Alex Gainer: Incorporating Generative AI within Peer Assessment

Prof. Alex Gainer found peer assessment to be an extremely useful tool to boost engagement in his video activities. In his Economics course, he prompted students to leverage generative AI in completing their work for video assignments, for which he provided detailed guidelines. Using this new technology with Kritik added a layer of peer assessment to the activity and amplified the learning process. Students develop deeper learning of course concepts, higher-level reasoning, and soft skills that benefit their classroom experience.

“I have done a lot of surveys in my course to see what my students think about peer assessment, and I found student feedback has been great. This has been really effective, and most students appreciate the opportunity to have less exams and focus more on writing. 90% of my students have found peer and alternative assessments very useful.”

In this article, we will see how Prof. Gainer incorporated generative AI in his video assignments to help his students maximize learning centred on peer assessment.

5 Ways Generative AI can be used in Teaching

Prof. Gainer found that AI allowed him to redesign his existing course structure, resources, and activities. Here are five ways in which Generative AI can be used as an educational tool by instructors:

1. Redesigning syllabi and assignments

Instructors can leverage generative AI by taking advantage of personalized prompts tailored to specific teaching practices and assignment types. This allows for greater flexibility and adaptability in addressing diverse learning styles and interests. See below for an example of how AI can be prompted to do this:

2. Informing and educating students about academic integrity

Instructors can use AI to educate students about the importance of academic integrity, plagiarism detection, and appropriate and inappropriate instances of using AI.

3. Engaging students in critiquing and improving ChatGPT responses

By encouraging students to interact with AI models and evaluate their answers, instructors can guide students to actively participate in refining the AI's output, improving their critical thinking and analytical skills.

Download eBook: 5 Activity Types Designed Using Generative AI

4. Helping students build their information literacy skills

By incorporating AI as a resource for learning, instructors can provide students with the opportunity to learn how to assess credibility, evaluate sources, and discern between reliable and unreliable information.

5. Having students compare and contrast ChatGPT prompts for different audiences

By directing students to use different prompts for AI models, instructors can enhance student learning by developing a deeper understanding of how language and tone can be adjusted and effective communication strategies tailored to different contexts.

Video Activities with AI for Peer Assessment

Prof. Gainer teaches first-year, introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics courses with high volume enrolment ranging from 1600-1800 students across multiple sections. He runs video assignments on Kritik in ‘Teach a peer’ style, where he asks them to explain a concept taught in class (See image below). Students can use AI tools like ChatGPT to prepare the content for their videos. 

Combining peer assessment with AI-based learning, Prof. Gainer has seen success throughout his course. Here is a peek into the key stats:

Alex Gainer statistics on Kritik

Download the deck and the full recording of Prof. Gainer's workshop.

Activity #1

Using anonymous peer assessment on Kritik, Prof. Gainer set up an Individual Multi-Topic activity based on content from his course. Students had access to a detailed rubric that included criteria: Use of Course Concepts to Improve the AI’s answer, Explaining the Concept, Communication, Using 2022 or 2023 Examples in Teaching Concepts, and Video Length. The rubric displayed the expectations for each criteria level, which acted as the main template and guide when evaluating others’ work. Here is a look at the assignment information and instructions he provided his students for the Create stage:

Activity created for Professor Alex Gainer's Economics Course

These instructions laid out clear steps for students to follow to complete the first stage of the assignment. In the instructions, Prof. Gainer ensured that students had access to clear directions for their work in regard to using AI for their submissions. Effectively implementing the groundbreaking tool in a positive and ethical way, students were pushed to learn how to use it to their advantage without compromising the originality of their work and key objectives for the assignment.

Here is a look into how the rubric played a role in the Evaluate stage for this activity:

As evident in this evaluation, evaluators used the same rubric criteria attached to this assignment to evaluate their peers. Students use the rubric to score Creations and leave a related written comment to provide more detailed suggestions. In addition, they could use the Evaluator Notes left by Prof. Gainer only after the evaluation stage started in scoring work, helping them understand precisely what to look for while evaluating their peers’ work and what their instructor aimed to see.

The Feedback stage allows students to see the written evaluations they received from their peers for their work. This allows students to provide feedback in return for these written comments. Prof. Gainer enjoyed using this as an extension to the peer assessment process, helping students gain valuable insight into their performance for this activity. Allowing students to participate in 360-degree feedback allows students to enhance their learning from all angles through a healthy, constructive discussion.

Here is a look into this process:

As shown in this feedback example, students use a Likert scale to rank evaluators’ comments regarding motivational and critical quality. This allows students to learn from one another and further interact to share more knowledge. 

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Experience the power of generative AI and Interactive Peer Assessment

The peer assessment framework on Kritik engages students in an interactive learning process centred on motivation and building their critical thinking skills. By allowing students to use generative AI with the appropriate guidelines, instructors can reduce the risk of plagiarism and make them adept with this technology.

As an early adopter of both these technologies, Prof. Gainer finds three key student outcomes at the end of every semester:

  • Better concept retention as they get to review their peers’ work multiple times
  • Timely and personalized feedback as the turnaround time is much quicker and they get multiple eyeballs on their work
  • Higher engagement and better participation as students enjoy reviewing and grading each others’ work

Are you looking to learn how to use AI to design assignments in your course? 

Download eBook: Guide to ChatGPT in Higher Education

Alex Gainer
Alex Gainer
University of Alberta
Associate Professor

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