5 Steps to AI-Aware Assignment Design
Well-crafted assignments and assessments are more important than ever in light of the existence of Generative AI. Generative AI tools have the capacity to generate text, code, images, video, and other creative content that can often be indistinguishable from human-created work. This raises new challenges for instructors in terms of ensuring that students are completing their assignments independently and honestly. Additionally, AI detection tools are not adequately reliable and can also be discriminatory.
In order to ensure both you and your course are AI-Aware consider applying the 5R Approach.
Review your learning outcomes
When reviewing your learning outcomes, ask yourself:
- How relevant are my existing learning outcomes in light of AI?
- Do my learning outcomes require students to demonstrate critical thinking and creativity?
- Do my learning outcomes require students to produce original work that cannot be easily generated by AI?
Run your assignments through GenerativeAI
Enter your assignment instructions into ChatGPT (or other AI tool) and see how it performs. How does the output compare to your stated requirements or rubric?
Assignments that are more product-transactional and do not involve significant student reflection and perspective are particularly vulnerable to AI-completion, such as:
- Writing a literature review or summary of a research article
- Writing an essay that summarizes a topic
- Translating a piece of text from one language to another
Revise existing assignment if possible
When possible, try to revise your existing assignments to make them more AI-resistant.
- Avoid asking students to complete assignments that can be easily generated by AI, such as writing summaries of factual topics.
- Instead, ask students to complete assignments that require them to demonstrate critical thinking and analysis skills, such as writing essays or creating original projects.
Here is an example of how you could revise an assignment to make it more AI-resistant:
Original assignment: Write a summary of the research article “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Education.”
Revised assignment: Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the research article “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Education” and develop a set of recommendations for how AI can be used to improve education.
Remake assignment if necessary
If your existing assignment is too vulnerable to AI plagiarism or cheating, you may need to remake it from scratch. When designing a new assignment, keep the following principles in mind:
- Make sure that the assignment requires students to demonstrate critical thinking and creativity.
- Ask students to produce original work that cannot be easily generated by AI.
Here is an example of a new assignment that is more AI-resistant:
Assignment: Design a new educational game that uses AI to help students learn a particular subject. Document your progress from ideation, to versions, to final product.
Remind students of the role AI should play
It is important to remind students that AI should be used as a tool, not as a replacement for their own thinking and creativity. Make sure that students understand the academic integrity implications of using AI to complete their assignments.
Here are some ways to remind students of the role AI should play:
- Include a statement in your syllabus about the use of AI in your course.
- Talk to your students about AI and its potential impact on academic integrity during the first week of class.
By following the 5R Approach, instructors can revise their assignments to make them more AI-resistant and ensure that students are demonstrating their own learning and capability.
The 5R Approach was introduced in our recent webinar: “Transform Asynchronous Online Courses with AI.” You can watch the webinar here: Watch Recording. You can also watch recordings of all our AI and ChatGPT webinars on our YouTube channel.