Post by Tom Daccord
[INTRO: A recent national report by the Watson Foundation found that teachers are using ChatGPT more than students and are using it to create new lesson ideas. To help out all of our teacher friends, we are offering a series of posts focused on practical ways that you can use ChatGPT to assist with own lesson design! (Check out our first tip here!) Each post will focus on a practical strategy for using ChatGPT and will include ideas for both elementary and secondary school teachers. Here is the second part of our series:]
Teacher Tip #2 Quizzes and Tests
Why quizzes and tests?
ChatGPT is particularly useful in building quizzes and tests for standardized content and it can also save teachers much time. And in-class quizzes and tests are especially useful now since ChatGPT can complete many take-home assignments being tasked to students.
How to use ChatGPT for Quizzes and Tests
First, it’s important to provide context in your prompt(s) so that ChatGPT can construct questions that are appropriate for the level and abilities of your students. So, think about whether any of the following information would be useful in constructing a prompt for ChatGPT:
What is the grade level of your students? What is the age of your students?
What is the name of the course being tested? Are students taking a standardized course, such as Algebra II or AP English Literature?
Is there any other information or context that would help ChatGPT prompt appropriate questions for your quiz or test?
Second, upload any specific content you would like to use as the basis of a quiz or test. For example, if you are testing their understanding of information in a handout, upload that handout to ChatGPT. Note that you can also upload a podcast, lecture, or YouTube video transcript to ChatGPT.
If you do upload content, keep in mind that if you are using the subscription-based ChatGPT-4 (GPT version 4.0) you can upload up to 25,000 words of content. But if you are using the free version of ChatGPT-3.5 (GPT version 3.5) you are limited to about 3000 words of content.
Additionally, if you are using ChatGPT-4 you can upload images and ChatGPT can provide you with detailed descriptions of the images. But if you are using the free version of ChatGPT (GPT version 3.5) you can only upload text.
ChatGPT is able to provide quiz and exam questions for a standardized course, such as Algebra II and AP American History, so you do not need to upload content for these courses.
Third, think about the types of questions ChatGPT can include in your quiz or exam:
- Multiple-choice questions
- Flashcard set
- True or false questions
- Fill-in-the-blank questions
- Short answer questions
- Matching questions
- Essay questions
- Problem-solving questions: These questions require students to apply knowledge and skills to solve a problem or answer a question.
- Diagram or picture-based questions: These questions require students to interpret and analyze a diagram or picture.
- Interactive questions: These questions require students to interact with digital media, such as videos or animations, to answer a question.
- For example: Watch an animated story and choose the correct sequence of events from a list of options. (primary school students)
- Watch a simulation of a chemical reaction and answer questions about the products and reactants involved. (secondary school students)
Generating Quiz or Test Questions
As mentioned above, ChatGPT is able to provide quiz and exam questions for a standardized course, such as Geometry I or AST Subject Tests. But, with less standardized content, you may have to undertake some careful “prompt engineering” to arrive at questions appropriate for your students.
Here are three examples of quiz or test questions ChatGPT can formulate for a standardized course, Geometry I:
In a right-angled triangle, which of the following trigonometric ratios represents the ratio of the length of the side opposite the right angle to the length of the hypotenuse?
True or False: All the angles in an equilateral triangle measure 60 degrees.
Given a rectangle with a length of 12 cm and a width of 5 cm, calculate the area and the perimeter of the rectangle.
Next, here is an attempt to engineer a prompt to produce a 3rd grade quiz on plant life :
“I am teaching a class of 3rd grade students who are studying plant life. They are learning the importance of soil in plant life and are required to know the following terms: Humus, Nutrients, Sand, Silt, Clay, Soil, and Topsoil. Formulate a quiz of 10 questions appropriate for 3rd grade students that include: multiple-choice questions, true or false questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, and short-answer questions. Also, include one problem-solving question.”
Note: If you are using ChatGPT-4 you might include a diagram-based question.
So, here is a sample of the questions ChatGPT provided:
Nutrients in the soil are essential for plants to grow and develop.
The three main types of soil particles are ____, ____, and ____.
How does humus help plants grow?
Which soil particle has the smallest size?
Problem-solving: If a plant needs nutrients to grow, but the soil it’s planted in doesn’t have enough nutrients, what can you do to help the plant grow?
Does the language above seem appropriate for a 3rd-grade class? Herein lies the challenge; it can take some effort to generate appropriate questions for a specific reading level. It can be done, but it may take some time to ultimately craft an effective prompt.
Remember, ChatGPT may not always respond exactly as you expect. However, with a bit of creativity and effective prompts, ChatGPT can be a useful and engaging tool for creating quizzes and exams for your students.
–by Tom Daccord, with help from ChatGPT
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