Educators Aren’t Always Asking the Right Questions about AI | Tim Quinn | 5 Min Read

November 10, 2023

Since the release of ChatGPT just under a year ago, educators everywhere have been in a state of panic. This has primarily been because of concerns over how easy it makes it for students to cheat or plagiarize. However, regardless of the tools at their disposal, we know that students cheat when they are under stress, do not have the support needed to do their best work, or feel the assignments are irrelevant.   Thus, while Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) certainly makes cheating easier to do and harder to detect and prove, the same solutions still apply. 

Writing can be done in class, and it is not the only thing we can assign. Students can complete projects, design experiments, engage in debates or dialogue, produce artifacts, and give speeches or performances. All of these often require the same thinking skills we are assessing when we assign an extended essay. In short, we can ask students to demonstrate evidence of their learning in ways that are directly observable.  And when we do ask students to write outside of class, we should assign them topics that matter to them and that they have some expertise in and knowledge…

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Tim Quinn

Tim Quinn is the Chief Academic Officer and Dean of Faculty at Miss Porter's School in Farmington, CT, where he also teaches English and philosophy, coaches lacrosse, and serves as an advisor. Quinn, an independent school graduate attended Westminster School (CT) before going on to earn his B.A. from Amherst College and Ed.M from Harvard University. Quinn has taught at a range of independent schools in the U.S. and abroad, including Avon Old Farms (CT), Seoul International School (Korea), and Westminster School (CT). Before coming to Miss Porter's he served as the Assistant Head of Upper School at the University School of Milwaukee (WI) and as the Head of Upper School at the Tatnall School (DE). Quinn is the author of the 2013 book On Grades and Grading: Supporting Student Learning through a more Transparent and Purposeful Use of Grades, and has published articles in a number of prominent educational journals, such as Kappan Magazine, Independent School Magazine, and The English Journal. This coming summer, Quinn will begin his Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania.