As the technology of Artificial Intelligence evolves, many educators find themselves unsettled about the many challenges that AI brings to the classroom environment.
In conjunction with UWG’s Institute of Faculty Excellence Dr. Jenna Harte, offered interesting insights into some of those challenges as she addressed colleagues regarding AI’s introduction into classrooms of higher learning.
Harte revealed that during last semester’s academic year she started getting papers from students that “smelled funny.” By her own admission, Harte was not yet well versed in AI and did not really know what ChatGPT was.
“[I] was sad to realize what this was and that my first encounter with AI was negative,” said Harte. “My first interaction with this thing called AI was students trying to trick me.”
This experience led Harte to try a different approach this fall with her first-year writing students.
“I’ll introduce my first-year writing class to AI and then the students will understand that AI is a scary new tool and it’s unethical and how its use can lead to cheating,” said Harte.
Harte reveals after her first essay assignment in a class of 25 first-year students, eight students used ChatGPT to complete the assignment.
Harte broadened her classroom presentation to discuss with her students how to use or not to use AI. Harte explained the conversations she has with first year students. The first conversation discusses what AI is.
One of Harte’s greatest concerns in discussing AI with her students, wondering if she would be the one showing students how to cheat. The second conversation asked the students, “what does smart mean to you?” and thirdly “what makes you a better writer than AI?”
“These types of questions help build a deeper psychological thinking and help the student find and define their comfort levels with the use of AI,” said Harte. “The least fun part of the class discussion was the plagiarism talk. general consensus among students was that none of the students would be okay with AI teaching their class.”
Even though open conversations about AI among educators and students create a necessary dialogue between the two – it seems plagiarism, and ethics concerns will remain two of the biggest concerns for teachers regardless of education level being taught.
The development of AI technology will continue to grow and will continue to present even greater challenges for educators and students.
UWG’s Institute of Faculty Excellence continues to offer valuable reading materials to all faculty and staff regarding the AI evolution. Simply contact Director Mandi Campbell and Instructional Designer Brian Roberts, located in the Old Auditorium Room 112 for more information.