Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.
-John Cotton Dana (1856–1929)

A-eyes Open

Until now, my experience with AI has primarily involved experimenting with ChatGPT by asking questions alongside a traditional internet search. I was able to see how AI synthesizes information compared to manually sifting through search engine results. I knew it was being used to complete complex tasks, but I had not looked into this as I did not realize it could influence my classroom, beyond figuring out if students are using it to cheat.

My interactions with ChatGPT only consisted of asking for information; it never occurred to me to ask it to do a job for me.

Reading the blog posts from our class about how to incorporate AI into the classroom has inspired me to seriously consider bringing it into my course development. I am cognizant that any information I use from generative AI needs a critical eye to look for inconsistencies, accuracy, and biases. In addition, it is necessary to assess the usefulness of the information, as it is clear there is a skill to writing effective prompts.

I found our class members’ blog posts inciteful. For example, Christina demonstrates revising the prompts given to ChatGPT until it provides a lesson that meets her classroom criteria. Lauren discusses using AI for various administrative tasks such as creating the course outline and improving accessibility and Matthew suggested using it to create multiple-choice questions. I find creating well-written multiple-choice questions very time-consuming. I went to ChatGPT and asked for some multiple-choice questions for my course prototype and was happy with the results. What it provided were questions that serve as an excellent starting point, which is often the most time-consuming part of the development process.

Bringing AI into course development is only half of the equation. I see now that it is essential to address the role of AI with the students. Continuing to ignore, ban, or combat ChatGPT is not an ideal option. It is widely accessible to all and has rapidly become integrated into the mainstream.

To mitigate the potential misuse of ChatGPT by students looking for answers to the lessons, Christina adopts a strategy I have seen among other students in this course, such as Leanne and Matthew. Christina emphasizes the students’ role as learners and reinforces their responsibility in the learning process.

I believe this approach would be effective with the adult learners I teach. This is an approach that I now envision in my own classroom. I teach adults who are there to learn a particular profession. A profession that requires honesty and integrity. They should be reminded that they are there to learn, and they are accountable to themselves, to learn what is required to make them successful in the ‘real world’ which is the clinical environment. Appealing to their sense of integrity from the outset will ideally guide them to make the right choices if their integrity is ever challenged.

An additional approach is to re-think the assessment tools. As Dr. Couros suggested, an essay may no longer be the appropriate tool to demonstrate learning. Assessments that show critical thinking and synthesis of information need to be refined for each subject.

So how CAN the students use AI? In her blog, Lauren outlines some student opportunities such as asking the students to generate content from different AI sources and compare them. The students would be required to critically assess the outputs for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Matthew points out that in the process of using AI, are the students still not learning? Depending on the assignment or assessment, this may be true.

If our future includes using AI, students must have AI literacy. Educators can foster this by addressing the use of AI with the students at the forefront, providing guidelines that include the opportunities AI offers as well as the ways AI can compromise academic integrity.  Educators must design assessment tools that work in the current age of AI. As more is learned about AI, resources such as those provided by  Camuson College will become available to educators.

I am looking forward to reassessing my current course as well as my course prototype through this new lens. I believe this will only bring improvement.

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