Updated: Sep 18
I collaborated with ChatGPT to write this blog post by asking it for suggested improvements to my original writing and thoughts. The AI consistently provided solid recommendations of wording improvements and grammatical fixes.
Are you short on time? Do you have tired eyes? Listen to a three-minute audio version of this post instead:
Artificial intelligence (AI) in the classroom is the topic of the moment, and for good reason. Educators worldwide are grappling with a pressing question: how do I assess learning when generative AI can complete traditional assessments with a high level of accuracy? Of course we want to avoid students simply copying and pasting from an AI chatbot to complete learning tasks. In this post, I propose one solution: modern assessments!
What are Modern Assessments?
Modern assessments exhibit the following key characteristics:
Are either a formative or summative assessment of learning
Appeal to students’ worlds of instant answers, sharing to authentic audiences via social media, and rapidly evolving technologies
Bring what students do in their spare time into the classroom
Purposefully amplify the human advantage by focusing on synthesizing information and using that information to create visual, multimedia products
Allow for collaboration with AI (and/or fellow learners) but cannot be completed fully by AI
The creation of visual products is truly key. Have you ever inquired with an AI chatbot, like ChatGPT, about its ability to generate multimedia content? As of now (although this might change in the future), the typical response would be something like: "As an AI text-based model, I don't possess the capability to create visual content."
By requiring students to create, think critically, and problem solve, modern assessments are AI copy-and-paste-proof!
Modern assessments are the new normal for educators. AI has presented an unprecedented opportunity to revolutionize the way we assess learning in traditional educational environments. Truly, this is an exhilarating time to be in education!
Creating with Canva for Education
Among the numerous tools available for student creation, Canva for Education stands out as a top choice on my K-12 EdTech tools list due to its remarkable ease of use and versatility. As a bonus, Canva offers several integrated AI features for an additional safe and secure way to utilize AI in the classroom. And the best part? Canva for Education is free for schools. Let's explore three modern assessment ideas that can be effortlessly implemented using Canva.
Explain in a series of Snaps or a Snapchat video what characteristics identify art from the Impressionist movement. You must:
Provide at least three examples of Impressionist art.
Use the examples to identify the characteristics described.
In this formative assessment example for an art class, students showcase their learning through a creative Snapchat lens. While it is possible for students to seek answers from an AI chatbot regarding the identifying characteristics of art from the Impressionist movement, the true essence of this assessment lies in their ability to comprehend and synthesize the information into an authentic creation. Through original thought and creative expression, students engage in the process of crafting a unique final product.
This is also a great example of how we can collaborate with AI and showcases how AI can amplify the human advantage.
Instead of spending valuable time on internet searches for research, generative AI can efficiently summarize information, reducing cognitive load.
This allows humans to utilize both the saved time and summarized information to nurture their creative abilities.
This is our new world, and collaborating with AI both in and out of the classroom is a skill students must learn.
I have elaborated on using Snaps as an assessment strategy in this blog post. The post offers detailed instructions, additional ideas, and numerous examples to support implementation.
To seamlessly integrate this assessment strategy into your classroom, use this Canva Snap template or Google Slide Snap template. Simply copy the template and add your own content.
Short-Form Videos: TikTok Videos and Instagram Reels
Create a TikTok video or Reel that explains your top three tips for creating pastry. You must explain why these tips are important and include video demonstrations of each tip or technique.
I asked ChatGPT to provide an explanation of TikTok videos and Instagram Reels, to which it responded: “A TikTok video and an Instagram Reel are both short-form video formats that are popular on their respective social media platforms.”
I posed a follow-up question to ChatGPT, asking for a definition of short-form video: “Short-form video refers to video content that is relatively brief in duration, typically ranging from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. It is characterized by its concise format, designed to capture viewers' attention in a short span of time. Short-form videos have become increasingly popular on social media platforms and other digital channels due to their easily consumable nature and the rise of mobile video consumption.”
