How to Keep Students Writing in the Age of AI Tools

In a writing-intensive class, students need to write extensively to the point that the teacher cannot possibly grade all of it. — Edutopia via NCTE
Good advice from an article by Kara Douma, reprinted by NCTE. I need to hear that.
The referees don’t score every practice. The coaches don’t give you feedback after every workout. The director doesn’t give you notes after every fight call or vocal warm-up.
For my class, teaching students who rely on chatbots might involve regularly handing out bluebooks, collecting them at the end of class, spot-checking a random sample, and only reading a handful.
I’m going to shift shifting more things like reflections and peer feedback to in-person, tech-free settings, and asking students to document their work at a more granular level.
I used to offer a lot of loosely structured work time, during which I asked the students to tell a peer what they planned to accomplish beforehand, and in the last 2 minutes of class I went around the room and asked students to call out what they accomplished. But students weren’t always using their time efficiently, so I will start giving them more focus prompts; the assignments will be low-stakes, but I want to get across the message that copy-pasting paragraphs generated by a bot will not get you very far, because you will need to write coherently about your thinking process.
If you don’t really have a thinking process beyond “I’m going to feed the prompts into ChatGPT, there won’t be much college-level critical thinking to write about.
I’m trying to be practical about what I can accomplish, but in truth I feel sick to my stomach for the students who will pay dearly down the road.


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