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Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom

How to integrate or limit the use of ChatGPT, Bing AI, Bard and others

NOTE: The information and examples listed below as resources for faculty to consider when teaching. It is to the discretion of each instructor how AI will be used within the course.


What is generative AI (e.g., ChatGPT, Bing, Bard, etc.) and what can it do in the classroom?

Generative AI like ChatGPT, BingAI, and Google Bard are AI chatbots built with large language model (LLM) deep learning neural network architecture. It is pre-trained on a wide corpus of text data to generate human-like responses to textual prompts. Since ChatGPT's release in the fall of 2022, continued investments and innovation in AI has grown tremendously in this space.

As time is passing by, AI is advancing too and can not only do text, but also image, voice and video generation.

When prompted with "How will chatGPT change higher education," ChatGPT generated the following text:

Chat GPT has the potential to impact higher education in several ways:

Accessible Learning: Chat GPT can make education more accessible by providing on-demand, personalized assistance to students. It can offer explanations, answer questions, and provide guidance outside of traditional classroom settings. This can be especially beneficial for students who have different learning styles or who may not have immediate access to teachers or resources.

Supplemental Learning: Chat GPT can act as a valuable supplement to traditional educational materials. It can offer additional explanations, examples, and practice problems to reinforce concepts taught in class. Students can use it as a tool to deepen their understanding and address specific areas of difficulty.

Virtual Tutors and Mentors: Chat GPT can serve as virtual tutors or mentors, offering personalized guidance to students. It can provide feedback on assignments, suggest study strategies, and offer career advice. This can enhance the learning experience by providing individualized support, especially in subjects where one-on-one attention is limited.

Language Learning: Chat GPT can assist in language learning by engaging in conversation and providing real-time feedback. Students can practice their language skills, ask questions, and receive corrections, helping them improve their proficiency and fluency.

Research and Information Retrieval: Chat GPT can aid in research and information retrieval by helping students locate relevant resources, providing summaries of articles, and offering guidance on the credibility and quality of sources. It can save students time and assist them in finding the most relevant information for their studies.

It's important to note that while Chat GPT can be a valuable tool, it should not replace the role of educators. Human interaction, critical thinking, and hands-on experiences are essential components of higher education. Chat GPT should be seen as a supportive tool that complements the learning process rather than a complete substitute for traditional education. (OpenAI, ChaptGPT, July 2023).

In practice, Generative AI is being used in a "co-pilot" mode, where humans and machines work together to produce business value through machines delivering baseline output and humans improving upon this. Recognizing that working with Generative AI in a "co-pilot" mode will become a component of future work.



How AI can be implemented in student learning

ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can do an array of items, from writing papers to solving analytical problems.

Below are some ways on how AI can be an asset in the classroom.

  • AI can be a source for additional resources and material to the instructor and student. AI can explain various subjects, provide examples to a topic and provide data. AI can also suggest ideas on how to deliver material in different ways to help engage students. For example, it can suggest new classroom ideas, such as creating gamification learning material and practice questions.
  • Ask AI to create a practice quiz or test in a specific field. Students can create their own practice assessments and AI will also provide the answers to the questions.
  • Receive feedback and suggestions on how to improve a written assignment.
  • Use AI to help students become familiar and skillful in this area. For example, if Generative AI is allowed in your class, have students review and modify the generative AI output. Students can assess the quality of the AI output and modify it accordingly. Then instructors can assess the value student's add to the initial output. Helpful tip: Ask students to include both the "raw" Generative AI output and the value-added final product in the assignment submission.

But like many things, AI has its flaws. AI is still an evolving machine and does not always produce accurate or reliable information. AI is based upon existing data and has admitted "to reproduce biases and stereotypes that exist". In addition, AI provides the same information based upon a model's output, limiting the data provided and creating an uniform response to a question. This may hinder the students ability to "develop their own unique perspectives." Please note from a model perspective: Different outputs can arise from the same inputs due to the architectures of many of these models. It also can account for user preferences and be adjusted further to produce novel results (e.g., at the code level, producing more or less creative responses involves adjusting its "temperature" parameter). It also depends on some other factors like context length that can be model dependent.



How to limit the use of AI in the classroom to protect academic integrity

Below are some suggestions in how we reduce the use of AI in the classroom.

  • Assignments
    • Replace take-home assignments with in-class assignments or group discussions.
    • If you assign a take home assignment, consider using a phone app for students to submit original work.
  • Presentations
    • Instead of a traditional, writing assignment, ask students to create and deliver a presentation on an assigned topic. True, AI could assist with content (i.e. text) creation, but students will still be required to understand the the material given their responsibility to present it.
  • Oral Exams/Activities
    • Based upon a pre-made list of questions, ask students to present their responses orally in class or one-at-a-time in office hours.
      • Optional: Before the oral exam begins, ask students to reflect upon which strategies they used to prepare for the oral exam. Learning how you learn is a great opportunity for personal growth.
  • Use Turnitin
    • Turnitin now possess an originality report enhancement that assesses the likelihood of AI fingerprints in student submissions. However, there are several critical points to keep in mind when using this tool:
      • Apply Turnitin equitably.
        • We strongly recommend that all students be held to the same integrity standard. This not only promotes fairness among students, but it also helps protect the faculty member from accusations of bias or discrimination.
      • Know its limits.
        • By itself, Turnitin should not be viewed as conclusive proof of student wrongdoing. The originality report could return false positives and/or false negatives. For example, Turnitin openly states that it will generate a 1-2% false positive rate for AI detection. While that may seem low, it is not immaterial.
        • Ultimately, it is up to the judgment of the faculty member to critically review the originality report and any other relevant data, and then make a determination as to whether a paper is a student's own work.



Recommendations entering this new space

  • Establish in the beginning of the class on whether or not AI is allowed. If it is permitted, clearly state guidelines and policies. We highly encourage all faculty to state the use of AI in the classroom within their syllabus. 
  • Monitor the use of AI regardless if it is permitted or not in the course. Use the softwares available by the University to help oversee this area, but once again, using a monitoring software system does not guarantee the work is original.
  • Have an open mind about AI on how it can be an asset in the classroom. AI is capable of many features, such as text, video, image, and voice generation, which can add value to your class learning, assignments, and presentations. AI is already embedded within the marketplace and business world and will continue to grow in capability. For example, newer models (like Claude) are already sufficiently good at "reading" long (even book-length) documents and summarizing them effectively. ChatGPT's code interpreter is also reducing the barriers of entry into data analysis and visualization. AI does not appear to be going away and we need to equip ourselves going forward. Helpful tip, when using prompts, be clear, using sequential prompts and giving the model "time to think" by explaining the logical steps it follows. Effective prompting is an effective skill for both educators and students.
  • Continue to incorporate critical thinking within the course. As stated by ChatGPT above, "human interaction, critical thinking, and hands-on experiences are essential components of higher education." Here at Pepperdine, we value transformational learning and need to continue focusing on critical thinking and engagement from students.



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