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The Problem with AI Prompt Feedback (and How to Solve It)

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From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis
Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter


My students are writing a collaborative writing document following the principles I share in my book Reinventing Writing. But now I want to integrate AI feedback. Yesterday I demonstrated how to get AI feedback.

But something odd happened.

The kids kept coming to me for feedback. I would point them to AI but they just wanted me to do it. Why? They even wanted me to put it in AI for them.

So the purpose of this blog post is multipurpose:

  1. I want to take you through my thought process of developing content for using AI for student feedback. I want you to see how I use a custom GPT, move to ChatGPT (and why), and then open a new window for testing the prompts I wrote for my students.
  2. I want to take those of you not using AI (yet) into what it looks like to interact with AI, both how I'm conversing with AI and how it responds.
  3. I want you to see my issues and how I proceed at each step of the process.
  4. I hope you'll see the value of providing pre-written prompts to students for feedback and how to structure assignments for students to provide citations for their feedback on their section. This is helpful for so many reasons.
  5. To document my own thinking process as I evaluate this.
  6. To be part of the conversation of what it means to really teach in positive ways with AI for all of you out there doing the heavy lifting on developing tools for teachers.
  7. Because I love playing with tech and sharing! ;-)

Certainly, after I use this technique today, another stormy day in South Georgia, I'll ponder and share with you what I learn and how I'll change. So, here we go.

Improving the AI Feedback Process with Student Work​


As I wrestled with this problem overnight, it hit me this morning. What if I write prompts for the students to secure feedback? And what if I up it to one more level? What if I re-engineer the assignment description to make it more engaging?

Step 1: Using the Custom GPT Prompt Perfect to Help Me Write the Prompts​


So, I headed over to ChatGPT and found a new Custom GPT called “prompt perfect.” I thought it would help me develop the prompts I wanted for the students. It did give me some good results, but not quite what I was looking for. You can see that chat here.

Link to the AI Chat for This Step: https://chat.openai.com/share/08966672-3a20-44e3-bc2c-2a09254ec3c5

I asked it:

I'm working to write a prompt for my 8th grade students to give them feedback on this collaborative writing assignment. As a class, divide up the sections. I want you to research and information about how to do each of the following tasks. Write your name by the section you're writing. Make sure it has a screenshot. Do not copy from the web, it must be in your own words. This should be quick and simple to understand. You may add other sections that you think beginners need to know and cool things like hot-keys for potential class bonus. My rubric is this for each individual. 25 points contributed to the Google Doc (you won't be able to give feedback on that, but via the prompt, you can encourage the students to remember to edit. I will take 5 points off for each spelling, grammar or typo. I want the Mac skill to have a heading and then I want a short 2-4 sentence introduction explaining that topic. Then, I want a step by step instruction for how to do that task on the mac. Because this is a group grade a missing introduction will be -2 and lack of step by step instructions will be -3. If there is a mistake in the instruction that is a -2 also. I want to have a prompt to give my students that will use AI to write on an 8th grade level, give my students a bulleted list of what needs to be done on their section and a list of what points will be taken off for the mistakes in what they have pasted in. The prompt should include having the student paste in their work at the end of the prompt. I'm going to give the prompt to them on the assignment. I can also give them more than one prompt. This should be able to be pasted into an AI like ChatGPT to get feedback as a “first pass” – if you have it name the AI a funny name that is also a plus.

Mac Skills Prompt Creation, January 12, 2024, Using Prompt Perfect‘s Custom GPT

I did have to enter and link my account with “prompt perfect.” Here's the response.

REFINED: “Hello! I am seeking assistance in formulating a prompt for my 8th grade students who are currently engaged in a collaborative writing assignment centered around Mac skills. The objective of this prompt is to guide them in conducting research and providing explanations for various tasks related to Mac usage. In order to ensure proper organization and accountability, the prompt should instruct students to write their name next to the specific section they are working on, and include a screenshot as supporting evidence.

To maintain originality, clarity, and ease of comprehension, it is crucial that the content produced by the students is both concise and easy to understand. Furthermore, I would like the prompt to suggest the inclusion of additional sections on beginner tips and hot-keys, offering extra class credit as an incentive.

