Students are increasingly working and learning in groups. However, teachers need a measured understanding of individual performance in group work for grading. This makes the learning process more transparent and effective. Buddycheck is a web-based app for teachers to create peer assessments in their courses. Buddycheck is available via Canvas. 

Quick Overview

  • Peer evaluation
  • Integrated within Canvas
  • Reflection on group process
  • Starting point for discussions
  • Gain insight in own performance
  • Research-based questions

Why Buddycheck

With the help of Buddycheck, teachers and students gain more insight into their performance and the group process. Students fill in a questionnaire about their performance and the performance of their peers. The standard questions are based on academic research on group dynamics. Teachers get an overview of the process and can share these results with the students as a starting point for discussion in the group. 

Student view: Buddycheck peer and self-assessment questionnaire
Student view: Examples of results

How to use Buddycheck

No software is required to use Buddycheck; Buddycheck is generally available as a Canvas plugin. Buddycheck needs to be enabled in your Canvas course. 
See below for more detailed information:

  • 1. Add BuddyCheck to your course

    Open Canvas to add BuddyCheck to your course. 

    Make sure you have BuddyCheck selected from the Course Navigation options under Settings. 
    Then create a new External Tool under your module.

    Once you have added BuddyCheck as an external tool, you will be able to create an evaluation in BuddyCheck. Click on the module to create a connection between canvas and BuddyCheck. 

  • 2. Create an evaluation
    1. dd your Peer questions (about the other group members) and Team questions (about the Team as a whole).
      A set of Main questions is by default selected. These questions can be viewededited or deleted from your evaluation. You can change the order of questions using drag and drop. Move your mouse over the =-icon for the drag and drop symbol to appear.

    Please keep in mind that as course manager you will always be able to see the answers of individual students to the peer questions. You have the choice to make them visible between students. The default setting is that between students the answers are anonymous.

    To create new questions click Create question. Fill in the required question information and click Create question. 

    • Click on Select from library to import custom questions from an old course you were involved in as Course manager. 
    • You can choose to enable Open questions to ask students about the team or the course in general. This can also be used if you want students to send you a private message about the group. The reactions are only visible to the instructor.
    • If you want students to send peers a message, enable Peer messages (you can choose to make the reactions anonymous to the receiver or not).
    • In Advanced Options you can set whether you want students to receive an automatic reminder to submit their evaluation by setting a reminder date. Here you can also set the date to automatically lock your evaluation. When locked, the results are final and cannot be submitted anymore. You can optionally release the results, this is not done automatically. And you can set here whether you want the student to receive a Buddycheck email that the evaluation has started.
    • Before you save you can click Open preview, to open a preview of the evaluation.
    • Click Create evaluation when you are done.
    • The page will reload and you will see the new evaluation listed on the Peer evaluations page. You can create another by clicking the +Create evaluation button. All the evaluations will be listed in the same Buddycheck link, so you don’t have to create multiple links (as mentioned in step 1).
  • 3. Students filling in the Evaluation
    1. When students click on Buddycheck they will see the evaluations created in your course. To start, they will click Begin evaluation.
    2. The student selects a rating for each criterion. The student clicks Next to select ratings for the following criteria until they have the option to Submit evaluation
    3.  You will be able to monitor which individuals and groups have completed the task and what scores individuals have given and received.
    4. Although you have set a due date, students will be able to complete the evaluation until you Lock the evaluation. Students will see that their submission is overdue.
      If students submit an evaluation after the due date, Buddycheck will indicate by how many days the evaluation is overdue.
    5. You can allow a grace period and Send a reminder to students who have not completed their evaluation, or simply click Lock evaluation.

