CCLE Peer Review with Forums


While CCLE offers several options for peer review, they are generally challenging to use. One solution that is easier to set up utilizes the CCLE Forum tool combined with the Groups feature.

CCLE - Peer Review with Forums

Setting up Peer Review with Forums

To set up a peer review forum, first create groups, and then select who goes into each (students can also be allowed to choose their group by using the Group Choice tool).  Those groups are then, in turn, placed into a new grouping. Finally, create a new forum, and with a couple of adjustments to the forum settings, you’ll be able create an environment where students are only able to access their groups posts, but only have to manage a single forum for the entire class.

As an added benefit, as the instructor you may post individual prompts to each group, or create one prompt, and share it with all of the groups in your class.

Lets get started!

Create the Groups and Groupings

  1. Following the instructions on Groups and Groupings, create the desired number of groups in your course site and place students into them (normally students are to be placed should be placed in only one group).

  2. Following the same instructions, create a grouping for this peer review exercise.

  3. Add the groups you created in step 1 to the grouping you created in step 2.

Set up Forum and Adjust for Review

Next, we will create the Forum activity in which students will perform the peer review activity.

  1. Following the instructions on CCLE Forums, set up a basic forum.

  2. Edit the settings of the forum, and under “Common module settings”, change “Group mode” to “Separate groups.”

  3. A new “Grouping” option will appear. Change this to the grouping you made previously.

  4. Save your changes.

Using a Peer Review Forums

Instructor Usage

By default, you as the instructor will be able to see the posts from all groups. If you wish to limit your view to a specific group, click the menu that says “All participants” at the top of the forum and select the desired group.

If you would like to create a discussion prompt, click on “Add a new discussion topic”, and towards the bottom of the screen you will see some important options.

You can add a topic to just one group (by selecting the desired group), or, if you check the box next to “Post a copy to all groups” you can broadcast your single message to all of the groups, even though the students will only be able to see the post that was created in their group.

Student Usage

Students will be able to see posts only for their assigned group. Students can either:

  • Add a new post by clicking on the Add a new discussion topic button.

  • Reply to an existing post by clicking on its link.

Suggested usage is for students to craft their work off line, and submit it for their peers review. The peers can then download it, annotate it, and re-upload as a reply to the first student’s submission.

To upload a file, students will need to click the link that says “Advanced,” regardless of which option they choose above. This will take them to a new screen with a spot for file attachments.

Limitations of Peer Review Forums

There are some limitations to this approach.

  • Students do not have the ability within CCLE to comment directly on the submitted document. They will need to either type general feedback or download the uploaded document, make comments outside of CCLE, and re-upload the document.

  • If you wish to have multiple peer review activities in your class, you will need to either use the same groups each time or set up new groups in a new grouping each time.

    • If students are in multiple groups in the same grouping, they will by default not see any posts at all.

    • Moving students around in existing groups will give them access to other students' work in previous activities and will cause them to lose access to their own work as well.

  • Peer review will not be anonymous with this approach.

Alternative Group Assignment

In large classes, manually assigning students to groups may be tedious. There are several alternative approaches to speed up this process.

Group Choice

After creating the groups and groupings, you may permit students to sign up for a group. This can be done by adding an addition “Group Choice” activity. Instructions on how to set up Group Choice are available at

Every student must sign up for a group or they will be unable to participate in peer review.

Randomized Groups

It is possible to have CCLE randomly assign students to groups.

  1. When creating groups, instead of clicking the Create group button, instead select Auto-create groups.

  2. Under naming scheme, enter something like “Group #”.

    1. The # character tells CCLE to create group names like “Group 1”, “Group 2”, and so on.

  3. (Optional) Change “Auto create based on” to “Members per group” if you would prefer to specify group size instead of the number of groups.

  4. Enter the number of groups, or group size if you performed step 3, under “Group/member count.”

  5. (Optional) Under “Select members with role,” select “Student.”

    1. This will prevent instructors and TAs from being placed in groups, but it also removes auditors from the pool.

  6. If you did not perform step 3, select “Prevent last small group” towards the bottom of the page.

  7. Under “Grouping”, select “New grouping.”

  8. Enter the desired name of your grouping under “Grouping name.”

  9. If desired, click Preview.

  10. Click Submit.

  11. You may manually edit the created groups if desired.