In the above formative assessment example for a culinary arts class, students are demonstrating their knowledge through the creation of a short-form video. We call it a TikTok video as this choice aligns with the relevance and potential engagement for students in today's world.
Short-form videos offer an excellent way to engage our Gen Z and Alpha learners, as they can be created for any content and require a range of 21st-century skills. You could specify the type of short-form video or allow students to choose. If you are curious as to the subtle differences between a TikTok video and an Instagram Reel, ask your students!
Canva includes hundreds of TikTok and Reel templates to support your students' creative process. Here is a blank Canva template to help you get started:
Write a Yelp review for a modern composer of your choice.
In this formative assessment example, suitable for a music or social studies class, students showcase their knowledge through the process of evaluation.
Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) provides educators with a framework to gauge task complexity. Designing assessments that target DOK 3 or 4 ensures that they are resistant to AI copying and pasting. The act of evaluation inherently requires learners to reach at least DOK 3. Consider the act of writing a Yelp review—evaluation is at its core. Hence, we structure and designate the learning task as a Yelp review, aligning it with modernity, relevance, and potential engagement.
Ideas for Yelp reviews across different subject areas include:
Social studies: Political figures, laws, or historical decisions
Automotive: A tool type or brand
Culinary arts: A cooking technique, kitchen utensil, or brand
English/language arts: A story, poem, book, or author
Music: A composer, song, or instrument
Art: An artist, art period, or art piece
Math: Different methods for solving the same math problem
World language: A Yelp review in another language
Science: Any species’ environment or a biological/chemical process (see this idea)
Copy this Canva Yelp review template to kickstart the evaluation process:
Creating with Google Slides: Pinterest Boards and Memes
Google Slides is also a great tool for creating AI copy-and-paste-proof modern assessments. I have created two Google Slide templates that you can copy and utilize: a Pinterest Board and a Meme Generator. Reference this blog post for the templates, instructions, and examples:
The Cherry on Top: Reflecting via a Screencast Video
After your students have synthesized their knowledge through any of the aforementioned creations, you can further enhance their learning by having them explain their work using a screencast or screen recording video. This even further ensures integrity and comprehension of assessments. Canva offers an integrated screen recorder feature, while Flip can be used alongside any digital tool and conveniently organizes all student videos into a single grid for seamless review.
Single Point Rubrics
I often receive the question: “These modern assessments sound great, but how do I assess them?” The answer is simple: single point rubrics! Well, the answer is really rubrics, but I am particularly fond of single point rubrics. From A Teacher’s Guide to Online Learning:
A single point rubric includes a single column that indicates expectations for proficiency.
There are many benefits of a single point rubric over other rubric types:
Easier for students to read
Easier for students to find expectations
Easier and faster for teachers to make
Easier and faster for teachers to provide feedback
For more information on single point rubrics, I recommend checking out the insightful article “Meet the Single Point Rubric” by Cult of Pedagogy.
Summary from ChatGPT
I asked ChatGPT to summarize this blog post and this was the result:
“In this blog post, we explore modern assessments as a compelling solution to assessing learning in the AI era. By embracing these assessments, educators tap into students' familiarity with instant answers, social media, and evolving technologies. They empower students to showcase creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills through synthesizing information and creating multimedia products. Modern assessments serve as a collaborative tool that amplifies the human advantage, requiring originality and comprehension. Examples like Snaps, TikTok videos, and Yelp reviews demonstrate interactive and relevant ways for students to demonstrate knowledge. With AI integration and tools like Canva and Google Slides, educators can create AI copy-and-paste-proof assessments. Single point rubrics offer an effective way to assess modern assessments. Ultimately, modern assessments present an exciting opportunity for educators to revolutionize learning assessments in the age of AI.”
Coming Soon: More AI in the Classroom Ideas in A Teacher’s Guide to AI
The cat is out of the bag! I am working on compiling tons of practical strategies for AI in the classroom into a mini-book, A Teacher’s Guide to AI. This will include more ideas for assessing learning. Make sure you are signed up for my monthly email newsletter for a release date.