GenAI is seemingly everywhere right now. People are using it to do everything – get assistance with their travel plans, proofread their emails, even composing song lyrics and poetry. And it is certainly disrupting how we have traditionally looked at learning and assessment in the higher education system. While it is a really exciting opportunity to reimagine how we view assessment and learning, and to ask ourselves what the purpose of assessment really is, these are not quick or easy questions to answer before Spring Session starts.

So, while we continue to grapple with these existential quandaries, what is can we do to support students now?

The most useful thing we can provide them with at this stage is clear expectations for how GenAI can be used in their subjects, and specifically in their assignments. To help execute this, we’ve created a template page for subject coordinators to add to the’Get Started’ module from Canvas Commons and to tailor to a specific subject.

How do I find/customise it?

Go to Canvas Commons and search for ‘Use of Gen AI’, then add the template page to your subject. Make sure it is not published while you work on it. We recommend getting together with your course team to discuss what permitted use of GenAI might look like across your course and where there may be variations in subjects or assessment tasks. Think about the subject learning outcomes and whether these could be undermined by using GenAI or enhanced.

Review the templated page and update the text. Make sure to read through carefully before publishing it in your subject as conflicting information will be confusing for students and add ambiguity to your assessment expectations. This page is all about making your assumptions for student behaviour explicit in order to provide clarity to your teaching team and students.

The ‘Use of AI in Assessment’ section is not exhaustive and provides some examples only. Consider how students should use GenAI across assessments in your subject, or create headings for each assessment if permitted use of GenAI varies.

Try to be as specific as possible. For example, you could add some advice on translation tools and idea generation such as:

  • It’s okay to use translation tools (such as Google Translate) to find a word or short phrases. Translation tools may not be permitted in some assessments (such as exams, quizzes etc).
  • You are not allowed to use GenAI to plan the structure of your writing, this is a key outcome of this subject and these will be completed in class.

If especially relevant to your subject, include an additional heading for a section on ‘Preparation and ongoing learning’. This is where you would include examples of how students could use GenAI in their ongoing learning specific to your subject.

Make sure that you discuss this Canvas page and your expectations with students often. Be sure to check in with your students to make sure they understand the parameters. We often assume students have a good understanding of new technologies, but that is not necessarily the case for all. Regular conversations and opportunities for students to clarify will help them to stay within the accepted boundaries of assessments in your subject.

More information for students can be found at the Generative AI Study Guide, which you can now embed into your Canvas site. There are also slides available to download and customise.

Where do I get more support?

Contact us at the LX.lab to request a consultation to discuss how this page or other GenAI strategies might be implemented into your subjects in Canvas.

Join the discussion