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How to interpret Peer Assessment Factor (PAF)

This article will explain the interpretation of the Peer Assessment Factor (PAF)

This Guide is for:

  • Super Admin
  • Admin Teacher (Full-Access)
  • Teacher (Owner Full-Access)

Using the PAF option, students are required to assess the individual contributions of their peers in group work. They do this by allocating 100 marks among the members of the group, including themselves, based on criteria set by the course coordinator.

For each student a PAF (Peer Assessment Factor) is calculated. After the student responses have been moderated the PAF can be used to calculate individual student assignment marks based on their contribution to the group assignment.

i.e. If the group assignment receives a mark of 80 out of 100 and students receive PAFs of

  • Student 1: 0.85
  • Student 2: 1.00
  • Student 3: 1.05
  • Student 4: 0.95
  • Student 1’s assignment mark = 0.85 x 80 = 68
  • Student 2’s assignment mark = 1.00 x 80 = 80
  • Student 3’s assignment mark = 1.10 x 80 = 88
  • Student 4’s assignment mark = 0.95 x 80 = 76

Warning: The PAF (Peer Assessment Factor) should only be used to adjust individual students' results if the process has been clearly explained to them and is included in the Course Profile. This ensures that students understand how their contributions will be evaluated and helps maintain fairness in the assessment process. 

Moderation of the student responses is crucial to ensure that the assigned PAFs accurately represent their performance. It is worth noting that a small number of students may attempt to manipulate the system by giving themselves a higher PAF than they deserve or by penalizing other group members.

Interpretation of the Peer Assessment Factor (PAF)

A student who actively contributes to the team and completes similar amounts of work as their peers will achieve a peer assessment factor (PAF) of 1.0. However, students who take on leadership roles and are recognised for their extra effort will receive a PAF above 1.0. It is important to note that in order for students to reward someone they believe is going above and beyond, they may need to deduct points from another student who is perceived to be contributing less. Therefore, it is common for students to receive PAFs slightly below 1.0 without being at risk of failing, as their group members have redistributed the workload fairly.

PAF Interpretation Comments


Alarm! Team failure Something has gone wrong – either there is a student who is not participating at all or this student has taken all the work home and done it by themselves. Either way, learning objectives are probably not being achieved.
1.15 - 1.5 Super Leader The team balance probably needs to be addressed as to achieve such a high score other students must not be participating or this student is doing far too much.
1.05 - 1.15


The student is showing definite leadership qualities and/or has been putting in significant extra effort.
1.00 - 1.05 Good teamwork The student is working well with the group and has been recognised as pulling their weight (1.00) and perhaps a little more (>1.00).
0.95 - 1.00 Acceptable teamwork

This student has probably only been penalised because another team member has shown leadership and put in extra effort.

0.85 - 0.95 Social Loafer Any PAF below 0.95 is unacceptable. Social loafers who lie in this band can usually be mentored with the group’s help and become productive members of the group.
0.75 - 0.85 Super Social Loafer As above and below.
< 0.75 Alarm! Individual failure! The individual is in grave danger of failing the course. Much work is required for this student to be accepted back into the group and there will be trust issues with allocating this student any work.


During the moderation process, it is highly recommended to thoroughly review all student results.

To identify any unusual Peer Assessment Factors (PAFs), consider all the contributing factors, including the comments provided by students when assigning points. Tutors may also have additional insights that can support the evaluation of unusual PAFs. In certain cases, it might be necessary to meet with groups or individual students to assess their contributions to the assignment or project.

It is crucial to be able to justify the assigned PAFs if they are contested.

The tool provides the option to remove individual scores that students have assigned or all the scores given by a specific student. The tool will automatically recalculate the new PAFs accordingly. For example, if students attempt to manipulate the system by giving themselves higher scores, those scores can be removed from the calculation. It is recommended to inform students that scores outside the set limit (default 15%) can be moderated as a good practice.

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