Reimagining Assessment in the Age of AI

The year 2023 will likely be remembered by those of us in the field of education as the year ChatGPT and text generator AI tools made us stop and think about assessments in our courses. Throughout Spring 2023, CLT hosted community conversations and offered workshops and consultations to AUC faculty to help us all learn more about how these new AI platforms worked, and consider their impact on our teaching and assessments.

In summer 2023, CLT offered a more intensive institute entitled: Empowering Educators: Reimagining Assessment and Authenticity in the Age of AI. The institute included four sessions that aimed to help faculty reimagine their assessments given the new realities of AI, and included sessions exploring how their current assessments would fare with the presence of AI, exploring a range of alternative assessment options, a session on developing critical AI literacy for faculty and students, and time to share their ideas and challenges with peers and receive feedback, before presenting their innovative prototype redesigned assessments made for the AI era. Between workshops, consultations and discussions, we hoped that redesigned assessments would foster meaningful learning via high-impact and authentic approaches that would be better for preparing students for the future beyond university. 

CLT facilitators led over 90 faculty members from 24 departments through a series of workshops, activities, and consultations over 10 days. Faculty from across the university participated in this event with more than 25 submitting their ideas for redesigned assessments and sharing their prototype ideas.

AUC Faculty Describe How They Plan to Redesign Their Assessments After the Institute 

Assessment redesigns ranged from those that would incorporate more in-class writing and oral assessment, to those who would integrate more experiential learning into their assessments, and those who would incorporate some elements of AI in the assessment and emphasize the process over the product of learning. We share them here by school and department, because the impact of AI differs depending on the core learning outcomes of different courses.

Academy of Liberal Arts

Iman Baza, English Language Instruction 

I decided to make some changes to the oral presentation assignment. It will be a project-based presentation where students identify a problem related to one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and propose solutions. Students will also be asked to do some field research where they ask the AUC community some questions and report on their findings. I will also add a Q&A session at the end of the presentation where the two teachers ask the student about the process of doing his/her research. 

Sanaa Makhlouf, English Language Instruction

Attending the summer CLT workshops that focused on AI and the need to reimagine our assessment and our courses has definitely changed the way I will have to deal with AI. Based on our conversations and brainstorming sessions with many other colleagues on campus, I have made a few changes to the way I plan on teaching students how to do basic research and use it for their oral presentations. Students will work in pairs, use AI for their choice of topic linked to the theme of the course and to help them generate an outline, and then students do their basic search that is aligned with their outlines. All images can be generated from various AI platforms. They will then present their work orally to the class, and write individual reflection papers on the process and the product. 

Laila ElSerty & Shaimaa ElSherif, Rhetoric and Composition

Revamping a CORE Poster Assessment in the Era of AI

Reimagining the core curriculum tasks in the era of AI, we decided to revamp a poster assessment in our CORE 1010 classes as follows:

  1. In groups, students are asked to design a poster related to one of the subtopics of their core theme.   
  2. The content of the poster should be 300-400 words, divided into an introductory section that identifies the subject and other body sections addressing the main content they are advocating.  
  3. Students are encouraged to use an AI tool to help in the design of the posters as per the following criteria:
    • The AI tool is used to create visually appealing designs.
    • The AI tool is used in creating an outline of the main sections of the posters and in suggesting creative titles that suit the design.
    • The created content/text under each of the poster sections should be 100% your authentic human-generated text. 

