Skip to Main Content

AI in Education

AI Doesn't Have to be Scary

The use of AI in coursework can sound like a scary thing for professors. We can easily assume that students will use AI to write their papers for them. However, AI is just another tool that students can use to cheat; as we all know, there has been a plethora of avenues students can take if they're determined to cheat. Our goal as educators is to try and reach those students who are on the fence, who are insecure in their writing abilities and might turn to AI out of fear of getting a bad grade. It is our job to create assignments that encourage students to learn about their subject instead of simply writing a paper with perfect grammar and citations. 

Integrating AI in Courses

Artificial intelligence can be used to amplify student learning and foster critical thinking. Being proactive with AI and teaching students how to use it in a way that adds to their educational experience can help prepare them for their careers and avoid misuse of it in future assignments. Here are some ways you can incorporate AI in the classroom:

  • Before showing it to your students, take time out of the classroom to make sure you understand ChatGPT and how it works. Ask it questions you might ask you students to answer and see what kind of responses you get. The more complex and specific to class discussion the question is makes it less likely for AI to spit out an exact answer.
  • Have students generate an essay through ChatGPT. Then, have them write their own essay describing what ChatGPT did a good job of with the paper, but have the majority of the essay focus on what ChatGPT lacks. How would the student improve the paper to make it fulfill basic essay requirements? 
  • Have students come up with a general topic for an essay. Using your own example, demonstrate to students different questions that you can ask ChatGPT that can help them narrow their topic from something broad to something concise and arguable. 
  • Focusing specifically on areas that you see your students struggling in your course, show students what kind of questions you can ask ChatGPT to get to the answers they need. 

How Students Can Use AI

AI provides a multitude of practical applications for students, whether they be in the classroom or out in the professional world. 

  • Summarizing class notes - ChatGPT allows students to paste class notes and ask for a summary of the information they submitted.
  • Study skills - Students can ask ChatGPT for tips on how to study for a test or exam
  • Test Practice - Students can ask questions like "Ask me two essay questions about [enter topic]." They can also input information they already have and ask ChatGPT to quiz them on it. 
  • Students can ask follow-up questions on an essay topic to spark ideas that support their thesis statement.
  • Students can research other viewpoints and arguments on a certain topic before establishing their own opinion.
  • ChatGPT can be used as a spelling and grammar checker to help students identify areas they can improve in.
  • When writing creative pieces, AI can generate ideas and topics to write about. AI also gives general information on topics or experiences students may not be familiar with so that they can write more realistically. 
  • AI fosters more inclusive network connections and helps students practice finding answers they will have to research in the real world. 

AI Bridges Gaps in Grammar and Writing Proficiency

AI offers additional assistance for student populations like English Language Learners, first-generation college students, or any student who struggles with writing.

  • Reduces Stigma - Many students refrain from asking for help out of fear of what their peers might think. The option to use AI to assist with grammar can reach students who are too uncomfortable to ask for help.
  • Language Learning - AI can offer pronunciation guidance, language comprehension exercises, and vocabulary expansion. 
  • Immediate Feedback - Students can ask AI grammar questions and get an immediate answer without having to search online or wait for a response.
  • Individualized Learning - Students can work at their own pace without having to worry about time constraints or awkward interactions.
  • Contextual Assistance - AI can recognize assignment description language to determine and define the context in which the question is being asked. 
  • Confidence - Overall, AI helps students improve their overall language skills beyond just grammar and writing, which can increase self-esteem, self-respect, and overall confidence levels.