A new form of Artificial Intelligence has entered the space of higher education with the recent launch of ChatGPT. This new tool will write anything you ask it to: Text, code, images and more. This makes it appear to be a disruptive technology and it offers an opportunity to re-thinking teaching, learning and assessment.  

The AI understands language, but is probably 3-5 years away from knowing content:  

“GPT is a natural language processing model based on the transformer architecture that enables machines to generate human-like responses to text-based conversations. This technology can be used to create more conversational chatbots and virtual assistants.” – Author, Chat GPT 

While it seems impressive once you try (read on to see what we found), it lacks important human capabilities such as emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills. However, it invites us to think in new ways about engaging students in the process of learning. Below are a few ideas.  

ChatGPT for Student Activities: 

  • Have students compare and contrast different input vs. output to learn about AI’s capabilities and limitations 
  • Engage students in a discussion/debate on ethical questions related to AI 
  • Get students to ask AI to write a response to a question and then have the students critique what the AI wrote for content and context. Student could come up with the questions from an instructor’s topical prompt 
  • Invite students use ChatGPT to summarize a text they are reading and then critique the AI response 
  • On any topic, augment Think-pair-share to think-pair-chatGPT-pair-share. 

Chat GPT for you as the Teacher: 

  • Get ChatGPT to create mini-cases or scenarios, which you can use for inspiration and modify as needed. 
  • Ask ChatGPT questions such as: How do I create exam questions that students can’t use ChatGPT to solve?  
  • Generate ideas for question prompts for in class activities and quizzes 

What does the “Output” Look Like? 

We asked Chat GPT to write a blog post that discusses how Chat GPT can be used in higher education. 

Chat GPT wrote: 

“In recent years, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in higher education has become increasingly popular. AI can be used to provide students with personalized learning experiences, to help faculty understand student behavior, and to create more efficient and effective ways to teach and assess student learning. One of the most promising AI tools for higher education is Chat GPT.Chat GPT is a natural language processing (NLP) tool that can help faculty better understand student writing. It uses a combination of machine learning and natural language processing to analyze student writing and generate feedback that is tailored to each individual student. This feedback can help instructors identify areas of improvement and provide tailored advice for each student.Chat GPT can be used to help faculty understand student writing, as well as to provide students with personalized feedback. For example, Chat GPT can be used to generate a personalized essay score for each student. The essay score is based on the student’s writing, and can be used to provide targeted feedback and advice on how to improve their writing.Chat GPT can also be used to evaluate student submissions and identify areas where students need more help. For example, Chat GPT can be used to identify common errors in student writing, such as misspellings and incorrect…” 

Students could work in small groups to unpack and critique the AI response for missing elements. This use case gets students to do a bit of research, summarize, read, and think critically. – Author, Chat GPT 

Thank you Chat GPT, for creating an intriguing technology for educators to play with, break, and expose their students to in order to create more critical thinkers.  

Bottom line, it is a tool that may just become your new friend. Use it! 

Additional articles and ideas for how teachers and students could use ChatGPT: 

Teaching and Learning with Artificial Intelligence Apps | Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning | University of Calgary (ucalgary.ca)