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What effect does content generated by Artifical Intelligence (AI) have on students' skills? Why should we still have students write literature reviews? But also: how can we use tools like ChatGPT to our advantage? Could we even use the chatbot as a tool for alternative forms of assessment or workload reduction?
These and many more questions Luuk Terbeek, education specialist at LEARN! Academy, regularly encounters when it comes to AI-generated content.
Opportunities and challenges
The VU Amsterdam understands that banning the use of ChatGPT is pointless and, moreover, such software will continue to improve. The VU policy team recommends exploring how the chatbot can be meaningfully used in education. The team is currently holding discussions to determine what actions are desirable or necessary in response to students’ use of ChatGPT.
Engaging in dialogue to ensure a balanced and as fully informed approach as possible is an important starting point for the ’Dealing with ChatGPT’ knowledge sessions that Luuk recently began to host at VU Amsterdam.
Acting according to newly formulated policy and alignment with the newly developed VU testing vision are also parts of these knowledge sessions. After all, the rise of ChatGPT pushes us to think about alternative forms of testing. What agreements do you make with your students about using ChatGPT for essay writing, for example? When is use considered fraud, and what kind of use is allowed, or possibly encouraged?"
In addition, it is important to be well informed about the ethical aspects of use, for example, may a teacher require a student to consult applications such as ChatGPT, knowing that they have to create a personal account for this, and the data remains on Microsoft servers indefinitely (even if the account is deleted)?
Possible ChatGPT applications for education
At the same time, it is important not to see AI-generated content merely as a threat. "After all, it also offers potential for enhancing education or even reducing workload," says Luuk. "By discussing this together, new applications can be developed and exchanged. For instance, as a teacher, you can use ChatGPT to review texts, design a (as yet premature) Rubric or lesson series, or have a basis for a syllabus written. Or use it to promote critical thinking and reflection among students. For example, let them give feedback (collectively) on chatbot answers.
Whether AI-generated content will eventually take over the teacher’s work? Luuk thinks not. "For now, the output is often debatable, so you can use it mainly as a source of inspiration. But even when the accuracy of the output improves further, a chatbot lacks the interpersonal skills, contextual understanding and creativity that are so important for teaching."
ChatGPT knowledge sessions for VU employees
Whatever the exact implications of AI-generated content will be, as a university we cannot ignore it. Therefore, the VU LEARN! Academy would like to invite all lecturers, educational developers, educational advisers, programme directors and researchers to attend a ChatCPT knowledge session, which can also be provided as a lunch session.
During such a session, you will receive an overview of current, relevant information on ChatGPT, but also discuss the potential, dilemmas and possible applications of ChatGPT for education.
Would you like to join a ChatGPT knowledge session with your team? If so, please contact LEARN! Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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