Assignments and Evaluations

We recommend you consider ways that you can deter common AI occurrences in essay and research-paper assignments by the way they are designed. For example, you may choose to use the University’s plagiarism detection tool, a textual-similarity detection tool as an efficient way to identify common writing issues and plagiarism in course assignments. Or, you may reach out to your divisional educational technology contacts for discipline-specific detection tools.


  • Frequently share/discuss your course learning outcomes with your students.
  • Scaffold or build assignments so that students are working towards a final product for submission. This effective approach benefits the students’ writing and learning and also creates authentic conditions that are more likely to deter AI issues.
  • Check-in and communicate regularly with students during the assignment time period. This way, students will be less likely to seek out their peers for (mis)information.
  • Provide rubrics and grading criteria to ensure students know what is expected of them in the assessment, also reducing inappropriate or misguided peer-peer communication.
  • Anticipate the need for accommodation of students with disabilities completing online assessments and be prepared to provide alternatives.

Try this:

  • Explore the idea of changing assessment entirely to adopt more authentic demonstrations of knowledge and skills as described in this resource, rather than moving traditional assessment online.
  • Introduce your students to the overarching learning outcomes and goals for the course. Students appreciate knowing that activities and assessments in the course are intentionally chosen – remind them how each aligns with learning goals.
  • Authentic assessment is an effective way to reduce cases of AI and draws on Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • Map out scaffolded assignments so that students’ work is clearly drawing on their previous outlines, drafts and bibliographies submitted in the course.
    • You might request that students submit earlier draft materials throughout the course, to help ensure they are completing the work on their own and to schedule.
  • Students left on their own for large assignments tend to get into trouble, including plagiarism. Here are some deterring plagiarism alternatives.
  • Make assignments specific to your course experience. Base them on material covered in classes and tutorials (including class discussions and student presentations), not solely on extra reading or out-of-class work. Also make clear that tests and exams will require mastery of work completed for assignments.
  • Ask real questions in your discipline, and let students know that you expect engaged critical thinking. Encourage speculation based on evidence and reasoning, not just compilation of existing information or expression of unsupported personal opinion.
  • Create a plagiarism detection tool assignment in your Quercus course to which students submit their assignments electronically for analysis.
  • Consider using an AI Checklist (Appendix 2). Students can submit the checklist with their assignments throughout your course. This checklist would be discussed well in advance of the assignment to educate and prepare students adequately for what they are agreeing to do to address AI.
  • Review the Accessibility Checklist for Faculty: Planning for Online Courses.
  • Consult ‘15 Strategies to Detect Contract Cheating’ for additional ideas to ensure AI is upheld.

How to: