The use of generative-AI tools in education has recently garnered significant attention, placing educators in a unique position to consider their roles in higher education and how students engage with such tools. In a previous blog post, we introduced AI technologies and their endless capabilities, as well as potential implications for higher education. Additionally, we provided advice on considerations, precautions, and ethical concerns for using generative-AI in the classroom.
While some educators are excited about integrating AI collaboration into their teaching practices, others are apprehensive about its potential misuse by students. To address these concerns, this blog post presents assignment strategies that can be more “generative AI-resistant.” There are no “AI-proof” assessments, but these suggestions should serve as starting points for creating authentic assignments and/or ones that require demonstration of original and critical thinking.
Be specific and personal
Consider creating assessments that involve tasks ChatGPT struggles to do such as referring to personal anecdotes or student reflections, referencing current events and recent field developments, or administering interviews or making references to specific course materials. Asking students to connect specific details from course materials (readings, lectures, experiments, etc.) to their personal lives or career paths can also help students see relevance in their course activities and engage with them on a deeper level.
Go beyond research papers
Instead of asking students to create a research paper that ChatGPT could do for them, ask students to create an annotated reference list that demonstrates their ability to apply proper research methods and analysis of resources collected. Alternatively, consider asking students to write a paper analyzing a case study that you’ve created yourself.
Mix up the medium
Incorporate assignments that make use of multimedia content such as creating, writing, recording, and producing a podcast episode relevant to course content and ideas.
Flip your classroom
Consider using in-class time for activities like classroom debates and/or peer-to-peer feedback on projects. Grade those efforts that are happening in real-time and under your observation (without generative AI). Note that a flipped classroom approach also allows students to practice higher order thinking and application of the content they’ve learned through homework.
Look at grading
Ask students to show their process
Consider adding assignment elements that ask students to think about the process of their work. This could be done by requiring students to submit notes they took on sources to prepare for their papers or presentations. You could also ask students to show their work in progress as they move toward a final draft (e.g., require submission of a project outline or proposal, annotated bibliography, and multiple drafts).
Allow for growth and resubmission
Consider adding in some flexibility when students fall short of an objective by allowing for revisions or resubmissions on certain assignments. This can reduce the “high stakes” nature of assessments and associated pressures.
Make adjustments to current assessments
Review your existing assignments to see if there are areas where you can have students demonstrate their holistic growth and development. For exams, you could add supplemental reflection questions or even consider adopting oral exams.
A Note on Academic Honesty
It can be easy or tempting to spend a lot of effort trying to catch instances of academic dishonesty using tools like ChatGPT. Although there are detection tools available, such as Turnitin, the effectiveness of AI detection reports remains uncertain due to insufficient data. Please review our blog on Considerations for Using Generative AI Tools to learn more and remember how important it is to communicate explicitly with students about if, when, and how they may use AI in your class.
Explore even more CATL resources related to AI in education:
- What is ChatGPT? Exploring AI Tools and Their Relationship with Education
- Considerations for Using Generative AI Tools
- How Might Generative AI Impact Your Course? CATL Gen AI Checklist
- Additional AI Readings and Resources for Higher Education