Illustration of a robot sitting behind a laptop on the lefthand side and a human sitting behind a laptop on the righthand side. There are speech bubbles with lines in them, and cogs above their heads.

What Now? Assessment Design and Generative Artificial Intelligence  

Over the past months, TCDC, EdTech, and the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Office (SCAI) have been collaborating to deliver presentations and workshops on ChatGPT and generative artificial intelligence. The presentations, delivered in department meetings, introduce this new technology, provide advice on assessment design and suggest ways to build a culture of academic integrity. 

Connecting with instructors, we’ve heard some of the impacts of these new tools: robots that, in one minute, are “hallucinating,” spinning strangely worded compositions replete with fake bibliographic citations—and then in the next minute, offering accurate and precise prose that goes unflagged by detection tools.  

Some have embraced AI, seeing its potential to assist with learning—particularly those for whom English is an additional language. It’s still early days for GPTs (and for generative AI more broadly):  we’re told it can’t do the most complicated things yet. Nonetheless, from listening to our colleagues over the past few months, it’s evident these new tools are already making a significant impact. 

Back to Basics 

In this murky new era of generative AI, TCDC is encouraging instructors and departments to go back to basics.  Our thoughts on assessment and course design include:   

  • Trying generative AI and talking to your students about it. This technology is here to stay, so we should become familiar with it. Set expectations around how it can be used in your courses —what does ethical use of this tool look like in your classroom?  
  • Returning to your course learning outcomes. Before adopting an activity or assessment focused on AI, ensure it aligns with your course learning outcomes.  
  • Reviewing assessments. generative AI excels at essays, text-based online discussion questions, and multiple-choice exams. Determine whether you can incorporate authentic or alternative assessments that require students to apply what they have learned to a new situation and make decisions about what information and skills are relevant and how they should be used. 
  • Focusing on formative feedback. Build assessments that require students to show their process and provide formative feedback during the early stages of writing.   
  • Not relying on AI detection tools. The latest tools by TurnItIn, OpenAI and others have been found to be unreliable. 

What’s Next?

Interested in learning more about ChatGPT, GPT4 and other AI tools? (Who isn’t!?) The following sessions are being offered by TCDC and EdTech this spring: 

Already thinking ahead to the fall?  For departments looking to learn together in sweater weather, you can: 

  • Book an introductory session to ChatGPT and AI—delivered in-person at department meetings (scheduling for fall 2023). 
  • Save the date: Langara’s Academic Integrity Unconference, Sept. 22 @ 9:30 a.m. featuring Dr. Sarah Eaton (more details to come). 


AI Content Generators in Higher Education. Webpage on the TCDC iweb that explores what content generators are, what implications access to them might bring and how post-secondary educators and institutions might respond to them.

PD Playlist: Artificial Intelligence Content Generators. To help anyone interested in learning about AI content generators, TCDC has compiled a “PD Playlist.” These resources are arranged from “sound bite”, which will take just a few minutes of your time, to “full LP”, which require a longer commitment.

Ideas, Experiences & Questions about Generative AI in Higher Ed. A public, collaborative space for Langara faculty and staff to share ideas, suggestions, questions and answers related to AI generated content and teaching and learning.

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