What can we assess with articles and reviews?
The types of task that fit under this heading include
- reading an article and writing or presenting a review
- writing an article on a topic for a defined audience
- writing a review of an event, process, experience
As noted in design below, depending on the learning outcomes our focus could be the product (the review or the article), the process (reviewing, presenting, writing) or both.
All of the above require the students to:
- have a in-depth understanding of the topic / article (knowledge / comprehension)
- be able to abstract the pertinent information (analysis / evaluation)
- (re-)order the information in a concise manner (application / synthesis)
- present the information at the appropriate level of the stated audience (presentation / empathy).
The usual audience for essays is the academic tutor; in this case we could define the reader / listener as a New Scientist reader / Times reader / etc. The ability to mimic genre/style and generate text for specific contexts is one of Generative AIs superpowers, so you will need to think carefully how far you prioritise this in your ILOs or assessment criteria, or make the creation/thought process more visible through reflective work or other mechanism. Alternatively you could ask your student to act as 'editor' for one of these publications and critique/revise a piece produced by AI.
Asking for a review of a very contemporary event is unlikely to be 'AI proof'. Moving away from text-based articles, for example assigning a photo-essay or story, a scrapbook, or video review of an event or experience might be an alternative options.
Diversity & inclusion
The range of possible topics [home and international] and appropriate choice of time frames for completion of the task [particular needs] will help make the task more inclusive.
Adding a requirement to make these assignments reflect current contexts can help to reduce year-to-year plagiarism. (Click here for further guidance on academic integrity.)
Student and staff experience
The contemporary and authentic nature of this task will, doubtless, interest students leading to positive engagement.
Ensuring that students are clear about the expectations - we have called this section essay variants and students need to be clear that this is not just an essay and understand fully the required format and expectations. You may need to think carefully about assessment criteria and how you are going to communicate these to students.
We might need to check that students do not spend too long on this sort of task to the detriment of other work.
Multiple titles can add to the setting, specifying and marking load for staff. You might care to consider peer assessment as a means to reduce the load.