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PowerNotes Adds Tools to Assist Students' Research and Writing Process While Using AI Effectively and Responsibly

PowerNotes has introduced PowerNotes+, a new reading, research, and writing platform for higher and K–12 institutions, educators, and students that offers AI tools and features. With these new tools, educators can view their students' research and writing process from start to finish and help them use AI with transparency and integrity, the company said.

The platform fully documents students' every interaction with the AI, tracks their process and progress, and makes the information available to teachers every step of the way so that academic integrity is "enforced via accountability rather than punishment," the company said.

Features include:

  • Brainstorm, which directly integrates with ChatGPT and other LLMs and uses closed prompting of the AI to generate answers within a limited range, thus reducing AI hallucinations;
  • Insight, which provides a downloadable student research activity log and score so that instructors can evaluate the learning process and see whether AI has been used appropriately;
  • Discovery, which uses AI to create article summaries in real time, as well as suggest related research topics, find resources on Google or in an institution's own library, and query the AI about these sources;
  • Anonymity, which secures student work and prevents it from being used to train an AI; and
  • Two-factor identification to protect account safety, and more.

"PowerNotes gave me the ability to see my students' research and writing processes in ways I couldn't do before," said college writing professor Catrina Mitchum. "Using the tool gave me the opportunity to help students before they went too far down a rabbit hole that would cause more work for them. I could identify areas of confusion before they snowballed. The ability to see behind the curtain while students are using AI is a game-changer in AI literacy for the same reason: A view into students' processes provides us an opportunity to recognize what guidance is needed."

PowerNotes+ integrates with an institution's own LMS, such as Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard, and D2L Brightspace, as well as with library systems like ProQuest and EBSCO. With this feature, faculty can create stacked assignments, and students can receive Google search library results and open a chat with a librarian for help.

PowerNote+ subscribers will receive "onboarding support, training sessions, a dedicated success manager, and access to PowerNotes+ experts," the company said.

To understand how PowerNotes+ uses AI, read this article from the AI 101 series.

Pricing tiers include basic to advanced features: $10 per month for individuals, with a 14-day free trial; $35 for six months for classrooms with up to 35 users; and a customized fee for institutions. Specifics are available on the pricing page.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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