What is Aropä

Aropä is an online peer-review system designed to support peer review and peer grading. It was developed by Helen Purchase and John Hamer of the University of Glasgow and is available for worldwide use for free  

What is the purpose of Aropä

As Purchase and Hamer (2017) describe, “In its basic form, Aropä supports the principal peer-review activity: anonymous, randomly allocated peer-reviewing, based on a rubric devised by the instructor, with an interface that allows students to upload their submissions before the submission deadline, write their reviews before the review deadline, and then view the feedback given to their own submission by other students.” Its features allow instructors to more easily support a peer review process for class assignments and student work”.

How to use Aropä

Each instructor must be manually set up with an Aropä account. From there, they can help their students set up an account through an activation code. If you are an instructor interested in setting up an Aropa account, contact Aropa developers at: or and provide:

  • Your name
  • Your uwo email address
  • Your username (if different from email handle)

Once an instructor has an Aropä account. There are five key steps to using Aropä:

  1. The instructor specifies the:
    1. Course and assignment details
    2. The assignment submission and review deadlines
    3. The rubric that is to guide students in their reviewing of the assignment
    4. author/reviewer allocation method
  2. Students complete their assignment and submit it to Aropä
  3. Upon the submission deadline, reviewers are automatically allocated to submissions based on the allocation method selected
  4. Students use the Aropä system to read their peers’ submissions and write reviews based on the rubric provided by the instructor
  5. Upon the submission deadline, Aropä releases peer feedback to the author for their review

Additional options exist for submissions and reviews to be tracked by the instructor, for the instructor to grant extensions to individual students, for the quality of reviews to be marked (either by the recipient or instructors), and for marks to be downloaded from Aropa.

For more information, check out the Aropä User Guide and Aropä Frequently Asked Questions


Purchase, H. & Hamer, J. (2017). Perspectives on peer-review: eight years of Aropa. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, doi: 10.1080/02602938.2017.1359819

Queen’s University (n.d.) Aropa Peer Review: A Student Guide. Kingston, ON: Queen’s University.

Where to find Support

This tool is not centrally supported

Help and Documentation

For help, please refer to the Aropa documentation

Supported Tools to Consider

Tool Evaluation

Functionality overall rating: 2 starsFunctionality

Rating Rationale
Scale rating: 3 stars


Aropä can be scaled to accommodate any size class with the flexibility to create smaller sub-groups or communities of practice

Ease of use rating:3 stars

Ease of Use

Aropä has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and personalize

Tech Support/ Help Availability rating: 2 stars

Tech Support/Help Availability

Technical support and help documentation is available in the form of web pages or videos

Hypermediality rating: 2 stars


Aropä is restrictive in terms of the communication channels employed (mainly supporting text based work) but allows for non-sequential, flexible/adaptive engagement with material

Accessibility overall rating: 2 starsAccessibility

Rating Rationale
AODA Friendly rating: 2 stars

AODA Friendly

Aropä does not yet include any specific accessibility features that are not automatically provided by the browser.

User Foused Participation rating: 3 stars

User-focused participation

Aropä is designed to address the needs of diverse users, their various literacies, and capabilities, thereby widening opportunities for participation in learning. For example, features such as granting individual extensions, customizable allocation of submission-reviewer pairings, various options for rubric design and viewing peers’ feedback.

Required Equipment rating: 3 stars

Required Equipment

Proper use of Aropä does not require equipment other than a computer and access to the internet.

Technical overall rating: 1 starsTechnical

Rating Rationale
OWL Integration rating: 1 stars

OWL Integration

Aropä can only be offered in OWL through a link rather than a functional version of the tool itself.

Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Operating Systems

Users can effectively utilize Aropä with any standard, up-to-date operating system (i.e. Windows 10, Apple OSX, etc.)

