Thinking about Assessment in the Time of Generative Artificial Intelligence

Thinking about Assessment in the Time of Generative Artificial Intelligence

As generative AI systems (LLM) become more prevalent, educators face challenges in designing assessments that evaluate authentic student learning.

This page is equipped with both a Masterclass video for you to watch and also an instructional guide that provides tips & tricks for prompt writing.

  • The Masterclass video we will explore thoughtful approaches to assessment in the era of generative AI, talking about AI in the classroom, and considering strategies to focus on higher-order skills like critical thinking, reflections, and conceptual understanding.
  • The instructional guide will walk you through how to address your concerns with your students using transparency, various ways that AI can enhance student learning in the classroom,  and 8 assignment ideas for you to use in your course.

Addressing Our Concerns Around AI With Students Using Transparency

Discussing Artificial Intelligence and using it in the classroom can be a tricky conversation to have. Below are some suggestions on ways to bring up this topic in a constructive way with your students:

  • Discuss assignments’ learning goals and design rationale before students begin each assignment.
  • Invite the class to participate in class planning.
  • Discuss with students your expectations around them using AI in your class.
  • Demonstrate how to properly use an AI tool in the classroom.
  • Talk about data privacy, intellectual property, and how to properly give credit.
  • Create a syllabus statement that outlines your expectations (see examples).


Enhancing Student Learning with AI

In some cases, AI acts as an intelligent tutor, while in others, it's a powerful tool that students can leverage. The key is to empower students to take ownership of their learning journey with AI as a supportive partner.

Some ideas in which AI can enhance student learning are:

  • Personalized goal-setting and resource recommendations tailored to individual needs.
  • AI has the potential for students to move from “What do I need to know?” to “Where can I find this?” “How can I improve this?”
  • Assisting with creating and maintaining digital learning portfolios that showcase growth over time.
  • Time management support through prioritized task reminders and focus tracking.
  • Facilitating reflective learning experiences through interactive chatbots.
  • Identifying gaps or areas for improvement in student work.
  • Offering personalized feedback on assignments and projects.

Rather than avoiding the topic of AI use altogether, address with your students at the beginning of class your expectations around the use of AI. Have an open discussion with them and allow them to contribute their opinions on the topic. 

Make sure assessments include tasks that require problem-solving, creative thought, and critical thinking by your students. 

Have students work together in groups to produce a presentation or present information to one another.

  1. View DFI’s group work strategy suggestions

Incorporate AI into the initial stages of the research process to empower students in crafting robust research questions that will create a strong foundation for their subsequent work or to refine the questions they already have.  Direct students to ask the AI tool to assess the effectiveness of their statements rather than ask for direct feedback.

Assessment differentiation can provide students with multiple ways of turning in an assessment. Give students the option to write a paper, record a creative video, or give a class presentation. Allow students to embrace the way they learn the best so they are less likely to resort to using AI to do the work for them.

  1. Check out the Universal Design for Learning guidelines for inspiration
  2. Check our DFI’s Asynchronous learning activities for inspiration

Make sure your students understand exactly what is expected of them in an assignment. Create a rubric or example for students to follow. This creates a clear path for students so that they are able to complete the assessment successfully and give the instructor exactly what they are looking for.

    1. Check out how to easily add your rubric to your Canvas course

Create assessments that relate directly to a real world task. This way, students are able to connect and relate to the task at hand. Some examples could be: case studies, relating readings to their own life-experiences, group discussions, and peer review.

Create opportunities for students to utilize AI in their work as well as assess the tool’s abilities. You can also create a class list of ways that students can utilize AI in their work. Examples can include generating ideas when experiencing writer's block, debugging code, improving grammar and writing structure for ESL learners, assisting in generating ideas for graphics, and brainstorming ideas for various topics.p


Cardamone, C. (2023). Thinking about our assessments in the age of artificial intelligence (AI).

CAST. (2022). The UDL guidelines.

James Cook University. (n.d.). Assessment and artificial intelligence.

Ohio State University. (n.d.). Universal design for learning guidelines.

UCL. (2023). Engaging with AI in your education and assessment.

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