The Optional Use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) in Assessments 

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Are you considering offering students the option to use generative artificial intelligence (genAI) in completing an assessment in your course? Is knowledge of genAI required for workplace preparation in your industry? Do you want students to learn about the ethical and critical use of genAI platforms?

This post walks you through some of the questions you will need to consider in offering students the option to use genAI in completing an assessment in your course. The following questions act as a checklist of considerations. 

Two notes before getting started

  1. Experimental use of genAI in assessments should be proposed to Conestoga’s AI Guidance Committee using the AI Experiment Form. The college is interested in learning about the innovative ways faculty are experimenting with genAI platforms and can assist with risk management in the process.
  2. For reasons of privacy and access, students should not be compelled to use external genAI platforms to demonstrate learning outcomes on an assessment. The use of external genAI platforms in assessment should be optional, and those students who cannot or choose not to access these technologies should have other options to complete the assessment. 

A checklist of considerations for the optional use of genAI in assessment 

  1. What generative AI tools can be used in completing this assessment? For what purpose may students use them? (e.g., outlining, idea development)? 
  1. What learning outcomes are being assessed? Could any of the learning outcomes be demonstrated and/or supported by a genAI tool? If so, how? 
  • How will students use the genAI in a collaborative capacity to support or augment learning?
  1. Is generative AI allowed or is it encouraged? To what extent? 
  1. Why is generative AI use permitted in this assessment? Why is this change to the assessment being made? 
  • Consider how genAI use on this assessment improve student learning. How will students benefit? What are the risks to students?
  1. Where will assessment completion take place? In-person? Asynchronously? 
  • Will genAI use necessitate a shift in the modality of assessment? Will the assessment remain accessible to all students?
  1. How should students acknowledge their use of a genAI tool? 
  1. Do grading tools require revision to reflect changes to the assessment? How will you communicate grading expectations to students?
  1. What options are available for students who choose not to use the generative AI tool?
  • For example, if students are asked to critically respond to a genAI output, could the output be provided to them rather than having to generate the output themselves? What other options can be built into the assessment to allow choice?
  1. What are the repercussions if students use generative AI in an unauthorized way?

Ada Sharpe

Ada Sharpe, Ph.D. (English and Film Studies), has worked in faculty and support staff roles in the post-secondary sector for over a decade. She has taught and researched in literary studies and writing studies and co-led a university writing centre. Ada specializes in understanding how assessment shapes the teaching and learning experience for faculty and students.

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