When assessing the students' work, the grading rubric should take into account their contribution to the assignment, while also imposing penalties for spelling and grammar errors. Specific deductions should be outlined for missing introductions or incorrect instructions.

To guide the students in creating their section, the prompt should encourage them to compile a bulleted list of tasks related to their assigned topic. Additionally, it should provide a clear outline of the potential point deductions that may be applicable.

Lastly, the prompt should motivate students to utilize AI feedback by pasting their work for evaluation. To add a touch of humor, it would be great if the prompt could suggest including a humorous AI name along with their submission.

I greatly appreciate your assistance in creating a prompt that meets these requirements. Thank you!”

ANSWER: Here is a suggested prompt for your students:



👩‍💻 Assignment: Mac Skills Mastery – Collaborative Writing Project

Hello, young tech wizards! Meet your new AI buddy, MacMaster Max, here to guide you through your Mac skills project. Dive into these exciting tasks and show off your tech prowess!

Your Mission:

  1. Choose Your Section: Pick a Mac skill from the list. Write your name next to it, claiming your tech territory!
  2. Research and Explain: Dig deep into your chosen skill. Write a clear and concise explanation about how to use it. Remember, no copying from the web – your words, your brilliance!
  3. Screenshot Magic: Show, don’t just tell. Include a screenshot demonstrating your skill in action.
  4. Extra Credit Challenges: Feeling adventurous? Add sections on beginner tips or hot-keys for bonus points!

Grading Rubric:

  • 25 Points for contributing a well-researched and explained section.
  • Deductions:
    • -5 Points for each spelling, grammar, or typo error.
    • -2 Points for missing an introduction to your section.
    • -3 Points for missing step-by-step instructions.
    • -2 Points if your instructions lead us down the wrong path (aka mistakes).

Bullet Your Way to Success: Create a bulleted list of tasks for your section, making it easy for MacMaster Max to understand and give you thumbs up!

Final Step: Paste your work below and let MacMaster Max sprinkle some AI magic for feedback. Ready, set, type!



Remember to give your best, keep it original, and have fun with MacMaster Max!

Choose a number to continue chat:

  1. How can I make the assignment more engaging for students?
  2. What are some common Mac skills that students should learn?
  3. Tips for creating effective educational prompts.
Mac Skills Prompt Creation, January 12, 2024, Using Prompt Perfect‘s Custom GPT

What I thought at this point: The Prompt Perfect GPT had a useful way of rewriting my prompt and actually formatted a nice assignment. I may go back to it to help me actually write assignments, but when this is done, I'm going to have ChatGPT help me write a prompt template so I don't have to struggle and go back and forth.

Step 2: Head Over to Regular Chat GPT 4, but Use What I Already Had​


So, what I really wanted was some prompts, but Prompt Perfect rewrote the assignment. It wasn't bad, and I actually liked it, but I really wanted a prompt, so I headed over to my regular ChatGPT 4 account and had this conversation.

Link to the Chat for This Step: https://chat.openai.com/share/7fa9677a-acd6-441b-b837-b164f871fc15

I re-asked and said I wanted it to help me develop feedback prompts. I pasted in the prompt from the other chat and asked for prompts. After the first request, I got OK prompts, but I was concerned they could not stand alone.

Then, I said

I need these prompts to stand alone as they won't be part of this prompt, so they need to make sure that they include the rubric. I also want it to give possible points they may lose with the mistakes if there are any and what needs to be done to correct them. I want any prompt result to be on an 8th grade level and to be simple and brief. I want them to paste in their work so the MacMaster Max can give feedback and I want them to name the AI using the prompt. Each prompt should stand alone. I like prompts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8

AI Feedback Prompt Development, January 12, 2024, Using ChatGPT 4.0

So, told the AI which of the prompts I liked by referencing the number. I also told the AI what I wanted the prompts to do by helping quantify issues for students by sharing possible points that could be deducted. Now, I got some nice prompts…

