Using the ‘Workshop’ module for self and peer assessment in Moodle

MoodleMoot Hong Kong 2012 Frederic Nevers presentation

[pulledquote]After my session at the MoodleMoot Hong Kong last week I received a few messages asking me to share my slides. Rather than putting it on slideshare I thought I’d share them on my blog in the form of a video, adding the extra comments and corrections that I made post-presentation.[/pulledquote]

Note: apologies for the poor sound quality, I didn’t have access to my usual recording equipment.








 The video

Please feel free to ask questions or write comments using the comments section below



  1. Hi, I’m the developer of the Workshop module for Moodle 2.x. Firstly, let me say – well done! I really enjoyed your presentation. It is clear, easy to follow and it really focuses on the most important parts of the module.

    One comment. At 07:55, you say that “the number of assessments should always be odd”. Why? Let us imagine there is a group of 5 students who all submitted their work into the workshop. The teacher uses the random allocator and lets it to allocate 4 reviews (assessments) per each submission, no self-assessment. Then each submission is assessed by 4 peers and each peer assesses 4 submissions. There is no problem having even number of assessments, AFAIK. Can you please elaborate a bit on this please?

    1. Hi David, thanks for the kind words. While I’m at it I wanted to thank you for this module, I absolutely love it. I do have a few suggestions in terms of UI but the workflow is fantastic once you get the hang of it.

      Going back to the ‘even’ issue I think I extrapolated the problem one is presented with if there are only 2 reviews. According to the Moodle docs at it is possible Moodle AI cannot determine who is right. Not sure why but I thought that the same problem might occur for any even amount of submissions. As you’ve picked up on it, it mustn’t be a problem 🙂
      Could you please confirm that it is impossible for Moodle AI to not be able to determine who is right? Sorry if this is a dumb question but my brain is a bit challenged when it comes to calculate grades 🙂

      1. Good day Mr Nevers
        I’m from Windhoek, Namibia. An Instructional designer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology, (NUST). I would like to invite you as guest speaker, via Skype, at our Institutional technology Day.
        How can i contact you in this regard?

  2. Any suggestions for improvement are welcome, for sure. Please use the Workshop forum and/or Moodle tracker to report them.

    And yes. If there are just two assessments, Workshop can’t decide which of them is the “correct” one. The docs page your refer to illustrates the situation pretty well (but maybe not clear enough). The same situation _may_ appear if the number of assessments is even, but the probability is not that high. So, to conclude, it is a good advice to have at least 3 assessments per submission and/or provide additional assessment by teacher with eventually higher weight.

  3. Hi Frederick

    I must say I find it all a bit challenging for he average teacher to come to terms with using the Workshop module.However I am currently willing to persist but not sure for how long.

    Two initial questions please:
    How do I make contributions and assessments anonymous in 2.3?

    In my attempt I have 6 activities each out of 10 and all activities weighted 1 except one at 5. I see a score of 53/70 where individual marks are 8,7,7,8,9,8 /10.
    total 47/60 – how is this possible?



    1. Hi Chris,

      I agree with you, the workshop module is not for the faint of heart but once tamed is fantastic. I’ll make a post to show folks how to make a workshop completely anonymous.

      As for your grades, I am not sure what’s going on as sometimes the maths behind this module escape me a little. Are you referring to ‘Submission’ or ‘Assessment’ grade?


  4. This has been very useful. For a module/course in our department we don’t want students assigned to peer marking if they have not submitted the assignement/coursework. Is this possible?? I look forward to hearing from you.
    Best wishes

  5. I’m looking for guidelines for how to determine and write the criteria for assessments on documents. The problem we have found using the workshop module is that students interpret criteria differently such that the assements vary a lot.

    Another way to ask my question: What is(are) the pedagogical goals of Moodle workshop activities? I find the lack of high level objectives (tying to pedagogy) the biggest barrier to jumping in to using these complex activities. In other words, I’d be more willing to try these things if I could see how to configure them to get to my pedagogical goals.

    1. Sorry for late reply – I didn’t get notified of this comment. I must admit that I have always used, or adapted, criteria from the MYP Design guidebook. I can see how this is a problem, but this is not research I have conducted. I’d love to hear from you if you have found anything of interest.

  6. Hi Frederic,
    Many thanks for an informative video.

    I’m wondering how to manage a situation where some students are given an extension for an assignment. Can I enter in an extension date so that they will still get allocated work of other students to grade and have their work graded by others once it’s submitted? Ideally I don’t want them to see others’ work until they have submitted.

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