Amira Abdullah, Rhetoric and Composition Department and English Language Instruction

To gain more insights on successful strategies for integration of AI in my classroom, I attended the Summer Institute on Reimagining Assessment in the Age of AI. Although I embraced the use of AI in two of my Rhetoric and Composition courses in spring 2023, I needed the opportunity to communicate and share ideas with other faculty members to learn how to use AI in an intensive English language course. I came up with several ideas to enhance my students’ learning experience and increase engagement and collaboration while incorporating AI in classroom activities and formative assessments. In the writing classes, I plan to encourage students to use AI tools, such as, Phind, Perplexity,, for brainstorming, academic vocabulary building, and outlining. I will also use sample AI generated texts and essays for in-class analysis and to foster deeper understanding of academic essay structure and conventions.To improve my students’ understanding of English grammar, I will encourage them to use AI tools to create personalized grammar explanations that are adapted to their needs and proficiency levels. Clarifying expectations regarding AI usage, promoting ways to regulate the use of AI, encouraging responsible and ethical AI usage, and highlighting the risks of over-reliance on AI tools and over estimation of AI capabilities will be my main classroom goals for fall 2023. 

Meredith Brand, Instructor, Rhetoric and Composition  

AI presents a daunting yet exciting challenge for higher education. Participating in CLT’s Reimagining Assessment in the Age of AI summer workshop helped me view AI with more enthusiasm and less fear. During the workshop Maha Bali and Hoda Mostafa shared insights into how we can rethink assessment so that we evaluate key learning outcomes while embracing AI. Along with my colleagues from across the disciplines, we got to share and brainstorm practical ideas for how we can apply new assessment methods for our classes. These discussions helped me create a set of guidelines for how I can use AI in my Rhetoric and Composition classes in a way that supports students’ ease with key technology while enhancing the uniquely human aspects of critical thinking, creativity, and information literacy. I also understood the importance of building our student’s confidence so they feel that they have something unique to contribute and their voice is important. I want my students to see AI as an important tool, but not a crutch. This new way of thinking will guide my classroom activities and assessments in the Fall. For instance, before AI I had low stakes writing assignments that asked students to summarize and critically evaluate assigned readings. I will change this assignment so that students compare their understanding of a text with AI generated analyses of a text. This shift of embracing AI better addresses learning outcomes of critical thinking and information literacy. CLT’s workshop showed me how AI can complement my teaching practice.

Noha Khafagi, English Language Instruction

Reimaging Assessment in the Age of AI sessions inspired me to look differently at major assessment tools and tasks in English for the Liberal Arts course. For example, our discussions encouraged me to teach summarizing in a novel way. One of the learning outcomes of the course is to succinctly summarize an article of approximately 1000 words. Summarizing, employs all the skills required for general competence in the use of language and is a much needed skill in every student’s academic career. Thus, I will focus on both the process and the product by assigning a low stakes assignment as practice before students are required to submit a final summary of a text assigned.  In pairs, students will read the text; determine the main ideas and important subsidiary ideas; negotiate meaning; decide on the important ideas; connect the ideas to their lives and present their findings to the class. The next step will be asking the whole class to individually summarize the text, making sure that they do not add any extraneous ideas in the summary. A further step is to allow the students to compare their answers with an AI generated summary, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of both texts. In this way, the students will improve their reading skills, organizing ability, word power and writing skill while at the same time know when and when not to use a summarizing tool.

Mona El Saady, English Language Instruction

Participating in the CLT Summer Institute’s “Reimagining Assessment in the Age of AI”  workshops was an eye-opening experience. The discussions about using AI tools in the learning process were super interesting. These tools can help students generate ideas, fix grammar and style issues, and give helpful feedback. I want to introduce my students to these AI writing tools and give them assignments where they can work together with AI to brainstorm ideas, write drafts, and make their writing better. I also want to teach them how to analyze AI-generated content and give it proper credit.

Here are a few activities :

 1. Making AI writing better: I will encourage my students to play around with the AI-generated text and make it even better. They can rearrange the content, add more details, combine sentences, and rewrite conclusions. This will help them get better at improving machine-generated writing.

 2. Group discussions and peer review: I will have my students work in groups to discuss AI writing. They will dig into the content, look at the style, and suggest ways to make it even better for the specific audience.

 3. Class presentations: I will have my students compare AI and human writing without knowing who wrote what. They will analyze the quality of the writing and decide which one sounds more natural. They will look at the thesis statement, organization, evidence, arguments, and overall impact.

