Opportunities for Teaching with A.I.

Opportunities for A.I. in Higher Education

A.I. tools (like ChatGPT) present an exciting opportunity to question the ways we integrate technology and artificial intelligence (A.I.) in higher education.

Kevin Roose from the New York Times helps us understand that:

“ChatGPT teaches students about the world they’ll inhabit.”

“Tools like ChatGPT aren’t going anywhere; they’re only going to improve, and barring some major regulatory intervention, this particular form of machine intelligence is now a fixture of our society.”

“Because today’s students will graduate into a world full of generative A.I. programs. They’ll need to know their way around these tools — their strengths and weaknesses, their hallmarks and blind spots — in order to work alongside them. To be good citizens, they’ll need hands-on experience to understand how this type of A.I. works, what types of bias it contains, and how it can be misused and weaponized.”

See full resource: Don’t Ban ChatGPT in Schools. Teach With It (Roose, 2023)

How A.I. Tools Can Support Learning

Beyond our responsibility to train students for their future, it is timely to rethink how A.I. can support our teaching practice and how can it be leveraged in the classroom to support student learning.

Students can use A.I. to:

  1. Generate personalized study materials
  2. Answer questions
  3. Break down complex concepts
  4. Practice with self-study quizzes
  5. Describe detailed processes
  6. Generate case studies and application problems
  7. Support writing and research projects

Addressing the Limitations of A.I. Tools

While A.I. has great potential, it is necessary to recognize any technology tool for its limitations.

Common concerns of A.I. tools are related to its effect on student creativity and the development of their original work. Where students could spend hours researching, summarizing, and writing an article on a given topic, A.I. tools can produce a well-written alternative in seconds.

Faculty should focus on these strategies to use A.I. tools responsibly:

  1. Promote creativity and originality in student work.
  2. Promote critical thinking in student work
  3. Reduce students’ dependence on technology by incorporating other modes of learning
  4. Facilitate human interaction in the classroom
  5. Prioritize useful peer to peer and instructor feedback
  6. Discuss data privacy concerns

Additional Resources

For further readings and conversations related to the use of A.I. tools in education, review the following resources: