5 ways our AI lesson assistant can help you encourage metacognition

Thomas Courtley, ex teacher and LessonUp education specialist

Thomas Courtley

Education Specialist

Student thinking, Van Gogh style painting, image generated with AI

If you use our toolkit for teachers, you can always choose whether to create a digital lesson completely by yourself, or with the support of our AI assistant. One of the great things about our AI integration, or lesson generator, is that it supports you by encouraging your students to express their natural metacognitive feelings, and become better learners.


1. It encourages you to think about the task learners need to complete

Just like when you enter a search term in a search engine like Google, artificial intelligence only works for you when you clearly indicate what it should do. In computer language the search term is called a ‘prompt’: the information you give AI to research what you want it to create. Challenging yourself to write a clear, complete prompt will remind you to think about your lesson’s main learning objective, and to be specific about which task/s learners are asked to complete.


2. It always activates your students’ prior knowledge

The lesson generator automatically creates a mind map to activate students’ (sometimes unexpected) prior knowledge. It is a standard feature of LessonUp’s lesson generator, inserted by our education team to make sure learners are encouraged to think about what they already know about a topic. They will be reminded to think of what they know and don’t know about the lesson’s ‘prompt’: the learning objective, and more specifically the main task they need to complete.


3. It always ends with a metacognitive lesson tail

This is one thing the Ontario school system in Canada is doing now—they are integrating metacognitive questions and sections at the end of every lesson plan. They are doing so manually, but with the lesson generator it is done for you automatically. Each digital lesson created with AI assistance ends with 3 open-ended questions to help students think about their learning: ‘write down 3 things you learnt in this lesson’, ‘write down 2 things you want to know more about’, and ‘ask 1 question about something you haven’t quite understood yet.’ For more information on the lesson generator 👇


4. For each slide you can check for student understanding

You could use our ‘Ask AI’ feature to create 1 to 5 quizzes on any part/slide of your digital lesson. It takes 1 click and 1 minute of your time to do so, and it gives you the opportunity to briefly assess your students’ understanding of an informative slide. You could prepare a cluster of quizzes at regular intervals to check what your students don’t understand, while engaging them in a playful way. It might give you an instant snapshot of what your class is struggling with: very precious information.


5. Ask your students to self-assess as often as you like

You can direct students’ attention towards whether or not they understand what you are teaching. You might ask your students to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how well they understand something. With primary school students you could forget the numbered scale, because it might be too abstract for them, and use a range of happy to sad faces instead. With the help of AI-generated polls (Ask AI) move through your digital lesson and poll your students’ understanding of its content.

Curious how AI is transforming teaching pedagogy and lesson planning?