  1. Clarity Check
    • Prompt: “MacMaster Max, please check if my explanation of [specific Mac skill] is clear. Am I losing points for clarity?”
    • Feedback Focus: Clear and understandable explanation.
    • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for clarity.
    • Deductions: Lose 2-5 points for unclear explanations.
    • Correction: Simplify language or add more detail for clarity.
  2. Accuracy Assessment
    • Prompt: “Hey MacMaster Max, are the steps in my [specific task] accurate? Could I lose points for inaccuracies?”
    • Feedback Focus: Accuracy of steps.
    • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for accuracy.
    • Deductions: Lose 3 points for each inaccurate step.
    • Correction: Verify steps and correct any inaccuracies.
  3. Engagement Evaluation
    • Prompt: “MacMaster Max, is my section on [topic] engaging? How many points might I lose if it's not?”
    • Feedback Focus: Engagement and interest level.
    • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for engagement.
    • Deductions: Lose up to 5 points for lack of engagement.
    • Correction: Add interesting facts or examples to enhance engagement.
  4. Grammar and Spelling Review
    • Prompt: “MacMaster Max, check my grammar and spelling. What points am I risking here?”
    • Feedback Focus: Spelling and grammar accuracy.
    • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for correct grammar and spelling.
    • Deductions: Lose 5 points for each error.
    • Correction: Correct spelling and grammar mistakes.
  5. Structure and Organization
    • Prompt: “Does my piece flow logically, MacMaster Max? Could I lose points for poor structure?”
    • Feedback Focus: Logical flow and organization.
    • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for good structure.
    • Deductions: Lose 2-5 points for poor organization.
    • Correction: Rearrange content for better flow and coherence.
  6. Brevity and Conciseness
    • Prompt: “MacMaster Max, is my explanation too wordy? What's the cost in points for being too lengthy?”
    • Feedback Focus: Conciseness and brevity.
    • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for conciseness.
    • Deductions: Lose up to 5 points for wordiness.
    • Correction: Eliminate unnecessary words and focus on key points.
  7. Visual Aid Effectiveness
    • Prompt: “MacMaster Max, does my screenshot for [specific skill] help my explanation? What points might I lose if it doesn't?”
    • Feedback Focus: Effectiveness of visual aids.
    • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for effective visuals.
    • Deductions: Lose up to 5 points for ineffective or missing visuals.
    • Correction: Choose a more relevant or clearer screenshot.
AI Feedback Prompt Development, January 12, 2024, Using ChatGPT 4.0

What I thought at this point:
Modify the Prompt. So, I thought I needed to add a place for students to paste in their work.
Test the Prompt. Then, I also thought that I needed to make sure I tested the prompts to ensure they respond as I want it to. I want this to be a positive experience for students and also to improve their final product.
Rewrite the assignment so students will share the link with them. Additionally, I know that as a teacher that I have to encourage the behaviors I'm trying to teach. In my effort to show students the positive uses of AI for learning (AI as coach and feedback tool), I have to supervise the AI they will be using.
Require the use of AI feedback on each section. So, I went back and required that each section must use at least two of the prompts for feedback and they must link to the AI feedback conversation.
Add one day to the assignment. The students feel like their group work is close. As I read over, I know it is not, so I'm going to extend this assignment by one day and demonstrate how to use AI for feedback using the prompts I've given them. I'm updating the assignment as well. (See below for final assignment.)
Words I'll use with students to emphasize human strengths for feedback. One point of clarity with students is that AI is just to help them and give them feedback. I'm the final authority in the classroom and will be grading their work according to what I've taught them. AI can help but feedback from peers who are also in the classroom is helpful.

3. Testing the Prompts.​


So these prompts were pretty good. So, I decided to test it on my demo text from the document. I didn't want any previous communication with ChatGPT to influence the result of the prompt, so I opened a new chat window. I posted in the “clarity check” prompt and then pasted in my content on this chat.

AI Conversation Used for This Step: https://chat.openai.com/share/818f2eb2-6aad-49f1-92b9-1bc7057f11c5

I also wanted to demonstrate my use of AI for feedback to revise my demo section for them. I will share this prompt in the assignment to show how I did this with my own section.

I was very pleased with the result with the exception that it offered to help rewrite the explanation. I don't want that. Of course students will be sharing the link to the chat with me, so I'll make sure they don't have it rewrite for them. They are required to cite the use of AI and I'm requiring at least two areas of feedback for this assignment.

