The Institute for Faculty Excellence presented a watch party titled, “Navigating the Digital Future: Faculty Exploring AI’s Role in Education.” The University System of Georgia Office of Teaching & Learning Excellence hosted the event, which was facilitated by its Director, Denise Domizi. Approximately 119 faculty members throughout the state of Georgia joined the virtual watch party.
The 4th and final virtual panel discussion featured Dr. Sunil Hazari, Department of Marketing at UWG, Dr. Charles Grimm of Georgia Highlands College, and Kimberly Van Orman, University of Georgia. The panelist agreed that they were initially overwhelmed by the introduction of AI in the classroom, but also agreed that this is an exciting time to be studying and understanding the effects of artificial intelligence and its effects on the educator as well as the student.
The panelists addressed some of the advantages and challenges AI presents to the educators of higher learning. These challenges include ethical issues, academic integrity, privacy issues and more. Each of the panelists discussed how they use AI in their classrooms.
Grimm teaches English 1101 and found that his students struggle to make sense of AI and its application.
“Academic writing is alive [and that] everyone is struggling to make sense of the things we now have,” said Grimm.
Grimm acknowledges that there are some benefits to using AI. To alleviate some of the stress about AI among students, this semester Grimm asks his students to find a writing assignment explaining how AI could help them achieve the goals of the assignment, and what any limitations of the assignment might be. Since Georgia Highlands is a two-year college
Grimm teaches a lot of basic writing students with growth and fixed mindsets. Grimm wants his students to question the use of AI in their writing.
“Is it a tool to help them overcome difficulty or is it a crutch they lean on in order to not to do those things they are supposed to learn to do?” Grimm said. “The educator must learn to give the student grace as the evolution of AI is addressed.”
Dr. Sunil Hazari, acknowledges that because AI is so powerful there was a disruption on the college campus with its introduction. He wants his students to know that there is life beyond ChatGPT.
Harzari wants to give his students an awareness of other tools available for implementation in AI evolution. In his Business Research class, Harzari introduces some of these tools to his students. Harzari discussed using the prompt framework tool to assist students not only in his classroom but also in assignments for other classes they may take.
“There are application prompts students can use to build a proposal, as well as entire websites,” said Harzari. “There has been remarkable improvement in student assignments through the application of prompt use.”
Kimberly Van Orman, Lecturer at the Institute for Artificial Intelligence teaches a mix of mostly philosophy and computer science students at UGA.
“As the AI person I am quite possibly the most skeptical regarding AI usage,” said Orman
Last spring at the last minute she changed the way she structured her courses.
“UGA has very smart students – but many of the students work in a fixed mindset,” said Orman. “When dealing with students who have never not been good at something, or who were able to avoid things they weren’t good at, they started to struggle with things that came in.
“The result was cheating, not because the student is bad but because the student panics,” Orman continues. “AI could be used to learn but wants the student to back up what they have learned.”
Although Artificial Intelligence has shown itself in higher education classrooms, Denise Domizi took a poll of those participating in this virtual event and found that 75% of the participants have not yet introduced AI into their classrooms. 25% of the participants have introduced AI but with limited use.
UWG’s Institute for Faculty Excellence’s Instructional Designers have extended open invitations to both students and faculty to visit them in the Old Auditorium Basement – Room 112 for any information regarding AI’s role in education. They have plenty of books and supplies to help navigate this AI evolution.