 Along with these activities, I will also give assignments that focus on the ethical side of using AI, like plagiarism and responsible tool use. To ensure my students are getting the most out of this, I will have reflection and discussion sessions where they can share what they have learned. I will assess their progress based on how well they use AI tools, their ability to analyze AI-generated content, and their proper citation of AI-generated text.

AI can make writing classes better, but we have to be careful about ethical considerations. By teaching best practices and discussing ethical concerns, I am confident we can use AI responsibly and ethically to help students improve their writing skills.

Humanities and Social Sciences

Hoda El Saadi, Arabic and Islamic Civilizations

I attended the Summer Institute on Reimaging Assessment in the Age of AI. Maha Bali and Hoda Mostafa led us smoothly for four days into the new world of AI. It was a dynamic, interactive and thought-provoking workshop

I joined the summer institute with many concerns; AI will weaken the quality of students and will corrupt academic integrity. It will diminish the value of authentic learning and will discourage the development of critical thinking skills.  All my concerns were addressed in the workshop; I realized that the problem is not in the AI, it is in how to use it intelligently. The workshop emphasized the importance of prompting to ensure you receive accurate, in-depth responses. The second important insight is how to assess students. The participants shared their experiences and I ended up with a pool of ideas that helped me in redesigning my student assessment for next semester:

  • Be transparent about your expectations for the use of AI
  • Encourage students to explore AI instead of avoiding it.
  • Ask students to deconstruct a text generated by AI
  • Project based assignments
  • Focus on the process more than the end product.
  • Open book exams
  • Oral exams
  • Put a bigger weight on class participation, discussions and activities.

Finally, I can say that AI is an unavoidable tool that can be well leveraged for learning. Battling AI is a fight that we will not win but we can use it as an opportunity for new forms of learning and pedagogy that can benefit both the instructors, and students.

Lisa Sabbahy, Egyptology (Sociology, Egyptology, Anthropology).

I found the summer Zoom workshop, Reimaging Assessment in the Age of AI, extremely helpful. I feel that I now understand what AI can do and what it cannot, and how I can adjust class assignments to bring out creativity  and thought while sticking to my syllabi. I don’t plan to allow use of AI in fall semester, and have changed the main text assignment in my History 1 class in such a way that AI would really not work because of the opinions that will be asked for and the creative map that will take the place of a summary.  What bothers me most about AI, is that we need to teach students how to research and how to write up their research in proper academic style. If they turn to AI those skills will not be learned.

School of Sciences and Engineering

Mohamed Darwish, Construction Engineering

Based on the fruitful discussions with the CLT team and my fellow colleagues in the workshop and in the consultation session, I redesigned the first project within the course “Selected topics on Egypt: Building for Underdeveloped Egyptian Communities” to include more experiential learning elements making it difficult for a student to use an AI tool to make the task for him/her. However, the usage of AI will be allowed as it can give the students some ideas to help them in initiating their project work but cannot do the full project for them due to the experiential learning element.

Soumaia Al Ayyat, Computer Science and Computer Engineering

I learned how we can integrate these tools into some of the assessments for students to grasp the level of accuracy of such tools, and how the students can add their own insights/reflections and suggestions for improving their results towards a better degree of critical thinking. I intend to ask students to cite the parts they used AI tools in, then I discuss these parts with them in an oral assessment after submission to assess if they grasped knowledge from what they cited. Also, I will include diagrams in some of the assignment questions since AI tools cannot handle diagrams at this stage. Furthermore, I will introduce non-English alphabets in the problem solving questions to add another level of difficulty to the questions. Finally, I will continue to ask students to answer the questions using the methods we applied in lectures; that adds a personalization to the questions that AI tools will not be able to predict in answering these questions.

What are you doing this semester?

Let us know in the comments what you’re trying this semester, and how it’s working for you so far.

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