Last night my daughter laughed uproariously. When asked what she was looking at, she replied, “My friend asked ChatGPT to describe coding functions in a Gossip Girls voice”. I looked, and the explanation was concise, easy to understand, accessible AND entertaining.
A lightbulb exploded. My perspective on artificial intelligence and its role in education shifted, and how it could be used to enhance learning changed.
The impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on society, universities and how we structure degrees and subjects will be immense. But we need to explore the use of AI, like ChatGPT, from a pedagogical perspective.
As Ramsden (2003) states, we need to move beyond ‘learning as transmission’, past ‘organising activity’ to ‘making learning possible’. So why not utilise generative AI to enhance the Joy of Learning and Teaching?
Will AI’s impact eclipse Google and the iPhone’s impact? Microsoft has added AI to its Edge browser and Bing search engine. It utilises the same technology that OpenAI used to create ChatGPT. Google is introducing similar technology called Bard. AI may be integrated into all search engines. “Googling” has been transformed. It now summarises, and compiles content together, making logical predictions about how to structure information. It has gone beyond simply finding information.
As AI becomes embedded in how society works, the question to students may become not “Did you use AI in your assignment?”, but rather “How did you use AI?“. Tim Fawn raises interesting questions.
“The generative AI detection conversation is all about detecting whether it was used or the extent to which submissions are AI-generated. Isn’t understanding *how* GenAI is used more important?”T. Fawns (2023)
How did the student use AI to help them understand the question, research information, and summarise complex content in a more digestible format? Or did they only copy and paste? Educators know that learning is messy and not easily identified from AI algorithms.
Turnitin recently released an AI checker as part of its standard functionality. They claim it is 97% effective in identifying text written by AI. Some universities have disabled this function to give them time to assess its use.
Maybe it’s time to take a step back and consider how ChatGPT and generative AI relates to teaching and learning.
Consider how we integrate technology into teaching and learning
One useful model that helps us integrate technology into learning and teaching is TPACK – Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. It highlights the interplay between three forms of knowledge that are essential for effective teaching: technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge.
Let’s avoid using technology for technology’s sake but technological knowledge (TK) is important. The use of AI is likely to become so embedded in society that excluding its use would be like asking people not to use Google. So, the question may become, “How to use AI?”
Pedagogical knowledge (PK) is the knowledge of effective teaching methods. Can generative AI like ChatGPT allow teachers to personalise teaching practices and learning experiences to match individual student needs? This would enhance learning outcomes, particularly with students with special learning needs. It may contribute to addressing the challenge of having highly diverse cohorts from multiple countries and faculties.
Content knowledge (CK) is understanding the subject matter being taught. How important AI is to the subject and content may depend on the degree’s stage and how likely AI will be used in the industry. Probably a lot!
Pedagogical Research in Business Schools
Below the 4C framework focuses on the capabilities to reimagine education, for pedagogical innovation, to co-design and be agile in the face of crisis. For more details, explore this post by Peter Byrant.
Artificial intelligence may impact all four capabilities. We need to reimagine how we teach and how students will learn. ChatGPT may or (may not) be used to deliver transformative student experiences. Alternatively, if we don’t teach how to use it and how to use it ethically, we are not preparing our graduates to act responsibly in the working world they will enter. AI may be able to be used to co-design at scale and speed to suit the needs of different cohorts. AI is potentially part of a crisis, a pivotal point in history, and our ability to be agile will impact which Business Schools adapt effectively.
AI could be an inspirational and creative way to enhance student engagement. It could lead to significant teaching and learning advances. It could help ‘make learning possible’ (Ramsden, 2003).
The amount of information in the world keeps expanding exponentially. Any tool that summarises and simplifies complex information is helpful. We need to reframe how we view AI and return to the pedagogy, why and how it’s being used, and then modify our assessments where required to maintain academic integrity.
Thinking back to my daughter and her joy at the simplicity of ChatGPT’s explanation of coding. The way it provided the answer in a style of language and tone that resonated with her has moved me to consider AI in a different light. We, as teachers, can explain complex concepts, but we can’t be there all the time. Is this role now shared with AI?
What do you think?
About the author
Jo Nash is an Educational Designer with Business CoDesign at the University of Sydney. She brings a practical and strategic approach to educational design with extensive experience in unit coordination, lecturing, marketing, advertising and strategy. She is particularly interested in the codesign of units to help teaching outcomes, plus enhancing academic integrity at the same time as student learning outcomes.