Artificial Intelligence - ChatGPT

Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence
ChatGPT and other Large Language Models are forms of artificial intelligence that are trained to use natural language in response to human-generated prompts. It can produce essays, articles, blog posts, lists, poems, songs, literary analyses, computations, arguments, and more.  And given the same prompt multiple times, it produces unique output each time. We asked ChatGPT to tell us “What is ChatGPT?” Here is its answer:
ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI that is trained to generate human-like text. It can be used to generate responses to prompts in a conversational context, such as in a chatbot or virtual assistant. It is based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture, which is a type of neural network that is trained on a large dataset of text to learn patterns in language and generate new text that is similar to the input it has been trained on.

The following is a list of tasks ChatGPT Can Perform


Co-written by ChatGPT and the CTLE staff: 
  1. Text generation: ChatGPT can generate written content, such as articles, abstracts, and summaries (freeing up researchers or students to focus on other aspects of their research or academic tasks).
  2. Text classification: ChatGPT can classify text into various categories, such as sentiment analysis, topic classification, and intent detection.
  3. Text Summarization: ChatGPT can generate a summary of a given text, reducing the text to its most important points.
  4. Editing: ChatGPT can provide feedback on pre-existing text.
  5. Translation: Chat GPT can translate text from one language to another, helping to make information accessible to a wider audience.
  6. Questioning: Chat GPT can create questions for quizzes, tests, or interviews.
  7. Coding: ChatGPT can write computer code.
  8. Mathematical computation: ChatGPT can do college-level math (and show the work).
  9. Conversation History: ChatGPT appears to engage in dialogue with users.
  10. Learning: ChatGPT learns with every user’s prompts and interactions. 

It is not hyperbole to say that this tool has the potential to transform how we teach and learn. Some academics argue that with OpenAI, the College Essay Is Dead. Others offer ideas for How ChatGPT Could Transform Higher Education. Many suggest the best way to address AI is to Put Learning at the Center, Change the Way You Teach, or incorporate AI into your classes and Use ChatGPT to its Full Potential.
Some think we should focus on banning, detecting, and punishing, but these strategies may be short-lived and perhaps short-sighted.  Campus network bans will not work for cell phones or home computers.  Detection will be difficult to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt because the same prompt yields a different response each time, and AI is constantly learning. Other AI companies will have varying levels of commitment to being detectable (i.e., digital watermarking).  Companies whose primary goal is to make money may focus on preventing detection, so they are valuable to those seeking to avoid detection.  As of today, copyright laws only pertain to human ownership over intellectual property.

What are the current limitations of ChatGPT

  1. ChatGPT is not always factually accurate: Despite being trained on a large corpus of text, it may still make errors or provide false information.
  2. ChatGPT has limited knowledge of the world and current events: ChatGPT has limitations in understanding real-world complexities and nuances.
  3. Bias: As with any machine learning model trained on a dataset, ChatGPT, unfortunately, can reflect the biases present in the data on which it was trained.
  4. ChatGPT has limited emotional intelligence. It can generate text that emulates emotions, but it doesn’t have the ability to understand or experience emotions itself.
  5. ChatGPT has limited pedagogical capabilities. It is not designed to replace human teachers and lacks the ability to provide personalized or adaptive instruction.
  6. ChatGPT lacks creative problem-solving skills. It can provide information and answer questions, but it may not be able to help students develop critical thinking or problem-solving skills.
  7. ChatGPT presents ethical dilemmas regarding ownership of written work. 
All of this prompts some very important questions and opportunities for dialogue.  Universities, and especially professors, are asking the following:
  1. What role will ChatGPT and other forms of AI play in higher education in the next 5-10 years? 
  2. Can AI enhance student learning experiences? 
  3. How will AI impact the teaching of writing and the use of writing as an assessment tool? 
  4. How will AI impact critical thinking? 
  5. If AI becomes a standard practice/tool in most industries, how can we prepare our students?
  6. What ethical considerations need to be taken into account when incorporating AI into university classes? 

Faculty considerations for addressing AI in the classroom


  1. Discuss with your students why academic integrity matters and how that applies to our core values of Integrity and Respect. Review the university policies regarding academic integrity and how that applies to Artificial Intelligence in your class.
  2. Include a specific statement in your syllabus about what use of AI is acceptable in your class and what is not.
  3. Create assignments that do not easily lend themselves to the use of AI.
    1. Focus on real-world application of content.
    2. Require application of current events to content.
    3. Include student application of personal experience or knowledge to course content.
    4. Use more collaborative learning experiences.
    5. Substitute traditional papers with projects, blogs, podcasts, multimedia projects, simulations, debates, graphical representations, or student-created videos.
  4. Incorporate ChatGPT or other forms of AI into your teaching.
    1. Generate Test /quiz questions or answer options.
    2. Have students run their writing through ChatGPT for feedback.
    3. Analyze ChatGPT output for content accuracy and writing strengths.
    4. Use ChatGPT for student support, coaching, or tutoring.
    5. Use ChatGPT for brainstorming.
    6. Include ChatGPT as a third step in Think-Pair-Share.  After pairs discuss a topic, have them ask ChatGPT and compare answers before reporting out.
    7. Provide multiple examples or models for a content area concept.
    8. Use ChatGPT to break down large complex issues; have students use critical thinking to develop possible solutions.
    9. Model industry tasks/standards and have students engage in real-world use of AI.
    10. Explore with your students the ethical uses of AI and potential negative impacts in discipline-specific contexts.
    11. Collaborate with colleagues and explore new ways to effectively use AI in teaching and learning. 



Additional Resources