Feedback for a Sample Student on this Assignment​

Your explanation of how to enable and customize the right-click function on a Mac is quite clear, but there are a few areas where it could be improved for even greater clarity. Here's a breakdown:

  1. Introduction: You've clearly stated the purpose of the section, which is to help users fix the issue of the right-click not working on a Mac. This is straightforward and sets a clear expectation for the reader.
  2. Instructions:
    • Turning on the Mouse: The instruction to turn on the mouse by flipping it and switching to see the green side is clear. However, specifying that this is for an Apple Magic Mouse could enhance clarity.
    • Accessing the Search Bar: The instruction to press “Command” and “Spacebar” is clear. It might be helpful to mention that this action opens Spotlight Search for those who might not be familiar with the term ‘search bar'.
    • Enabling Secondary Click: The steps to type “Mouse” and then select “Click Right Side” under “Secondary Click” are clear. However, it could be slightly confusing when you mention to click where it says “Off.” It might be clearer to instruct the user to look for the “Secondary Click” option and then choose “Click on Right Side.”
    • Customizing the Mouse: The instructions for customization are clear but repetitive. You could simplify this by saying, “To further customize your mouse settings, follow the same steps to open the Mouse preferences.”
  3. Overall Clarity: Your explanation is mostly clear, but there are minor areas where simplification and additional detail could enhance understanding.

Based on this assessment, I would score your explanation around 21-23 out of 25 points for clarity. To improve your score, consider the following adjustments:

  • Specify that the instructions are for an Apple Magic Mouse (if applicable).
  • Replace “search bar” with “Spotlight Search” for clarity.
  • Clarify the instruction on enabling the right-click by focusing on the “Secondary Click” option.
  • Simplify the customization part to avoid repetition.
Improve Mac Right Click Clarity, January 12, 2024, Using ChatGPT 4.0

I am continuing to run all of the prompts to check them and will provide the link to my students on the assignment.

The Final Assignment​


Here's the final assignment

301 B A Beginner's Guide to Using a Mac Manual​


Vicki Davis



Jan 10 (Edited 10:22 AM)

100 points

Due Jan 16, 3:30 PM

As a class, divide up the sections. I want you to research and information about how to do each of the following tasks. Write your name by the section you're writing. Make sure it has a screenshot. Do not copy from the web, it must be in your own words.

This should be quick and simple to understand.

You may add other sections that you think beginners need to know and cool things like hot-keys for potential class bonus.

Hello, young tech wizards! Meet your new AI buddy, , here to guide you through your Mac skills project. Dive into these exciting tasks and show off your tech prowess!
Pick a Mac skill from the list. Please write your name next to it, claiming your tech territory! Dig deep into your chosen skill. Write a clear and concise explanation about how to use it. Remember, no copying from the web – your words, your brilliance! Show, don’t just tell. Include a screenshot demonstrating your skill in action. Feeling adventurous? Add sections on beginner tips or hot-keys for bonus points!

  • for contributing a well-researched and explained section.
  • for each spelling, grammar, or typo error.
  • for missing an introduction to your section.
  • for missing step-by-step instructions.
  • if your instructions lead us down the wrong path (aka mistakes).

Create a bulleted list of tasks for your section, making it easy for MacMaster Max to understand and give you thumbs up!

Paste one of the prompts below into Chat GPT or Perplexity.ai and let sprinkle some AI magic for feedback. Ready, set, type! You must use at least 2 AI feedback items for your section. Paste them as a reference at the bottom of your section:

Prompt: “MacMaster Max, please check if my explanation of [specific Mac skill] is clear. Am I losing points for clarity?”
Feedback Focus: Clear and understandable explanation.
Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for clarity.
Deductions: Lose 2-5 points for unclear explanations.
Correction: Simplify language or add more detail for clarity.

  • Prompt: “Hey MacMaster Max, are the steps in my [specific task] accurate? Could I lose points for inaccuracies?”
  • Feedback Focus: Accuracy of steps.
  • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for accuracy.
  • Deductions: Lose 3 points for each inaccurate step.
  • Correction: Verify steps and correct any inaccuracies.
  • My work is pasted here: [paste in your work]


  • Prompt: “MacMaster Max, is my section on [topic] engaging? How many points might I lose if it's not?”
  • Feedback Focus: Engagement and interest level.
  • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for engagement.
  • Deductions: Lose up to 5 points for lack of engagement.
  • Correction: Add interesting facts or examples to enhance engagement.
  • My work is pasted here: [paste in your work]


