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A Focus on Practice Means There is No Need to Panic about AI Writing

“Show Your Work!”

This is what my math teachers and chemistry teachers used to ask on every exam. Even if we could use a calculator in algebra, we had to show our work so that the teacher could get a sense of how we were thinking and reasoning our way through a problem.

In writing but also in other disciplines, with a simple prompt, students can use AI to produce some impressive first drafts that aren’t their own. If you only see or grade a first draft of student thinking or writing, then what are you seeing?

What work do you need to see to trust that students are learning?

If we want students to show the work that matters to learning, to show where they are practicing the things that have been shown to lead to improvement, writing teachers will tell you that you need to see two things:

  1. Criterion-referenced review
  2. Revision

Writing teachers might recognize these two things as the steps of the writing process beyond drafting. Write-Review-Revise. Repeat! A similar process is true for learning in other disciplines where students demonstrate their understanding, get feedback, and revise that understanding.

To focus on writing instruction, for example, students become more confident and more proficient writers when they practice giving good quality (i.e. criterion-referenced) feedback and using feedback to plan and carry out revision. But students need adequate practice to improve. Our research has shown that with enough repetitions, at the right frequency, and at the right level of quality, review and revision practice improves student writing performance. Our colleagues at the University of California Santa-Barbara agree. Their first-generation learners perform better and also feel a greater sense of belonging. And as in any practice, learners benefit when there is a guide, a coach, a teacher to help them practice consistently.

We built Eli Review with this kind of practice in mind. Eli helps students practice review and revision so they can improve as writers. Eli allows students to show their work so teachers can trust the results to be the result of quality practice.

No matter where the first draft comes from, its the work students do during review and revision to improve a draft that makes better writers…AND better writing. If you are interested in having students show their work, Eli can help!

A Focus on Practice Means There is No Need to Panic about AI Writing was published to the Eli Review Blog in the category Uncategorized.

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