Impact on Assessment Practices

As you prepare to teach in a world where AI tools exist, the most important first step is to understand how they work. We encourage you to take some of the prompts you use for students and see what responses ChatGPT comes up with. What do you notice about the responses? How would you grade those essays if they were written by a student? What feedback would you give? Use your responses to those questions to tweak the prompt a bit and see what happens. Playing around in this way can help you better understand what generative AIs can and cannot do. As you work on revising your assignments, here is some guidance that might help:

Be Intentional with Your Prompts

Make sure your writing prompts are specific and tailored to the course materials that you teach from. Using unique prompts that require citation of specific course readings or lecture materials can make A.I. less useful and more noticeable. While generative AI are likely able to create a response to any question you ask, answering complex questions requires a level of nuance that an essay created on a generative AI will miss. This article from UCF provides a wide variety of specific strategies that you can use to neutralize the impact of the software.

Grading with Intent and Practice

In addition to creating unique writing prompts, it is important to think carefully about how you will grade student work. Grading the student on their writing quality, nuanced approach to the subject, their personal viewpoint, citation style, and other specific characteristics required by your prompt or discipline often requires more than generative AI can currently create. In addition, carefully examine any references used. Generative AI often misuses references or makes them up entirely, so inappropriate references can be a sign students might be assisted by generative AI. Remember though that just because a paper might be missing specific characteristics or have incorrect references does not mean it was created by an A.I. It often just means the student has learning opportunities to develop their craft, so think carefully before accusing students of having used AI.

Teaching How to Write

Students come to our courses with a wide range of writing ability. If you assume they are already effective writers and expect highly polished written work on every assignment, students that are still developing their skills may be particularly hesitant to turn in work they have produced. When you are requiring your students to write essays, think of it as an invitation for them to learn writing from you. Allowing students to write multiple drafts and revise work based on feedback requires them to demonstrate their own writing ability. Even if they may have started with a draft that used AI assistance, the final product ends up being their own work conveying ideas they developed.

Consider Other Forms of Assessment

There are a variety of different assessment types available beyond essay writing, so a final option is to consider whether an alternative form of assessment may be more appropriate for demonstrating your intended learning outcomes. If you are interested in exploring the different options available, the CTT has created this Classroom Assessment Explorer. The explorer covers a range of techniques from large projects like portfolios to quick little assessments that can gauge the learning progress of your students in real-time.

Assessment Related Resources

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