How might we leverage AI technology and tools to analyze, interpret, and extract meaningful feedback and data from Edsby to optimize time for teaching and learning?
Since our last Cohort 21 meeting, my thinking on my ‘How might we…’ question has shifted to focus more on how we can preserve teaching and learning with the integration of AI, with a specific focus on providing more rich feedback to students to help them see greater success.
As an educator, I consider myself to be a bit of an assessment nerd, which at this point in my life, I can say with pride. I always strive to modify assessments within my English department, integrate more timely and rich feedback that outlines areas of strength and growth, and infuse more observations and conversations into a subject that feels very product heavy. This year I led the department in revisiting some of our assessments with the following questions: What skill are we hoping to help students build with this assessment? Is this skill relevant to the ever-changing landscape of what skills will be needed to ensure student success in the future? This resulted in some changes so far, which included focusing more on the process than the product with our 5-paragraph essay and scaping the short story assignment altogether for one that instead focuses on the features of writing to describe. You may be thinking, but how does this relate to your ‘How might we…” question? I promise I am getting to it…
I often wish that our education reality involved one where assessments do not contain marks, only feedback. In my experience, students become so hyper-focused on the mark that often the feedback is ignored or forgotten. Talk about a missed opportunity! With that being said, the likelihood of education dropping marks and shifting to a system that only provides feedback seems like a pipedream, so moving on!
I noticed in my new role this year that many of my colleagues’ grade books on Edsby only contain a mark for their assessments; however, that is not to say that feedback isn’t being provided to students because I am sure it is, but likely in other places like their OneNote binders, their Google Docs, or orally. When I asked some of my colleagues as to why they are not putting their feedback into Edsby, the response that was shared over and over was… drumroll please…time.
For those of us who have lived the report card writing hibernation experience, we know it can be very stressful and tiring. I will be the first to throw my hands up and admit, that my lessons are likely not as exciting during the hibernation period. With AI technology popping up everywhere, why can’t we utilize this technology to help with our report card writing? I do not mean simply asking ChatGPT to write a report card comment for a specific grade and subject, but rather, using an AI tool to read my teacher’s feedback to a student to construct the comment. This would save teachers so much time (and maybe even cause less stress), so long as they are keeping their feedback to students in one space, like the Edsby gradebook in my case. Refining a precise prompt takes time, and I intend to play around with it more as we approach our term 2 report card comments, but at the end of the day, wouldn’t we like to have more time to focus on teaching and learning instead of countless hours trying to determine the best sentence to describe a student’s past achievements? We spend countless hours on a document dated by the time students read it…if they read it. I think we can do a better job at using our time and with AI technology readily available, it’s time to revisit how we write these report cards.