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A targeted, personal 24/7 writing feedback tutor

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In a postgraduate Education unit at the University of Sydney, students (who are in-service teachers) need to write a reflective account of their professional practice for two of their assessments, in the style of a Fellowship application to AdvanceHE UK. This can be a difficult task because it is an unfamiliar framework and reflective writing about teaching is an unfamiliar genre to many of the students in the unit.

The unit coordinators have designed a Cogniti agent to provide a 24/7 personal teaching case writing tutor for all students in the unit. Cogniti is steered, via a carefully crafted system prompt, to act as a mentor and not an editor or writer. The agent is also given the rubric for the assessment, so that Cogniti is able to provide specific feedback on expected standards. Resources are also provided to the agent – these include extended guidance around the UKPSF.

This means that the Cogniti agent is able to draw from reliable sources about the expected standards, and provide more accurate advice and feedback to students that is aligned to the requirements of the unit. Since the agent is powered by GPT-4, hosted by Microsoft Azure, the information entered by students is safe and private. The agent is available to all students in the unit, addressing equity issues around access. The agent will also not write the assessment for students, nor will it stray into answering questions about other topics.

Check out the screenshot below for an example of how this steered and resourced Cogniti agent helps students think through their assessment.