Aropä: Information for Instructors

Table of content links

Other links to other pages

Peer review in Aropä

An instructor can easily create a peer-review assignment in Aropä by

Once an assignment has been activated, students upload their assignment documents before the submission deadline.

After the submission deadline, students review other students' submissions online using the specified rubric.

After the reviewing deadline, students can see other students' reviews of their own work, as well as all reviews of the submissions that they themselves have reviewed.

If the rubric has included quantitative judgements (e.g. allocation of marks, or Likert scales), the instructor can access numeric marks for each submission.

Getting started

To get register with Aropä, contact John Hamer ( or

Aropä classes

An Aropä Class is the primary organising object in Aropä — all activity happens within a Class.

Each Class has several people associated with it:

Each Class is associated with a list of students:

Within each Class, any number of assignments can be created. The students in the Class can upload submissions for the assignments, and will review the submissions from other students in the Class.

Creating your own class

Registered instructors can create (and name) new Aropä Classes (Add a New Class). It is a good idea to include the course name that the class is associated with:

For example: CS101, S2 2011, or MedSci, Term2, 2012, or Veterinary Science 2, S2 2012

Once a class has been created, you will need to specify the people associated with it (Edit Class List).

User identifiers

In all cases, people are identified by an id which must be a string of alphanumeric characters. It can include hyphens, dots and underscores, but not spaces, commas or semicolons. For example, hpur005, hcp37, 1108288p, hcp-marker are all acceptable ids, but Helen Purchase is not.

If one person is going to take on two roles (for example, an instructor may also wish to be a marker), then that person should given two different ids in the class list; for example: hcp and hcp-marker. This is because Aropä provides a different interface depending on the role of the user.

Setting up an assignment

You can create as many assignments as you like in a Class (Create Assignment). Each assignment must have the following information (use Edit Assignment):

  1. A name for identification (e.g. Assignment 1, Greek Hero Assignment)
  2. Dates: a submission deadline and a review deadline
  3. Submission instructions that:
    • Describe to the students what they should submit (in terms of the number and nature of files uploaded)
    • Tells Aropä what types of files to expect
    • Indicate whether submission items are optional or required

    There is an alternative submission option where students can cut-and-paste text directly into Aropä instead of uploading files: this method is recommended for submissions that use simple formatting only (paragraphs, section headings, itemised lists), but no diagrams — ideal for essays!

  4. A marking rubric (Create Rubric). A rubric may created by:
    • Selecting an existing rubric from the drop down list, and using it as it is; or
    • Selecting an existing rubric from the drop down list, and editing it for your own purposes; or
    • Creating a new rubric from scratch using the editor.

Specifying the peer-review process

Each submission (created by a student author) will be reviewed by at least one other student reviewer. Instructors need to define how each submission will be associated with at least one reviewer (Specify Allocations).

There are a range of different allocation methods that can be used.

Allocation parameters need to be set (Specify Allocations and Edit Assignment), including:

Allocation records will be created automatically after the submission deadline. An allocation record is a pairing between a student reviewer and another student's submission. When the students next login to Aropä after the submission deadline, they will see the submissions that they are to review.

Student access to Aropä

Students' Aropä user name is as specified in the class list. Instructors can set an access code for each Class (Edit Class Details), which students should use as their password the first time they access the system: this will allow them to set their own Aropä password — this new password can then be used for all future access to Aropä using this id.

If institutional authentication is available, students may be able to log in using their normal username and password (currently, this applies only to The Universities of Auckland (upi) and Glasgow (guid)) — if they have difficulty with this method, they can still use the access code method for login.

What happens during the assignment?

The assignment must be activated before the date on which students are expected to start submitting their assignments. Inactive assignments are shown by a red dot on the class page.

Before the submission deadline:

After the submission deadline:

The instructors can view the progress of the submissions and reviews during the course of the assignment. (Monitor Submissions, Monitor Reviewing)

After the review deadline:

When things go wrong

Logging in problems

Students sometimes have problems logging in. Common reasons for this are:


Students often ask for extensions, so that they can submit their work after the submission deadline, or do their reviews after the review deadline:

I see what you see

Instructors can view the system from another person's point of view (Impersonate Other User) — this is very useful, as it means you can see the system from a student's point of view!

Advanced features

Review practise:

It may be useful to give students some practise and guidance in reviewing. In this case, the instructor can provide a sample submission and a rubric, and all students will review the submission. After reviewing the submission, students can see reviews written by the instructor or tutors, so that they can see what a good review should look like.

A detailed description of how to set up a review practice task can be found in review-practice-tasks.pdf

Marking by tutors:

If users are given marker status (Edit Class List), then they will appear as potential markers when the allocation parameters are set up (Specify Allocationse). This means that submissions can be marked by tutors as well as peers.

A detailed description of how to set up marking by tutors can be found tutor-marking-script.pdf

Getting marks for the assignment:

Once the reviewing process is over, you can see aggregate grades for each student (Calculate Grades) — these are based on the marks given by reviewers to radio buttons used in the rubric.

A detailed description of how to use the grade calculator can be found grade-calculator-script.pdf.

Eliminating rogue reviewers

The discrepancy value (Calculate Grades) indicates the extent to which reviewers have disagreed over the quality of a student's submission. By clicking on the student's id, you can see the marks given by all the reviewers, and, indicate whether you wish the marks of any of the reviewers to be ignored in the calculation of the student's final mark.

Review marking:

A secondary assignment can be created that allows the reviews themselves to be marked (near the bottom of Edit Assignment). The reviews from the main assignment will automatically become the submissions for this review-marking assignment, and a new rubric can be defined for evaluating the quality of the reviews.

Adjusting allocations:

If you are not happy with the allocations (and this may happen if several extensions have been given), you can amend them (Specify Allocations, Adjust Allocations).

Deleting an assignment:

If you really want to totally remove an assignment, then the Delete Assignment button will appear when you make it inactive. Most of the time, though, all you would probably want to do is hide the assignment from students — students do not see inactive assignments.