    1. If a student needs a reminder to finish the evaluation or needs to make the evaluation again you can select the student and Send e-mail or Reopen. Clear removes the results added by the student, Remove removes the student from the list.
  • 4. Release and review results
    1. To release feedback to students, select More and click Release results. 
    2. Students will now be able to review their feedback within Buddycheck and receive an e-mail  with a summary. Select More and click Export results to download a complete summary of the evaluation. You can choose to include or exclude self scores in the results.
    3. To view a student’s feedback or the group results, Select the student and click Personal Report or Group report.
    4. Students initially see a graphical representation of how they performed across all criteria.
    5. Students then see more detail on each criterion, comparing their self-score, received score and team average.
    6. You can choose to include or exclude the students’ Self-scores in the average score calculation in the Instructor view.
    7. Where certain team dynamics occurred, they will be labelled. See for example the Conflict label below.
    8. The label key can be found below.
    9. If you have enabled Peer messages to Instructor and received one, you will see this text/chat icon next to the student’s name .
    10. If you enabled Anonymous for receiving student when setting up the evaluation, the feedback will be visible to the student but without the name of the sender.

  • Watch the tutorial videos to learn more about using Buddycheck




    TUTORIAL VIDEO: Grading with Buddycheck

    TUTORIAL VIDEO:  Buddycheck for advanced users

    TUTORIAL VIDEO: Access management

Didactical Implementation Tips

When setting up Buddycheck in your course consider communicating:
- the goal of the peer feedback (To gain insights in group process, to distinguish between contributions, to work on feedback/group work as a skill, personal/professional development of student). 
- how results are administered (anonymous or not), what will be done with the results (release, discuss in tutor groups), and what students have to do with the results (reflection, portfolio).   

Buddycheck intro for students

This video explains to students the benefits of group work, feedback, and the tool that brings these together: Buddycheck. 


  • 1. I want to reuse my evaluation

    When you have created evaluations in the past, you can reuse the questions in a new evaluation. 
    By clicking on "create evaluation" in BuddyCheck you are asked to fill in a name and asked if you want to use a previous evaluation as a template for this new evaluation. You will be able to change some settings and questions upon choosing this option.

  • 2. other

    Can students submit after the deadline?


    Yes, students can still submit after the deadline. Their submissions will be marked red to indicate they were late. If you don't want students to submit after the deadline, you can lock the evaluation via Results > More > Lock evaluation. You can also release the results via Results > More > Release results. This will lock the evaluation and send an e-mail to your students, stating that they can now see their results.

    Can I change groups or students in existing evaluations?


    Yes, go to the evaluation you created and click More > Sync with CSV. Upload your updated CSV file with all students and groups included. Only in scenarios where a student has to do the evaluation again, an email will be sent. Remember to periodically update the groups if necessary.

    Can I add my own questions to the evaluation?


    Yes, you can! When creating your evaluation or editing the evaluation, you can also create new questions. When creating or editing the evaluation, click Create Question in the middle of the form. A screen will open where you can create new questions, edit those questions and even import custom questions from an old course you were involved in.

    Can I send students a reminder?


    Yes, go to Buddycheck, and click on the evaluation title. Then select More > Send a reminder. This will send an email with a link to the survey to each student who hasn't completed the survey yet.

    Does it matter for the results if a student does not complete the evaluation?


    Yes and no. If a student does not complete the evaluation, the results will be less reliable because there is less peer evaluation data in the group of this student.

    That being said, an average and an adjustment factor of a student are calculated using completed evaluation data from the peers in the group. This means that the results are still usable even if not 100% of students have completed the evaluation.

    Can students give direct feedback to their peers?


    Yes, this is possible, assuming that you enabled Peer messages when creating your evaluation, you can also set whether the feedback should be anonymous or not. This setting allows students to send feedback to each peer directly, which will only be visible to the receiving student and instructors.

    Can I reopen the evaluation of individual students?


    Yes, you can! Assuming you haven't locked or released the results yet. If you did lock the results, you have to unlock the evaluation first.

    Go to your evaluation results where you see all students in a table. On the left of each student is a checkbox. Select each student evaluation you want to reopen and select Reopen from the buttons that appear at the top of the page. Optionally tune the email text and click Send.

    Students will directly receive the email. With the link in it, they can double-check or adjust their evaluation and submit it again.


Please contact the CES-IM ICTO team (teachingtools-ces@utwente.nl) if you want to have a demo and/or use Buddycheck in your course.