Web Browser rating: 3 stars

Web Browser

Users can utilize Aropä with any standard, up-to-date web browser (i.e. Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer 10 etc.) however Aropä documentation acknowledges: “Aropä tends to work better with a browser that is not Internet Explorer – we suggest you use Google Chrome or Firefox if you can.”

Additional Tech Requirements rating: 3 stars

Additional Tech Requirements

Users can effectively utilize Aropä without any browser extensions or downloaded software.

Mobile Design overall rating: 1 star Mobile Design

Rating Rationale
Mobile Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Mobile Operating Systems

Aropä is fully functional with a range of electronic mobile devices (laptops, tablets, touchscreens, mobile devices, etc.) through a web app

Mobile Functionality rating: 3 stars

Mobile Functionality

There is little to no functional difference between the mobile app and the main tool.

Offline Access rating: 1 star

Offline Access

The platform cannot be used in any capacity offline.

Usage and account set up overall rating: 2 starsUsage and Account Set Up

Rating Rationale
Sign Up/Sign In rating: 2 stars

Sign Up/Sign In

Instructors must create an account with Aropä using their uwo email address and username. From there, instructors must set up accounts for their class roster using student usernames. Students then use an access code to login to Aropä and set their own password. Student accounts are not otherwise connected to their uwo accounts.

Cost of Use rating:  3 stars

Cost of Use

All aspects of Aropä can be used free of charge

Archiving Saving and Exporting Data rating: 3 star

Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data

Users can archive, save, or import and export content or activity data in a variety of format. For example, a class list can be uploaded to Aropä in CSV format, and grades can be exported as CSV.

Data Privacy and Ownership rating: 2 star

Data Privacy and Ownership

Beyond supporting peer-to-peer review, Aropä offers various features for supporting group work including group submissions and allowing for group review.

Social Presence overall rating: 2 starsSocial Presence

Rating Rationale
Collaboration rating: 3 stars


Instructors can control student anonymity as it is instructors that establish student’s user names; Aropä provides technical solutions for holding students accountable for their actions

User Accountability rating: 3 stars

User Accountability

Student familiarity with Aropä is likely mixed, some will lack basic technical competence with its functions

Diffusion rating: 2 star


Student familiarity with Aropä is likely mixed, some will lack basic technical competence with its functions

Instructor Presence overall rating: 3 starsInstructor Presence

Rating Rationale
Facilitation rating:3 stars


Aropä has easy-to-use features that would significantly improve an instructor’s ability to be present with students via active management, monitoring, and engagement.

Customization rating: 3 stars


The instructor is able to customize each step of the Aropä review process including set up, rubric design, allocation settings, and review process. It is easily customized to suit the classroom context and targeted learning outcomes

Learning Analytics rating: 3 stars

Learning Analytics

Instructor can monitor students’ performance on a variety of responsive measures including whether a student has submitted their work, completed their reviews, the content of their review, grades assigned by reviewers, and if students have viewed the feedback provided to them.

Cognitive Presence overall rating: 3 starsCognitive Presence

Rating Rationale
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s) rating: 3 stars

Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s)

Aropä enhances engagement in targeted cognitive task(s) that were once overly complex or inconceivable through other means.

Higher Order Thinking rating: 3 stars

Higher Order Thinking

Use of Aropä easily facilitates students to exercise higher order thinking skills (given consideration to design, facilitation, and direction from instructor)

Feedback on Learning rating:3 stars

Feedback on Learning

Through Aropä, students can regularly receive formative feedback on learning (i.e. they can track their performance, monitor their improvement, test their knowledge, etc.) 

Security and Privacy

This tool has not been formally reviewed by Western’s Technology Risk Assessment Committee

Security and Privacy Flags


  • Users are required to create and use a non-Western account. It is highly recommended that users do not use the same username and password that is in use at Western.


  • Acceptance of the Application's Terms of Conditions or End User License Agreement may bind the institution to an agreement thereby requiring legal counsel to review the application contract.


  • This application is hosted outside of Canada

Last Updated: September 16, 2020


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