Information and Resources Regarding ChatGPT

Information and Resources on chatBGT with robot writing with a pen


Below is a round up of articles, podcasts and videos on ChatGPT that provide a variety of perspectives on what it is, how educators are dealing with it, and what it might mean for higher education. We've also provided some ideas for how to approach designing and assessing writing assignments with the reality of ChatGPT in mind. But first...


What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that can explain ideas and concepts and generate convincing, though often oversimplified, written text. ChatGPT can write college-level essays, working computer code, and even jokes. You can create an account here to try it yourself and see what it does for your discipline. 


What about detection tools?

It’s too soon to tell if detection tools will be successful at determining what is and isn’t AI generated writing. 

Companies like TurnItIn are working to address the detection of AI writing (click here for Turnitin’s summary of how they’re addressing ChatGPT). However, other tools are being created just as rapidly to defeat detection; for example, this “paraphrasing” tool



Considerations for Teaching in the Time of ChatGPT


Ideas for Designing Assignments 

  • Create prompts that are narrow and focused on specific course content and rely on the resources you use in the course or ask students to apply course reading/content to their own lives. 
  • Use course design practices that promote academic integrity (and make cheating feel less necessary) such as instilling self-efficacy, focusing on learning over performance and lowering the stakes of assignments. 
  • Focus on the process, not the product: Build in more drafting, feedback, and revisions.
  • Engage students in conversation about how and why they write (processing, synthesizing ideas, critical thinking, engaging in conversation with text, etc.)
  • Foster intrinsic motivation: Get to know your students and decide what is meaningful and relevant to them so that the work you assign is something they want to do.
  • Consider alternatives to writing essays such as creating podcasts or presentations.
  • Teach data literacy: Education adapted to search engines by teaching things like how to do an effective Google search. Some faculty are taking a similar approach to deal with AI text generators (e.g. having students examine/critique AI writing; having students use an AI written essay as a jumping-off point for their own work).
  • Create an assignment on AI literacy so as to gain a better understanding of the digital tools we use, including the racial and gender biases in algorithms. This gives students opportunities to use ChatGPT and write about its limitations and benefits.
  • Use AI as an opportunity to reimagine teaching to help students write prose that differs from what machines can produce: Machines can craft essays. How should writing be taught now?


Providing Ethical Guidance for Students

If we operate from an assumption of trust, we can help guide students through AI literacy and ethical ways of using it. Like faculty, students might be interested in these conversations and they may also be wrestling with this.  There are students who genuinely want to work on their writing but also experience difficulties with time. They've been through a pandemic, through trauma and stress, and learning loss, and some might be thinking about how to use AI to fill in those gaps and are looking for guidance. This is a good time to use conversation as a way to build critical thinking skills and clarify misunderstandings about what plagiarism is (the gray area).


Avoiding a Surveillance Environment

Try not to be fearful and conduct all graded assignments in class or under proctored conditions disconnected from the internet because a lot of students, for various reasons, would feel challenged by being put in that high-pressure situation. This practice is not inclusive and very disruptive for students and our own pedagogies because it sends the message that if students can't perform on the spot, they will be getting assistance from AI.


And just for fun, we thought we'd ask ChatGPT: How should higher education handle ChatGPT?

Chat GPT's answer: It depends on the context and intended use of ChatGPT in higher education. ChatGPT can be used as a tool to assist with tasks such as language translation, writing, and research. However, it should be noted that ChatGPT is a machine learning model and its outputs may not always be accurate or appropriate. It is important for educators and students to understand the limitations of the technology and to use it responsibly. Additionally, it's important to consider ethical and legal issues such as data privacy and potential biases in the model. It's advisable that higher education institutions develop guidelines and best practices for using ChatGPT and similar technologies in their curriculum.