Embrace the Bot: Designing Writing Assignments in the Face of AI

Faculty Focus 


Just as pocket calculators, personal computers, and smartphones have posed threats to students learning math skills, AI (artificial intelligence) seems to be the new tool poised to undermine the use of writing assignments to assess student learning.

In November 2022, a tool called ChatGPT made headlines for its ability to “write” any content. As an instructional designer, I immediately heard from worried faculty that the sky may be falling, wondering what chance they had in the face of robots that could write student papers.

After some reflection, I have come to believe that, in the long run, worrying about how students might use AI to cheat is not the most productive question to focus on. The better question is, even in the era of AI, how can we best teach our students? Below are three methods of designing writing assignments in the face of an AI incursion.


Last Modified: January 23, 2023