Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, like ChatGPT, are quickly becoming tools for academic exploration, similar to resources like calculators, web searches, and online research articles. As educators, we have a responsibility to adapt with new technologies and teaching and learning ideas, to better serve our students. As researchers, we have a responsibility to explore the possibilities of new technologies and document that exploration through empirical research. In both cases, educators and researchers can help highlight learning as a process and not solely a product.
UCITE hosted two forums on the development and use of ChatGPT during the 2022-23 academic year. The second forum featured a panel discussion with English Department colleagues and a CWRU undergraduate student. You can access a captioned video of that event here. The panel:
- Identified basic capabilities and limitations of ChatGPT
- Considered paths for engagement with students
- Considered the impact of ChatGPT on academic writing
- Identified faculty support resources
The CWRU Writing Program has created a website, AI & Academic Writing, with resources for faculty in the following categories:
- AI Composing Tools & Academic Integrity
- Sample Syllabus Language about AI Tools
- AI Detection Services: Use with Caution
- Teaching with AI Composing Tools
- CWRU Teaching & Learning Support
- Additional Resources
UCITE suggests a three-pronged approach to learning more about AI systems: Experience, Engage, and Explore.
Take some time to experience and experiment with ChatGPT. It seems like a new ChatGPT article, advice column, or practitioner guide appears daily. One way to discover “what this is all about” is to register for a free account and experience this particular AI system for yourself. A paid version of ChatGPT (4) is also available and offers more advanced interactions.
- Visit https://chat.openai.com/
- Set up a user account
- Make requests of the Generative Pre-trained Transformer, understanding that your prompts and the subsequent responses will contribute to the system’s learning process
Students are using ChatGPT, perhaps more frequently and more intelligently than faculty may realize. How do I speak with my students about writing and Chat GPT?
- To start, have open and transparent conversations with students about your expectations regarding ChatGPT or other AI systems and use of those systems in our courses.
- Next, try not to rush to an assumption that students are necessarily going to cheat using AI systems. Create, or co-create with students, appropriate policies for ChatGPT use (here is a link to a recent Chronicle article, Should You Add an AI Policy to your Syllabus?) and ensure that students understand the policies and the consequences for not adhering to those policies.
- Remind students of CWRU Academic Integrity policies, and explain how these policies are relevant to student use of AI tools in your course. It is possible that students may not be familiar with CWRU’s ideas about academic policies, so a helpful choice is to review that information with students.
- Consider a discussion about the ethical choices around accessing, using, and contributing to AI systems, like ChatGPT.
- Finally, help students understand the aligned connections between your course learning objectives and assessments. Students may not understand how faculty have organized a course, and uncovering that information with students can help them understand how you have designed learning opportunities, how they connect to vocational possibilities, and how you will assess student learning progress.
Two recent articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education provide insight as to how and to what extent students are already using ChatGPT
- I’m a Student. You Have No Idea How Much We’re Using ChatGPT: No professor or software could ever pick up on it, opinion in The Review
- insight for faculty, from students, describing the process they used to generate writing assignments
- may be helpful to faculty as they consider reframing writing assignments to emphasize the process of writing
- ChatGPT4 Can Already Pass Freshman Year at Harvard: Professors need to adapt to their students’ new reality—fast, essay in The Review
- written by a Harvard undergraduate student, the essay presents course writing prompts, links to corresponding student essays, and the grades students received on the ChatGPT-4 generated assignments
- author also describes challenges and possibilities for faculty and students in the face of AI systems and academic writing
Access AI Systems resources to inform your teaching and to support student learning. UCITE has curated resources that you might find useful, and we will update these throughout the academic year as new research and practitioner suggestions become available. If you locate an interesting resource that is not listed here, contact UCITE to share the information.
- NEW Research!
Noy, S., & Zhang, W. (2023). Experimental evidence on the productivity effects of generative artificial intelligence .Science 381,187-192. DOI:10.1126/science.adh2586
- CWRU Author!
Luan, L., Lin, X., & Li, W. (2023). Exploring the Cognitive Dynamics of Artificial Intelligence in the Post-COVID-19 and Learning 3.0 Era: A Case Study of ChatGPT. arXiv preprint arXiv:2302.04818.
- 4 Steps to Help You Plan for ChatGPT in Your Classroom: Why you should understand how to teach with AI tools — even if you have no plans to actually use them, advice in The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Generative AI Tools FAQ, from the Eberly Center for Teaching and Learning at Carnegie Mellon University.
- Teaching in the Age of AI from the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching