Generative Artificial Intelligence: Updates and Articles for Instructors

Welcome to our GAI resource-sharing blog page! Here you’ll find some of the latest updates and articles on generative AI, curated especially for faculty and instructional staff. While there are numerous resources available out there, CATL will share a select, timely sample of articles and perspectives to help instructors stay informed about new changes in AI technology and education.

For more in-depth, instructor-focused articles on generative AI by CATL, explore our AI Toolbox Articles.

Table of Contents

Generative AI Tools Directory

Stay updated on the different AI tools being created and discover what your peers or fields might be using!

(Resources in this section are updated biannually)

May 2023 – June 2024

  • Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching and Learning, May 2023. This report by the Office of Educational Technology provides insights on how AI can be integrated into education practices, and recommended responses for educators.
  • The AI Index Report: Measuring trends in AI, April 2024. Created by the Institute for Human-Centered AI at Stanford University, this report provides an analysis of AI trends and metrics, including important insights into the current state and future direction of AI for educators grappling with the rapidly evolving technology and what it means for their teaching practices.
  • AI in 2024: Major Developments & Innovations, Jan. 3, 2024. This article provides a timeline of AI developments during 2023 and newest updates in 2024.
  • 2024 AI Business Predictions, 2024. This report by PwC describes how businesses are preparing for and incorporating AI, with predictions on future trends and AI strategies in the corporate world.

Monthly Resources for Educators

(Resources in this section are updated for each month)

June 2024

Tips for Teachers

  • If you haven’t signed into Copilot with your UWGB account, now is the time! Microsoft Copilot, accessible through any browser and soon integrated into Windows 11, avoids using your personal email, which makes it a better alternative for classes. It doesn’t require providing, for example, a personal cellphone number for use, and it is available to all UWGB faculty, staff, and students with an institutional login and ID. Copilot also offers enhanced data protection when logged in using your UWGB account, although FERPA-protected and personally identifiable information should still not be entered. Watch this short video on how to log in. Remember, use any AI tool responsibly and always vet outputs for accuracy.

Latest Educational Updates

  • Latest AI Announcements Mean Another Big Adjustment for Educators, June 6, 2024. This article from EdSurge recaps some of the latest AI advancements that will heavily impact education and provides advice from instructors and ed tech experts on how to adapt.
  • AI Detectors Don’t Work. Here’s What to Do Instead, 2024. MIT’s Teaching & Learning Technologies Center critiques AI detection software and suggests better alternatives. The article advocates for clear guidelines, open dialogue, creative assignment design, and equitable assessment practices to effectively engage students and maintain academic standards.

May 2024

Tip for Teachers

  • Subscribe to the “One Useful Thing” blog by Ethan Mollick, an Associate Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Co-Director of the Generative AI Lab at Wharton.

Latest Educational Updates

Latest AI Tech Advancements

What is ChatGPT? Exploring AI Tools and Their Relationship with Education

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine-generated content have become prominent in educational discussions. Amidst technical jargon and concerns about the impact of traditional learning, writing, and other facets, understanding what these tools are and what they can do can be overwhelming. This toolbox guide provides insights into some commonly used generative AI tools and explains how they are changing the landscape of higher education.

What is Generative AI?

CATL created a short video presentation in Fall 2023 that provides instructors with an introduction to generative AI. The video and the linked PowerPoint slides below can help you understand how generative AI tools work, their capabilities, and their limitations. Please note, minor parts of the tool identification in the video have been corrected below in the ‘Common Generative AI Tools’ section. 

Introduction to Generative AI – CATL Presentation Slides (PDF)

Common Generative AI Tools

One of the most popular text-based generative AI tools is ChatGPT by OpenAI. Since its November 2022 release, various companies have developed their own generative AI applications based on or in direct competition with OpenAI’s framework. Learn more about a few common, browser-based generative AI tools below.

  • ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot created by OpenAI. The "GPT" in "ChatGPT" stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer.
  • ChatGPT previously required users to sign up for an account and verify with a phone number, but it can now be used without an account. Users can use the chatbot features of ChatGPT both with or without an account (currently version ChatGPT 3.5) or access more advanced models and features with a paid account (currently version ChatGPT 4.0). For more information or to try it yourself, visit chatgpt.com.
  • Microsoft has created its own AI called Copilot using a customized version of OpenAI’s large language model and many of the features of ChatGPT. Users can interact with the AI through a chatbot, compose feature, or the Bing search engine. Microsoft is also rolling out Copilot-powered features in many of its Office 365 products, but these features are currently only available for an additional subscription fee.
  • Faculty, staff, and students can access Copilot (which uses both ChatGPT 4.0 and Bing Chat) with their UWGB account. Visit bing.com to try out Copilot or watch our short video on how to log in using a different browser. By logging in with UWGB credentials, a green shield and “protected” should appear on the screen. The specifics of what is/is not protected can be complicated, but this Microsoft document is intended to provide guidance. Regardless of potential protections, FERPA and HIPPA-protected information (student or employee) should not be entered.
  • Google has created their own AI tool called Gemini (formerly Google Bard). Similar to ChatGPT and Copilot, Gemini can generate content based on users’ inputs. Outputs may also include sources fetched from Google.
  • Using Gemini requires a free Google account. If you have a personal Google account, you can try out Gemini at gemini.google.com.

 

home page for Microsoft Copilot
The Microsoft Copilot home page as of May 2024

Note: For UWGB faculty, staff, and students, we recommend using Microsoft Copilot and other tools that do not require users to provide personal information in the sign-up process. Note that we are also learning more about potential access to Adobe Express and Firefly (including their image generation features) with UWGB login credentials, at least for employees. Watch this space for additional details as they become available.

What Can Generative AI Tools Do?

The generative AI tools we’ve discussed so far are all trained on large datasets that produce outputs based on patterns in that dataset. User prompts and feedback can be used to improve their outputs and models, so these tools are constantly evolving. Explore below to learn about some use cases and limitations of text-based generative AI tools.

Generative AI tools can be used in a multitude of ways. Some common use cases for text-based generative AI tools include: 

  • Language generation: Users can ask the AI to write essays, poems, emails, or code snippets on a given topic.  
  • Information retrieval: Users can ask the AI simple questions like “explain the rules of football to me” or “what is the correct way to use a semicolon?”.
  • Language translation: Users can use the AI to translate words or phrases into different languages.  
  • Text summarization: Users can ask them to condense long texts, including lecture notes or entire books, into shorter summaries.
  • Idea generation: Users can use the AI to brainstorm and generate ideas for a story, research outline, email, or cover letter. 
  • Editorial assistance: Users can input their own writing and then ask the AI to provide feedback or rewrite it to make it more concise or formal.

These tools are constantly evolving and improving, but in their current state, many have the following limitations:

  • False or hallucinated responses: Most AI-powered text generators produce responses that they deem are likely answers based on complex algorithms and probability, which is not always the correct answer. As a result, AI may produce outputs that are misleading or incorrect. When asking AI complex questions, it may also generate an output that is grammatically correct but logically nonsensical or contradictory. These incorrect responses are sometimes called AI "hallucinations."
  • Limited frame of reference: Outputs are generated based on the user's input and the data that the AI has been trained on. When asking an AI about current events or information not widely circulated on the internet, it may produce outputs that are not accurate, relevant, or current because its frame of reference is limited to data that it has been trained on. 
  • Citation: Although the idea behind generative AI is to generate unique responses, there have been documented cases in which an AI has produced outputs containing unchanged, copyrighted content from its dataset. Even when an AI produces a unique response, some are unable to verify the accuracy of their outputs or provide sources supporting their claims.
  • Machine learning bias: AI tools may produce outputs that are discriminatory or harmful due to pre-existing bias in the data it has been trained.

The potential for tools like ChatGPT seems almost endless — writing complete essays, creating poetry, summarizing books and large texts, creating games, translating languages, analyzing data, and more. ChatGPT and its contemporaries can interpret and analyze language, similar to how human beings can. These tools have become more conversational and adaptive with each update, making it difficult to discern between what is generated by an AI and what is produced by a human, and the machine-learning models they are based upon imitate the way humans learn, so their accuracy and utility will only continue to improve over time.

What Does This Mean for Educators?

The existence of this technology raises questions about which tasks will be completed all or in part by machines in the future and what that means for our learning outcomes, assessments, and even disciplines. Some experts are discussing to what extent it should become part of the educational enterprise to teach students how to write effective AI prompts and use tools like ChatGPT to produce work that balances quality with efficiency. Other instructors are considering integrating lessons on AI ethics or information literacy into their teaching. Meanwhile, organizations like Inside Higher Ed have rushed to conduct research and surveys on current and prospective AI usage in higher ed to offer some benefits and challenges of using generative AI for leaders in higher education looking to make informed decisions about AI guidance and policy.

Next Steps for UWGB Instructors

The Universities of Wisconsin have issued official guidance on the use of generative AI, but the extent to which courses will engage with this technology is largely left up to the individual instructor. Instructors may wish to mitigate, support, or even elevate students’ use of generative AI depending on their discipline and courses.

Those interested in using these tools in the classroom should familiarize themselves with these considerations for using generative AI, especially regarding a tool’s accuracy, privacy, and security. As with any tool we incorporate into our teaching, we must be thoughtful about how and when to use AI and then provide students with proper scaffolding, framing, and guardrails to encourage responsible and effective usage.

Still, even for those who don’t want to incorporate this technology into their courses right now, we can’t ignore its existence either. All instructors, regardless of their philosophy on AI, are highly encouraged to consider how generative AI will impact their assessments, incorporate explicit guidance on AI tool usage in their syllabi, and continue to engage in conversations around these topics with their colleagues, chairs, and deans.

Learn More

Explore even more CATL resources related to AI in education:

If you have questions, concerns, or ideas specific to generative AI tools in education and the classroom, please email us at catl@uwgb.edu or set up a consultation!

How Will Generative AI Change My Course (GenAI Checklist)?

With the growing prevalence of generative AI applications like ChatGPT and the ongoing discussions surrounding their integration in higher education, it can be overwhelming to contemplate their impact on your courses, learning materials, and field. As we navigate these new technologies, it is crucial to reflect on how generative AI can either hinder or enhance your teaching methods. CATL has created a checklist designed to help instructors consider how generative artificial intelligence (GAI) products like Copilot, ChatGPT, and more may affect your courses and learning materials (syllabi, learning outcomes, and assessment).

Each step provides guidance on how to make strategic course adaptations and set course expectations that address these tools. As you go through the checklist, you may find yourself revisiting previous steps as you reconsider your course specifics and understanding of GAI.

Checklist for Assessing the Impact of Generative AI on your Course

View the 2024 Checklist for Assessing the Impact of Generative AI on your Course as a PDF.

Step One: Experiment with Generative AI

  • Experiment with GAI tools like Copilot (available to UWGB faculty, staff, and students), ChatGPT, or a similar application by inputting your own assignment prompts and assessing their performance in completing your assignments.
  • Research the potential benefits, concerns, and use cases regarding generative AI to gain a sense of the potential applications and misuses of this technology.

Step Two: Review Your Learning Outcomes

  • Reflect on your course learning outcomes. A good place to start is by reviewing this resource on AI and Bloom’s Taxonomy which considers AI capabilities for each learning level. Which outcomes lend themselves well to the use of generative AI and which outcomes emphasize your students’ distinctive human skills? Keep this in mind as you move on to steps three and four, as the way students demonstrate achieved learning outcomes may need to be revised.

Step Three: Assess the Extent of GAI Use in Class

  • Assess to what extent your course or discipline will be influenced by AI advancements. Are experts in your discipline already collaborating with GAI tools? Will current or future careers in your field work closely with these technologies? If so, consider what that means about your responsibility to prepare students for using generative AI effectively and ethically.
  • Determine the extent of usage appropriate for your course. Will you allow students to use GAI all the time or not at all? If students can use it, is it appropriate only for certain assignments/activities with guidance and permission from the instructor? If students can use GAI, how and when should they cite their use of these technologies? Be specific and clear with your students.
  • Revisit your learning outcomes (step two). After assessing the impact of advancements in generative AI on your discipline and determining how the technology will be used (or not used) in your course, return to your learning outcomes and reassess if they align with course changes/additions you may have identified in this step.

Step Four: Review Your Assignments/Assessments

  • Evaluate your assignments to determine how AI can be integrated to support learning outcomes. The previous steps asked you to consider the relevance of AI to your field and its potential impact on students’ future careers. How are professionals in your discipline using AI, and how might you include AI-related skills in your course? What types of skills will students need to develop independently of AI, such as creativity, interpersonal skills, judgement, metacognitive reflection, and contextual reasoning? Can using AI for some parts of an assignment free up students’ time to focus more on the parts that develop these skills?
  • View, again, this resource on AI capabilities versus distinctive human skills as they relate to the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • Define AI’s role in your course assignments and activities. Like step three, you’ll want to be clear with your students on how AI may be used for specific course activities. Articulate which parts of an assignment students can use AI assistance for and which parts students need to complete without AI. If AI use doesn’t benefit an assignment, explain to your students why it’s excluded and how the assignment work will develop relevant skills that AI can’t assist with. If you find AI is beneficial, consider how you will support your students’ usage for tasks like editing, organizing information, brainstorming, and formatting. In your assignment instructions, explain how students should cite or otherwise disclose their use of AI.
  • Apply the TILT framework to your assignments to help students understand the value of the work and the criteria for success.

Step Five: Update Your Syllabus

  • Add a syllabus statement outlining the guidelines you’ve determined pertaining to generative AI in your course. You can refer to our syllabus snippets for examples of generative AI-related syllabi statements.
  • Include your revised or new learning outcomes in your syllabus and consider how you will emphasize the importance of those course outcomes for students’ career/skill development.
  • Address and discuss your guidelines and expectations for generative AI usage with students on day one of class and put them in your syllabus. Inviting your students to provide feedback on course AI guidelines can help increase their understanding and buy-in.

