ChatGPT has the potential to have a positive impact on UWG if students and teachers are committed to using it responsibly.
“The rapid development of AI and other technologies is changing education and assessment, offering diverse ways of utilization,” said Dr. Ralitsa Akins, Vice Provost at UWG. “The Provost’s Office, UWG’s Faculty Senate, and the Institute for Faculty Excellence (IFE) are engaged in conversations about the best way to include AI tools in teaching and learning.”
Although we will likely see more use of AI tools in the classroom, they will not replace teachers or other resources anytime soon.
“AI tools, such as ChatGPT, have their limitations and cannot replace the authentic experience that UWG students have in interactions with their professors,” said Akins.
While many are concerned about the ways that ChatGPT can be used to cheat, there are signs that it can be used to help students instead.
“Instead of seeing ChatGPT as a challenge, we can view it as a catalyst into the next age of higher education,” said Akins. “ChatGPT is one among many artificial intelligence (AI) tools. AI can be used to augment learning and facilitate student experiences in academia.”
There are many ways that this can be accomplished. Akins is using ChatGPT to create authentic assessments and teaching assignments that will help students translate in-class learning to practical knowledge that can be used on the job.
“Assigning authentic assessments and teaching assignments that require students to apply the skills and knowledge they develop in their courses to real-world situations engages students more deeply in their learning by giving them a sense of authority and encouraging critical reflection,” said Akins. “Students could use ChatGPT to generate ideas for an authentic assessment.”
Mandi Campbell, Director of UWG’s Institute for Faculty Excellence, also emphasizes the importance of faculty educating students in this way.
“The ways in which ChatGPT can support teaching and learning are countless and will be ever-evolving,” said Campbell. “Impressively, Dr. Sunil Hazari, UWG Professor of Marketing, was one of the first to publish a book on ChatGPT. ‘100 Useful ChatGPT prompts for Students, Educators, & Researchers’ demonstrates ‘how the ChatGPT model can be fine-tuned for specific tasks in research and educational settings.’”
However, this does not mean that ChatGPT will allow students to abandon academic honesty as some have suggested. Although the AI tool has been famously used to pass exams and write essays for students, academic honesty is vital to students’ education beyond simply earning a letter grade.
“Academic honesty is a cornerstone in academia,” Akins said. “At UWG, we value and uphold academic honesty as an important part of achieving one’s academic degree. Faculty educate students on strategies to maintain academic integrity and encourage them to develop their own skillsand knowledge as a means of both personal and professional growth.”
“We would like to discuss openly and often with students the ethical use of ChatGPT and other AI programs and tools,” said Campbell. “By demonstrating appropriate uses of such technology, we will be able to augment and facilitate the process of teaching and learning. Learning from and alongside professors and student-peers is a powerful and authentic experience.”
ChatGPT is far from the first major shift in technology that has impacted education, and it will likely not be the last. There has already been discussion about how it will make a positive impact on students and educators alike.
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