Using PeerWise to Engage Students



PeerWise is an online repository of multiple-choice questions that are created, answered, rated and discussed by students. Typically, at the beginning of a term, a course using PeerWise begins with an empty repository. This grows gradually as the course progresses and students author and contribute relevant questions. All activity remains anonymous to students, however instructors are able to view the identity of question and comment authors and have the ability to delete inappropriate questions. In practice, instructor moderation is rarely necessary and PeerWise is often used with little staff involvement.

To learn more about PeerWise, review this short Introduction to PeerWise video.

PeerWise provides a number of learning opportunities to students:


  • Designing questions: Generating a question requires students to think carefully about the topics of the course and how they relate to the learning outcomes. Writing questions focuses attention on the learning outcomes and makes teaching and learning goals more apparent to students.
  • Choosing distractors: The act of creating plausible distractors (multiple-choice alternatives) requires students to consider misconceptions, ambiguity and possible interpretations of concepts.
  • Writing explanations: Explanations require students to express their understanding of a topic with as much clarity as possible. This acts to develop their written communication skills and deepen their understanding.
  • Answering questions: Answering questions in a drill and practice fashion reinforces learning, and incorporates elements of self-assessment. Students are shown how others have answered the same questions, allowing them to gauge how well they are coping in the course.
  • Evaluating quality: Evaluating existing questions incorporates higher-order cognitive skills, requiring a student to consider not only the content, but what makes a particular question more effective than other questions.

For a more in-depth view of why some instructors use PeerWise and a student perspective on Peerwise, review the video: Teachers and Student Speak.


How do I get access to PeerWise for use in my course?


  1. Request an instructor account from PeerWise via their website. You will receive an email from PeerWise in 24 to 48 hours to confirm the creation of your account and password information.
  2. Once your account has been confirmed by Peerwise, log into your account and create a course. This screencast shown from the perspective of an instructor, illustrates the process for creating a new course repository on PeerWise for use by students.
  3. Upload student identifiers to PeerWise. At UNTHSC, use student EUIDs as identifiers. To get your student EUIDs, open your Canvas course. Next, click on Grades. Export your Gradebook as a CSV file. Open the CSV file using spreadsheet software (Excel or Numbers) and copy student EUIDs from the column labeled “secondary ID.” You should be able to copy and paste the whole column into the PeerWise identifier box shown in the image below. Alternatively, you can type the student EUIDs individually into the identifier box.



What information do I need to provide to my students?

To ensure your students are able to access your PeerWise account, you must provide them with the following:

  • Website URL for PeerWise access: This is a UNT specific address for your student use.
  • PeerWise Course ID
  • A reminder that students must have their student EUID number when creating their registration.


Sample Student Directions and Helpful Videos

The information provided below may be copied directly and provided to help your students access your created PeerWise course. When creating a PeerWise assignment, it is important to be specific! You should consider how many questions you are requiring students to create, answer, rate and discuss. If the options are open-ended, you may find that some students have a high degree of participation, while other students do not engage with the PeerWise system at all. To discuss the best practices for using PeerWise and assignment details, consider meeting with an Instructional Designer.

Sample Student Directions and Content:

Our course will utilize PeerWise as a way to create an online repository of multiple-choice questions that are created, answered, rated and discussed by you and your classmates.

PeerWise Access:

Peerwise Course ID: #####

Creating an Account and Accessing Peerwise

If you have not previously used PeerWise, you must first create a PeerWise account. To create a PeerWise account, you will need:

  • Your UNTHSC User ID
  • Your Student EUID
  • Our Peerwise Course ID

For help creating a PeerWise account, review this video:

If you already have a PeerWise account, you may login and click to “Join a Course” then enter our PeerWise Course ID.

Creating Questions in PeerWise

For a brief overview of creating questions in Peerwise, review this video:

Peerwise Student User Guide:


Instructor Resources from UNTHSC

How to Export PeerWise Questions

PeerWise Student Directions PowerPoint. Feel free to download and adapt this PowerPoint for use in your course.

Sample Rubric for PeerWise Questions


Resources from PeerWise