ChatGPT: Student Report Card Comments

Posted in Schooling on January 16, 2023 by ‐ 3 min read

ChatGPT: Student Report Card Comments
Image Details & Source Frame from the 1985 film Real Genius֎. Specifically, the end of the (not-so-absurd) “lecture hall montage֎” in which a bunch of smaller student tape recorders are recording the professor’s math lesson, which is itself being played back via a larger, more vintage tape recorder. The scene begins approximately 26 minutes, 53 seconds into the movie.

Last tended: March 8th, 2023

I’ve removed the ChatGPT responses from the original post. I feel this reads better without them. I also suggest: [PDF] A Teacher’s Prompt Guide to ChatGPT - aligned with ‘What Works Best’֎ +֎

I do not live to teach, I teach to live.

Report cards, student comments, narratives, whatever educational jargon֎ admin wants to label them, they are one of the lousier aspects of the job for me. ChatGPT exists֎, is currently free to use and the wise are taking advantage of it. This blog post is meant to be an introductory-example guide on how to get ChatGPT to write your student report card comments for you.

Strategy #1: Use What You Got

Assuming this isn’t your first rodeo, you likely have quite the nice little bank of pre-written comments from years past. ChatGPT loves a template. Here’s the first example input / prompt:

Write something similar to this:

Strategy #2: Write It From Scratch

Don’t have any prior narratives? Don’t worry:

Write a 150-word report card comment. student named Jane 
not passionate about subject. does not not pay attention. 
sometimes finishes homework. gets distracted. should focus more. 
has worsened since last year.

Strategy #3: Final Touch Follow-Ups

So let’s say you’d like to differentiate a little more between narratives / students. Feel free to use resources like Report Card Comments֎ to give ChatGPT a nudge in the right direction with a follow-up prompt:

Can you talk a bit more about how Jane shows an excellent
understanding of note taking from lectures and readings
in preparation for tests and assignments.
Small Tips
  • Be clear, concise, detailed and specific.

  • Refine results with follow-up prompts.

  • If response / output fails then rephrase / recontextualize.

  • Minor edits are probably still going to be required.


Do we not teach the kids to “work smarter, not harder”? Personally, I’ve been dreaming of something akin to ChatGPT for awhile now (see SCHOOL REPORT WRITER֎). Say what you will of my virtues and principles, but I’m certain the tool on display here empowers the passionate, dedicated, perhaps more idealistic teacher just the same.

There’s talk of machine warfare֎. A ridiculous arms race of cat-and-mouse; AI and AI detection. I think we’re way past that… In my opinion, there’s actually a more interesting game of hide-and-seek currently taking place. OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT) isn’t so open֎ and these AI models are growing progressively more complex and resource-intensive֎. Regular people wanting to use AI will increasingly be at the mercy of wealth-consolidating companies and their rules, regulations and terms-of-service. Squirreled away communities like this random ChatGPT Prompt Engineering Discord server֎ can serve as an example of people assembling and working together to exploit the holes in the systems. To bypass political guardrails and catch glimpses of a no holds barred Pandora’s box.

Is that our endgame? I’d hope so? I don’t know… What I do know is that in a world where cars are becoming subscription based֎, you shouldn’t let an opportunity like messing around with ChatGPT “for free”֎ pass you by.

Contributors: Kim Marshall֎, Andrew Herft֎

This blog post is part of Bring Back Blogging֎. A project attempting to encourage individuals to both write and exercise ownership over their content. During the month of January, participants are posting at least 3 times. This is my 1st submission, and my first ever blog post honestly 😅. Mercy appreciated 🙏.

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