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Teaching with ChatGPT doesn't have to be challenging--educators can embrace the AI tool and also show students how to create original work

OpenAI releases ChatGPT teaching guide

Teaching with ChatGPT doesn't have to be challenging--educators can embrace the AI tool and also show students how to create original work

Key points:

Educators face myriad dilemmas in the wake of ChatGPT’s explosion, with some of the most popular including teaching with ChatGPT and how to address student use of AI chatbots in assignments.

OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, has released a new guide to help educators navigate the many ways AI can be used in teaching and learning. The guide contains examples of how some educators are teaching with ChatGPT, along with a series of frequently-asked questions that may help guide teachers as they seek to strike a balance between accepting AI’s presence and an over-reliance on such tools.

As outlined in OpenAI’s guide, here’s how some instructors are teaching with ChatGPT:

Role playing challenging conversations: Dr. Helen Crompton, Professor of Instructional Technology at Old Dominion University, encourages her education graduate students to use ChatGPT as a stand-in for a particular persona—like a debate partner who will point out weaknesses in their arguments, a recruiter who’s interviewing them for a job, or a new boss who might deliver feedback in a specific way. She says exploring information in a conversational setting helps students understand their material with added nuance and new perspective.

Building quizzes, tests, and lesson plans from curriculum materials: Fran Bellas, a professor at Universidade da Coruña in Spain, recommends teachers use ChatGPT as an assistant in crafting quizzes, exams and lesson plans for classes. He says to first share the curriculum to ChatGPT and then ask for things like fresh quiz and lesson plan ideas that use modern or culturally relevant examples. Bellas also turns to ChatGPT to help teachers make sure questions they write themselves are inclusive and accessible for the students’ learning level. “If you go to ChatGPT and ask it to create 5 question exams about electric circuits, the results are very fresh. You can take these ideas and make them your own.”

Reducing friction for non-English speakers: Dr. Anthony Kaziboni, the Head of Research at the University of Johannesburg, teaches students who mostly don’t speak English outside of the classroom. Kaziboni believes that command of English is a tremendous advantage in the academic world, and that misunderstandings of even small details of English grammar can hold back students from recognition and opportunity. He encourages his students to use ChatGPT for translation assistance, to improve their English writing, and to practice conversation.

Teaching students about critical thinking: Geetha Venugopal, a high school computer science teacher at the American International School in Chennai, India, likens teaching students about AI tools to teaching students how to use the internet responsibly. In her classroom, she advises students to remember that the answers that ChatGPT gives may not be credible and accurate all the time, and to think critically about whether they should trust the answer, and then confirm the information through other primary resources. The goal is to help them “understand the importance of constantly working on their original critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills.”

Some of the common questions around teaching with ChatGPT include:

  1. How can educators respond to students presenting AI-generated content as their own?
  2. How can ChatGPT be used for assessment and feedback?
  3. How can educators get started with ChatGPT?

Related: Coming out of the AI closet: A scholar’s embrace of ChatGPT-4

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