Using Qualtrics for Peer Evaluation

Students often find peer evaluations to be a valuable way to get feedback on early drafts of papers and presentations. However, the process of actually collecting and distributing peer feedback can be challenging for instructors. An ideal tool for peer evaluation would allow instructors to see all the feedback written about a given student’s work, and also share feedback anonymously with each student in the course. One easy way to do this is using Qualtrics, the survey tool already available to all Duke instructors. To get started, follow these steps:

Step 1: Creating your survey

You need to have a drop-down menu where students can select who they are giving feedback on. The easiest way to do this is to copy your class roster from Sakai and paste it directly in Qualtrics. From the question menu, select “Dropdown List”. Then type your prompt, such as “Please select the name of the student you are giving feedback on” and click the link to edit choices.

It will open as shown below. If you just Ctrl + V or Command + V (or whatever your keyboard paste shortcut is), it will paste in the list of names you copied and will keep adding new choices until you have the right number. This is much easier than typing them by hand. It is fine if extra people (instructors, teaching assistants, etc) end up in the list. When no one selects them to give feedback on, they just won’t show up in the instructor report.

You can then add whatever type of question you want. Generally peer feedback should be open (as opposed to a multiple-choice question), but you can offer prompts if there are specific things you want students to reflect on.

Step 2: Looking at the feedback

When you want to look at the feedback, go to the Reports tab in Qualtrics. The default report is not especially helpful because you can’t see which student is being reviewed. You just get a list of all the comments. To fix this, click on “Add report breakout” in the column on the left side of the page. Select the question where you asked students who they were giving feedback on. This will create a report that breaks out the feedback by student. This is the most effective view if the instructor wants to read through all the feedback or find feedback on a particular student. However, there is not an easy way to send the feedback to students from this view. It is just the fastest way to view feedback if you are the instructor. You can download this view as a document from the “share report” button in the upper right corner.

Step 3: Share feedback

A better option if you want to see and send feedback to specific students is to use a filter instead of a report breakout. This is done at the top of the report page:

Select “add filter” and then pick the question about student names. Then you can pick individual students from the drop-down and the report will just show you the data for that student. If you do this, the report you download from the “share report” button will just have the data for the student you selected. This is a convenient way to download a PDF file that has all the feedback for one individual student and then send that document to the student to review.


This is intended to be a fairly low-tech way for instructors to get peer feedback without having to learn a new software or app. Most instructors are familiar with Qualtrics or can learn to use it intuitively. This method probably works best for smaller classes, as there is no easy way to bulk download the comments to send to students.