Step Six: Seek Support and Resources

  • Engage with your colleagues to exchange experiences and practices for incorporating or navigating generative AI.
  • Stay informed about advancements and applications of generative AI technology.

Checklist for Assessing the Impact of Generative AI on Your Course © 2024 by Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Want More Resources?

Visit the CATL blog, The Cowbell, for more resources related to generative AI in higher education.

Need Help?

CATL is available to offer assistance and support at every step of the checklist presented above. Contact CATL for a consultation or by email at CATL@uwgb.edu if you have questions, concerns, or perhaps are apprehensive to go through this checklist.

 

 

Considerations for Using Generative AI Tools

Staying updated on the rapidly evolving generative-AI tools can be challenging, and educators may hold divergent (and strong!) views about them. In a previous article, we introduced generative-AI technologies, their capabilities, and implications for higher education. While some educators are enthusiastic about incorporating AI into their teaching methodologies, others may harbor doubts, apprehensions, or simply lack interest in exploring these tools. Regardless of one’s stance, understanding the disruptive impact of these technologies is crucial as we grapple with their ethical and pedagogical implications as educators.

In this article, we will explore some considerations for using generative-AI tools in the classroom, including preliminary precautions and ethical concerns. The more we understand these technologies, the better we can adapt to maximize their potential benefits while minimizing their negative impact.

Things to Consider When Using AI-Powered Tools in your Courses

Understand the inevitability of advancing AI technology.

AI, like many other recent technologies (e.g., personal computers or the internet), will continue to advance and not go away. In fact, they will progress and become better than previous models. This is not something we can “outrun.”

Encourage dialogue on the impact of AI in education

Consider discussing AI technology and its implications with your department, colleagues, and students. In what ways will generative-AI tools change the nature of learning outcomes and even careers in your discipline? How are other instructors responding? In what ways can instructors support each other as they each grapple with these questions?

Provide clear communication with your students on expectations

Whichever camp or situation you may fall into, it is always important to provide students with clear expectations for their use of AI in the classroom. Be specific in your syllabi and assignment descriptions about where and when you will allow or prohibit the use of these tools. You should also make sure whatever guidance you provide is also consistent with UWS Chapter 14 and the communications from our Provost Office. For example statements, view our Syllabus Snippets related to generative-AI

Use generative-AI tools with caution

Exercise caution when using generative-AI tools because the information provided by them may not always be accurate. AI creators, like OpenAI, are upfront about the fact that ChatGPT’s answers aren’t always correct. Due to their ability to hallucinate facts and resources, it’s best to avoid using these tool as a primary source. Be sure to also watch out for potential bias that can appear in outputs by these tools as they are trained on human-generated data.

Offer alternatives for privacy-minded students

If you are asking students to complete an assignment using generative-AI technology, you will also want to provide an opt-out or alternative assignment because students may legitimately not want to provide personal information to sign-up and use certain AI technologies. Many tools openly state they will sell that information.

AI detection tools are not perfect

When using Turnitin’s AI writing detection indicator, it is important to note that there is currently insufficient data to validate its effectiveness. Therefore, results from such reports should be treated as signals that additional review may be necessary. If you suspect academic misconduct, be prepared to support the claim with additional information beyond the detection tool’s report.

Consider ethical and legal issues when using AI tools

As instructors, it is also important to consider the potential ethical, legal, and security risks of AI technologies. Many generative-AI tools are “trained” on the data we put into them, so we must exercise caution when providing prompts to the tools. For example, never put students’ personal information into an AI-powered tool, as this may violate FERPA. Asking students to submit their work (or doing it yourself) to get feedback from ChatGPT or a similar resource puts their intellectual property into the public domain. This should not be done without their explicit consent.

Prepare students to use AI effectively

If you assign tasks that require students to use AI technology, it is important to provide clear instructions about how to do so and not assume students already know. Consider incorporating a discussion on the benefits, limitations, cautions, and ethics of using generative-AI. This could be a valuable in-class activity.

Don’t get caught up in the smoke

Although the capabilities of generative-AI can be scary or worrying at this point, it is best to not get bogged down in the negatives of AI or focus on how to detect cheating through AI use. Are you worried about what AI tools mean for your course materials? Schedule a consultation with us. CATL is here to help!

Learn More

Explore even more CATL resources related to AI in education:

If you have questions, concerns, or ideas specific to generative AI tools in education and the classroom, please email us at catl@uwgb.edu or set up a consultation!