  • Prompt: “MacMaster Max, check my grammar and spelling. What points am I risking here?”
  • Feedback Focus: Spelling and grammar accuracy.
  • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for correct grammar and spelling.
  • Deductions: Lose 5 points for each error.
  • Correction: Correct spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • My work is pasted here: [paste in your work]


  • Prompt: “Does my piece flow logically, MacMaster Max? Could I lose points for poor structure?”
  • Feedback Focus: Logical flow and organization.
  • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for good structure.
  • Deductions: Lose 2-5 points for poor organization.
  • Correction: Rearrange content for better flow and coherence.
  • My work is pasted here: [paste in your work]


  • Prompt: “MacMaster Max, is my explanation too wordy? What's the cost in points for being too lengthy?”
  • Feedback Focus: Conciseness and brevity.
  • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for conciseness.
  • Deductions: Lose up to 5 points for wordiness.
  • Correction: Eliminate unnecessary words and focus on key points.
  • My work is pasted here: [paste in your work]


  • Prompt: “MacMaster Max, does my screenshot for [specific skill] help my explanation? What points might I lose if it doesn't?”
  • Feedback Focus: Effectiveness of visual aids.
  • Rubric Points: Up to 25 points for effective visuals.
  • Deductions: Lose up to 5 points for ineffective or missing visuals.
  • Correction: Choose a more relevant or clearer screenshot.
  • My work is pasted here: [paste in your work]

You can see how I used the AI Feedback link for the first demo section that I wrote for this assignment: https://chat.openai.com/share/818f2eb2-6aad-49f1-92b9-1bc7057f11c5

Assignment in Google Classroom

I am exciting about this process. If you're using AI prompts and writing them for students, I'd love to hear from you. I'm taking a short break on social media so you'll need to email me at vicki at coolcatteacher dot com. Thanks!

Template for Creating Engaging Assignmetns and Feedback Prompts​


Here's a template you can try and use.

Template for Creating Engaging Assignments and Feedback Prompts​


Part 1: Crafting the Assignment

  1. Assignment Title: Choose a catchy and relevant title.
  2. Introduction: Briefly introduce the topic or concept.
  3. Objective: Clearly state the learning objective.
  4. Task Description: Describe the assignment tasks in a fun and engaging manner.
  5. Additional Challenges: Include optional challenges for extra credit or deeper exploration.
  6. Grading Rubric: Outline the criteria for grading, including points for creativity, accuracy, and presentation.
  7. Humor and Engagement: Add a touch of humor or an engaging element to make the assignment more relatable.

Part 2: Developing Feedback Prompts

  1. Prompt Structure:
    • Start with a friendly greeting to the AI (e.g., “Hello AI Assistant, …”).
    • Clearly state the specific aspect of the assignment for feedback (e.g., clarity, accuracy).
    • Mention potential point deductions and ask for advice on improvement.
  2. Feedback Focus Areas:
    • Clarity and Understanding
    • Accuracy of Content
    • Engagement and Interest
    • Grammar and Spelling
    • Structure and Organization
    • Creativity and Originality
    • Visual Aid Effectiveness
  3. Rubric Reference: Ensure each prompt references the grading rubric, highlighting potential deductions and areas for improvement.
  4. Simplicity and Clarity: Keep the language simple and clear, suitable for the grade level.
  5. Customization: Encourage teachers to adapt the prompts to fit the specific needs of their assignment and student group.

Example Template Usage

  1. Assignment Creation:
    • Title: “Ecosystem Explorers”
    • Introduction: A brief intro to ecosystems.
    • Objective: Understand and describe different ecosystems.
    • Task Description: Research and present an ecosystem, including flora, fauna, and climate.
    • Additional Challenges: Create a digital diorama.
    • Grading Rubric: Points for research depth, presentation, creativity.
    • Humor/Engagement: Include a fictional species in your ecosystem.
  2. Feedback Prompt Creation:
    • “Hello AI Assistant, can you check if my description of the rainforest ecosystem is clear and accurate? According to the rubric, I might lose up to 5 points for inaccuracies. How can I improve it?”
AI Feedback on Mac Assignment, January 12, 2024

The post The Problem with AI Prompt Feedback (and How to Solve It) appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
 
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