This Week for Faculty: 3 Tips for Teaching Transparently in the Age of AI

by | Jul 26, 2023

Keep the focus on learning by talking to your students about what and how they will learn in your course. Manage student expectations through transparent syllabi. Take student guesswork out of assessment by designing transparent assignments and sharing the purpose, the task, and the criteria with your students.

We invite you to explore CTL on-demand resources, to join us for upcoming sessions, and to schedule a consultation.

1. Review your syllabus

Consider how your expectations on student participation, assessments, and other course policies can be made clearer. Communicate your policy on digital transparency. Be explicit with students about your expectations around the usage of AI tools to support their learning.

Ensure your syllabi are transparent with the CTL!

Workshop: It’s in the Syllabus! Or is it?: Designing a Transparent Syllabus
Monday, Augusty 21, 2023 – Register
12:00-1:30pm, online.

The syllabus is often students’ first introduction to your course, and can help set the tone for the rest of the semester, even before your first class meeting. When designed with a focus on transparency, the syllabus can signal to students that they are entering an inclusive learning space, and provide them with a clear guide of what they will learn and how they can demonstrate and monitor their learning.

Bring a copy of your course syllabus at any stage (e.g., rough draft, revised draft, final). During the session, you will work in pairs reviewing each other’s syllabus from the student perspective.

Related resource: Designing an Inclusive Syllabus.

2. [Re]Design assignments and rubrics

Consider breaking down large assignments into subtasks and providing feedback along the way, assigning authentic assignments that invite students to make connections between what they learn in the classroom and their local community. Communicate to students how AI can be used as they work on an assignment and the extent to which AI use can be included in what they submit. Clarify what you are looking for in student work with a rubric.

Refine assignments with the CTL!

Workshop: Transparent Assignment Design in the Age of AI 
Tuesday, August 22, 2023 – Register
2:00-3:30pm, online

Whether you expect students to use AI tools on an assignment or not, transparency about what your expectations are on an assignment—what you’re asking students to do and how they should demonstrate their learning—will ensure that all students learn. The Transparency in Teaching and Learning (TILT) framework encourages us to articulate and explain: the purpose, the task, and the criteria for success on an assignment to our students.

Bring an assignment idea or an existing assignment to work on. During the session, you will apply the transparent design framework to your course assignment, engage in peer review, and gain insights through the process.

Related resources: Designing Assignments for LearningGetting Started with Creative Assignments

“… assignments that are designed to create student engagement and motivation will be most influential in learning, regardless of whether or not professors utilize artificial intelligence.” – Olivia Schmitt | Undergraduate Student, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Read what Olivia and her peers had to say about AI and their learning: Learner Perspectives on AI Tools: Digital Literacy, Academic Integrity, and Student Engagement

3. Talk with your students

The beginning of a new semester is a great time to get to know your students. Ask them what questions they have about the course syllabus, course policies, and assignments. Their questions may pinpoint areas that need further clarification. Discover what your students think about AI tools and their experiences using them. Invite feedback from students on your syllabus, assignments, and rubrics. Incorporate student suggestions to increase transparency of these course materials.

The CTL is here to help you get ready for Fall 2023!

Looking to develop scaffolded authentic assignments for your course? Want to know more about designing assignments that incorporate AI Tools? Have questions about digital transparency in your course policies? The CTL is here to help – email to schedule a 1-1 consultation!

Office Hours 
Join us for office hours via Zoom (or phone) Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm to have your teaching with instructional technology questions answered.

Upcoming Workshops

Teaching Inclusively From the Start. 
August 1, 10:00am-11:00am, online.
Related resource: Guide for Inclusive Teaching at Columbia

Making Feedback Matter: Strategies That Serve You and Your Students. 
August 2, 10:00-11:00am, online.
Related resources: Feedback for Learning and Effective Feedback in Clinical Education

Engaging Students in Discussion. 
August 2, 1:00-2:00pm, online.
Related resource: Learning Through Discussion