 students, you will need to manually choose since the Random allocation tool will not work. Manual allocations only apply to current submissions. Future submissions will not be accounted for.
      NOTE: The default setting is to allow reviewers to see author names during the peer review. If you do not want peers to view author names and create an anonymous review, you will need to change the permissions.
      screen image of manual allocate
    2. Option Two: Random allocation. If you have more than 3 students, you can set the random tool. Choose the number of reviews for each student and Save. Random allocations only apply to current submissions. Future submissions will not be accounted for.
      screen image of radom allocation
    3. Option Three: Scheduled Allocation. Can be enabled to automatically assign reviewers between the submission and assessment phases. This is the only method that can be applied before all students have submitted their work, but will still apply to future submissions
      screen image of schedule allocation
  2. Once you have setup the Allocation submissions, then click the light bulb icon near the top Assessment phase column.
  3. Screen image of switching to assessment phase
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Note: By clicking Continue, students are able to assess other submissions.
  6. Any submissions that you must assess (if any were assigned) will appear at the bottom of the page in the Assigned submissions to assess section. Click Assess.
  7. Note: If no submissions need to be assessed by students, skip to the Grading/evaluation phase.
  8. Complete the fields for each Aspect of the submission and assign grades for each.
  9. Modify Assessment settings as necessary--how much the Assessment weight is, option to Override grade for assessment, and any additional Feedback for the reviewer. Click Save and close.
  10. Note: The Assessment settings section is only available to the instructor.

Grading/evaluation phase

The Grading/evaluation phase is done when all submissions and assessments have been completed.

The final grade submitted to the gradebook when closed, is calculated as weighted mean of all the reviewers. The value is rounded to a number of decimal places set in the workshop settings. The instructor can influence the grade intwo ways:

  • by providing their own assessment with a higher value than the peers
  • by overriding the grade to fix the value.

  1. Click the light bulb icon near the top Grading evaluation phase column.
  2. Screen image of switching to grading evaluation phase
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Note: By clicking Continue, students will no longer be able to make modifications to their submissions or assessments.
    screen image of grade phase
  5. Under the Grading evaluation settings section, select the Grading evaluation method and Comparison of assessments.
  6. Click Re-calculate grades.
  7. Student grades for submission and assessment are shown below the Grading evaluation settings section.
  8. If necessary, choose to Clear all aggregated grades or Clear assessments under the Workshop toolbox section.

Close phase

The Close phase is for submitting grades to the gradebook and closing the Workshop. Workshops can be switched back to the assessment phase to recalculate or override grades, and then closed again to update grades in the gradebook.

  1. Click the light bulb icon near the top Grading evaluation phase column.
  2. Screen image of switching to close phase
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Note: By clicking Continue, calculated grades will now appear in the gradebook for students to look over.

Workshop Grading



Editing Grades

Even with rubrics student's can choose to grade differently than what you want. You can adjust the Comparison of assessment rating to re-calculate assessment scores, you can override the students grade for providing the assessment, and you can override the Gradebook value to give one student an adjust grade.

To adjust the Comparison of assessment ratings:

  1. Click on the Workshop name.
  2. Click the light bulb icon near the top Grading evaluation phase column.
  3. Chose the rating option within the Comparison of assessment pull-down menu.
    comparison of assessment screen image
  4. Click on the Re-calculate grades bottom.

To override the students assessment score:

  1. Click on the Workshop name.
  2. Click the light bulb icon near the top Grading evaluation phase column.
  3. Scroll down to the grade you want to change and click on it.
    image of workshop student graded
  4. Scroll down to the Assessment settings and Override grade for assignment.
    override grade in workshop
  5. Scroll to the bottom and click on the Save and close button.

To override grades, please see the Grades tutorial page.

As you can see, every participant gets two numerical grades into the course Gradebook. During the Grading evaluation phase, instructors can let the Workshop module calculate these final grades. Scores and information is stored in the Workshop module only until the activity is switched to the final (Closed) phase, therefore it is safe to play with grades. When you are happy with the grades, close the Workshop and push the grades into the Gradebook. Instructors can switch the phase back, recalculate or override the grades and close the Workshop again so the grades are updated in the Gradebook again (note that the instructor can override the grades in the Gradebook, too).

    diagram for how the workshop is graded in the Gradebook
    by David Mudrak (


During the grading evaluation, Workshop grades report is displayed below the workshop table. The report provides you with a comprehensive overview of all individual grades.