Why does the Canvas dashboard show the wrong due date for peer reviews?

Quick Links: | Environment | Solution | Root Cause |

When creating a peer review assignment in Canvas, due dates for the peer review show the incorrect date due to the system's inability to assign separate due dates for the peer review process. This limitation affects the clarity of due dates for students in different ways: for manually assigned peer reviews, the student's To Do list continues to display the original assignment due date even after peer review assignments are made; for automatically assigned peer reviews, the dashboard instead shows the date peer reviews were distributed, not the actual peer review due date. This inconsistency can lead to confusion for both instructors and students regarding the expected timeline for completing peer reviews.


  • Canvas Learning Management System
  • Courses using assignments with peer review enabled or graded discussions with peer review enabled
  • Both manually and automatically assigned peer reviews


To address the challenge of specifying a due date for peer reviews in Canvas, instructors can use one of the following workarounds:

  • Create a No Submission assignment specifically for the peer review due date. This will allow you to set a separate due date that is visible on the students' To Do lists. To do this:

    1. Navigate to your course and select Assignments.
    2. Select + Assignment to create a new assignment.
    3. Enter a name for the assignment that clearly indicates it's for the peer review due date, such as "Essay 1 Peer Review."
    4. In the Submission Type dropdown, choose No Submission.
    5. Set the due date for when the peer reviews are due.
    6. Select Save.
  • Alternatively, create a calendar event for the peer review due date. This event will also display on the students' To Do lists and can provide a clear deadline for completing peer reviews. To do this:

    1. From the Canvas Dashboard, open the Calendar.
    2. Choose on the desired date to add an event.
    3. In the event details, specify that it is the peer review due date and include any relevant instructions.
    4. Ensure the event is associated with the correct course.
    5. Select Submit.

By following these steps, instructors can effectively communicate the due dates for peer reviews to their students, ensuring a smoother review process.

Root Cause

When setting up peer reviews in Canvas, the system does not allow for separate due dates to be assigned to the peer review process itself. This limitation stems from the design of the Canvas assignment and peer review feature, which primarily focuses on the submission due date of the original assignment. As a result, the system defaults to showing either the original assignment due date or the distribution date for peer reviews, leading to potential confusion among students and instructors.

Still need help? Reach out to Canvas support or the Technology & Learning Program for further assistance. 

Credit: Some of the insights in this article were contributed by Sylvia Morales from UC Davis, a Continuing Lecturer in the University Writing Program, highlighting practical strategies for managing peer reviews in Canvas

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Article ID: 113742
Fri 3/1/24 3:38 PM
Tue 3/12/24 2:24 PM