We don’t give students rubrics. Why is that?

A question mark on a board in an old classroom

The case against rubrics “Why don’t you give students rubrics when they provide peer feedback in Short Answer?” It’s a question we hear often from teachers and administrators. Answering it requires a quick review of learning research. Inspired by the work of Dr. Greg Ashman (2015) and the analysis of Dr. Dylan Wiliam, the images […]

AI detectors don’t work. What does that mean for K12 writing instruction?

Picture of student typing

An Inflection Point for K12 Writing K12 writing instruction is at an important inflection point.  New AI tools like ChatGPT have turned long-held practices upside down. Teachers, especially those teaching ELA classes, are caught between wanting to teach their students to use these new tools effectively while also being required to measure what students can […]

3 Helpful Teacher AI Prompts from Short Answer

What is an AI Prompt? An AI “prompt” is a written directive given to an AI model (e.g. ChatGPT) instructing it to generate a specific type of response. For teachers, learning how to craft effective AI prompts can transform instruction, administration, and communication tasks that previously consumed prep periods (and personal lives). In this post, […]

Crafting Questions & Feedback Criteria in Short Answer

Tips for Creating Questions Open-Ended: Use open-ended questions or writing prompts (see image below). Phrases like “Explain why…,” “Describe how…,” or “What do you think about…?” will be helpful. For more sentence stems, download our free question guide. Use the sentence stems from boxes 2, 3, and 4. Try to avoid box 1, as students […]

Battle Royale Explained

Icon of tournament bracket

Meet Battle Royale Battle Royale is Short Answer’s newest activity type. Watch the video and read the description below to find out more about how and why you might use it in your classroom. https://youtu.be/wNYOW2HePmA How does it work? Battle Royale is a tournament-style activity where students vote in groups to decide the strongest class […]

Feedback and writing assessment in an AI-Infused world with Norris Public Schools

Image of a classroom PD session at Norris Schools

Writing Assessment for an AI Infused World 2023 marks the first full school year in which students have access to powerful artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT. This brings incredible new teaching and learning potential,  but also new challenges, especially when it comes to writing assessment. Seeking to balance this challenge and optimize teacher feedback workflows, […]

Improving Feedback Presentation Resources

Improving Feedback

Presentation Resources 1. Presentation Slides 2. Socrative 3. Short Answer All-In Tutorial Pair-It Tutorial 4. Poe.AI 5. Google Slides Activity (LIVE DEMO LINK) 6. Google Slides Activity Template (Click File–>Make a Copy to save your own) 7. Dr. Dylan Wiliam’s Embedded Formative Assessment 8. Kluger & Denisi 1996 Study on Feedback

A New, Evidence-Based Decision Making AI Tool for Educators

Picture of a stack of research journals

There is clearly a lot of angst surrounding AI in education at the moment. Many folks are excited, but just as many are nervous. As one English teacher put it in our Short Answer Teacher Community recently, “It’s all moving SO fast. I’m having a hard time keeping up!” New tools seem to come out every […]

Case Study: Short Answer Presents at MACE 2023

Image of teachers working on computers during a PD session with Short Answer

Short Answer co-founder Adam Sparks had the privilege of leading an interactive session titled Peer Feedback, Wine Tasting, and More Effective Formative Assessment at the 2023 Mid-American Association for Computers in Education (MACE)  spring conference in Manhattan, Kansas. In this case study, we share highlights, feedback, and implications for school districts interested in leveraging similar strategies […]

Case Study: Boosting Formative Assessment with Papillion La Vista Community Schools

Photo of Staff at professional develop session with Short Answer

Papillion La Vista Community Schools (PLCS) is a diverse educational community outside Omaha, Nebraska. As the fourth-largest school district in the state, PLCS serves approximately 11,600 students in 2 high schools, 3 middle schools, 16 elementary schools, and 2 learning academies. It is one of the most consistently innovative districts in the state, always seeking […]