WebPA Peer Assessment Tool

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What ?

WebPA is a tool for setting up and facilitating peer moderated marking of groupwork.  It is fully integrated with Blackboard.

WebPA allows students to assess their own, and other students’ contributions based on a range of grading criteria set by you.  This potentially leads to fairer marks and increased engagement in group assignments.


There are several drivers for using peer assessment when reviewing group and team work activities:

  • Assigning one mark to a group of students for a project is inherently unfair. Students commonly complain that their contributions are not being given the credit they deserve, and group members who didn’t pull their weight receive the same marks as those who contributed far more.
  • It allows academics to better grade a student’s abilities against a range of key skills that they will be expected to demonstrate as graduates, such as leadership, communication, report writing, etc.
  • Peer review prompts students to reflect and assess their own abilities, as well as those of their group.

WebPA benefits to academics:

  • Easy to setup, run and reuse computerised assessments
  • Gives the ability to handle large class and group sizes, as well as any length of assessment.
  • Calculates the final grade automatically
  • Academics have the ability to change the way the scoring algorithm works and view the results immediately.
  • Provides improved accuracy of the assessment marking as there is a reduced risk of transcribing errors or errors being introduced when manipulating data in spreadsheets.

WebPA benefits to students:

  • Provides assessments that can be taken at any time from anywhere
  • Allows time to be taken to consider submissions, as well as the opportunity to go back and alter the scores until satisfied
  • Allows anonymous submissions


WebPA is a plugin (building block) that is integrated into Blackboard.  You can access it from any content page of any module that you are an instructor on.  It can be found in the Tools Tab (next to Build Content and Assessments towards the top of the screen).

Case Studies

Strategic Project Planning with WebPA

Research & Literature

Cauley, K. M., and McMillan, J. H. (2010). Formative Assessment Techniques to Support Student Motivation and Achievement. The Clearing House.

Chadwick, E., Sandiford, K., & Percy, D. (2011). Assessing student teams developing mathematical models applied to business and industrial mathematics. MSOR Connections, 11(3), p22-24.

Gordon, N. A. (2010). Group working and peer assessment—using WebPA to encourage student engagement and participation. Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences, 9(1), p20-31.

Honeychurch, S., Barr, N., Brown, C., & Hamer, J. (2013). Peer assessment assisted by technology. International Journal of e-Assessment, 3(1), p1-10.

Hubbard, E. M., & Gregory, K. (2011). Supporting multi-discipline undergraduate group projects. Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre, Loughborough University., 6(2), p13-20.

Huhta, A. (2010). Diagnostic and Formative Assessment. In: Spolsky, B. and Hult, F.M. The Handbook of Educational Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. p469-482.

Kao, G. Y. M. (2013). Enhancing the quality of peer review by reducing student “free riding”: Peer assessment with positive interdependence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(1), p112-124.

Scot, T. P., Callahan, C. M., and Urquhart, J. (2009). Paint-by-Number Teachers and Cookie-Cutter Students: The Unintended Effects of High-Stakes Testing on the Education of Gifted Students. Roeper Review: A Journal on Gifted Education. 31, p40-52.

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