This blog post was co-authored by Ann Wilson and Caroline Havery

You may have been experimenting with ChatGPT over the summer break or you may have just come back to earth and realised that the world has turned a few times and artificial intelligence has exploded in higher education while you were at the beach.  Wherever you are in this process, we want to say we are in it with you, and offer some ideas about how we might view ChatGPT as a kind friend rather than a robot threat.

Where to begin with ChatGPT

The first step is of course to prepare yourself, your assessments and – importantly – your students.  Start by having a look at what ChatGPT can do, try a few of your assessments and see how ChatGPT develops a response. You may find it helpful, a bit like predictive text that provides shape and a starting point for written expression. 

You may notice it does not reference or cite resources, it doesn’t tell you where the ideas came from, sometimes it just makes things up, and it can’t reflect with the emotional intelligence of a human. But there is no doubt that it will get better at all of this and our best response is to consider and work with its potential as a learning technology.

Artificial intelligence, academic integrity

We are going to have to talk to our students about that other AI: academic integrity. If we are going to include ChatGPT in the resources students can use, students must also be aware that they will need to cite it as they do with other sources. In fact, many academics are allowing and even encouraging, in some cases, the use of ChatGPT as a first step in drafting a response to an assignment.

5 tips for adapting assessments 

With so much discussion about ChatGPT and assessment at the moment, it’s a great time to consider our own approaches and how they might evolve. In your own context, could you try any of the following experiments?

  • Ask your students to use ChatGPT to generate a response to the assessment, then set criteria to critique and provide feedback to improve. 
  • Redesign your assessments so ChatGPT will not be used and perhaps start the assessments in class, or with a literature review.
  • Ask assessment questions that require students to reflect on their own experiences, emphasising the process of learning and developing ideas over the final product.
  • Emphasise intrinsic motivation and consider TILT (Transparency in Learning and Teaching) where you articulate to your students your expectations of the assessment, the learning they will gain from it and how they might go about doing it. In contrast, extrinsic motivation can mean students focus on grades over learning, which may mean they are more likely to cheat.
  • Use viva voce, individual or group presentations that build on an assessment and require students to present their findings or ideas in a live session. 

Resources to explore

Join the discussion

Come along to our upcoming online session at UTS and bring along one of your assessments that may be privy to ChatGPT usage. We will share ideas about quick changes you can make for Autumn, plus longer-term adjustments to redesign your assessment task.

Join the discussion