How will ChatGPT impact education?
Knowing that we cannot completely ban access to ChatGPT, we need to find ways to integrate it into our teaching practices. There is a lot to be said about this topic, but here is some food for thought. Share your thoughts on it in the comments below!
Improvement of information literacy skills
ChatGPT can be useful to do research.
Since it operates essentially the same way as a search engine, students could use it as a facilitator when searching for information that they cannot find with the usual search engines.
Moreover, with ChatGPT, we do not need to go through many readings to find possible answers, since it replies directly to the questions asked.
It might be tempting for students to use the full text generated by ChatGPT and pretend it is their original work. However, this is considered plagiarism. To avoid this, students have to cite ChatGPT as the author, or use the text as a starting point and rephrase the robot’s words. As a teacher, it might be interesting to take a moment with your students to explain the different ways to use ChatGPT in your course.
Conversation with ChatGPT on the referencing of its own texts.
It is important to note that, in this example, ChatGPT indicates it is required to cite following the steps for the APA and APA7 models, but it does not propose the correct way to integrate the date. Therefore, analysis and judgment must be exercised for all information provided by the tool…. At least, for now!
Despite the fact that ChatGPT can answer our questions, it cannot provide sources when requested. The references provided are fictional. It can state some URL links, but these links are non-functional or will take you to uninteresting pages, whatever it might say.
Conversation with ChatGPT on the search for sources on a topic.
As teachers, more than ever, we have to promote critical thinking skills in students and work towards developing their digital literacy skills. ChatGPT can make content and format errors in its answers: it is not 100% reliable. ChatGPT can be considered as a web search tool, such as Google or Bing. Students must continue to triangulate information to validate the source. The teacher’s role is essential in this process.
To support student success
ChatGPT could help students as a feedback generator. Students could share their text and ask for help on ways to improve it. Each student can evaluate the proposed changes and rewrite the text if necessary.
Conversation with ChatGPT as a feedback generator on a text.
The tool can also be used as a review virtual assistant before an evaluation. When students study for an exam and have questions, ChatGPT can answer them quickly and in detail. It can also generate summaries on different subjects that can be used as a checklist to review the material. (Obviously, students have to validate that the information provided by the robot matches the information seen in class!)
Conversation with ChatGPT as a review assistant on a concept.
A way to bring innovation
ChatGPT is a great way to innovate your teaching practices.
Driving us to build on in-depth learning
If we wish to create in-depth learning and improve student retention, we need to move towards creation, evaluation, and analysis skills (Bloom’s taxonomy), as well as co-creativity skills using digital tools [in French].
ChatGPT can be useful to acquire knowledge or develop a basic understanding on a topic, but such activities lead to more surface learning. The core activities carried out by ChatGPT can therefore be a gateway to richer learning experiences such as:
- problem-solving tasks
- collaborative tasks
- reflexive journal writing
- portfolio building
These activities cannot be done by ChatGPT. If you ask the students to complete a reflexive journal following experimentation, ChatGPT cannot do it for them.
Integrating ChatGPT in your classroom
Why not use Chat GPT as a learning tool? Competencies could be developed in a controlled environment. Here are 2 examples of the integration of this tool in class:
- During a brainstorming session in teams, ChatGPT could be used as a teammate. It could adjust and enrich ideas expressed by the team. The opposite could also work: we ask the tool to generate ideas, and the team has to criticize them according to the objective of the activity.
- You can ask ChatGPT to provide a problem-solving task to be analyzed on a chosen topic. In teams, the students must address the problem by integrating the concepts seen in class. Their solution could be shared with the robot in order to get its feedback.
Conversation with ChatGPT asking for the creation of a problem-solving situation. ChatGPT explains a concrete and problematic situation. The students could use it to find related solutions.
ChatGPT is giving us the opportunity to bring a fresh breeze to our assessments. Just like the teaching approaches, the types of assessment can highlight in-depth learning such as:
Building a reflexive portfolio after completing some hands-on activities is a way to observe more in-depth learning. This way, only the student can reinvest the information seen in class and create links with the practice itself. ChatGPT could obviously help with the writing, but it could not generate the ideas.
The evaluation format can also be adapted. For instance, an oral presentation can replace a written text. Take-home tests and exams could also include more complex and open questions since they are more difficult to be automated by the tool. If the objective of the evaluation is knowledge acquisition, a paper-based exam is still a possibility.
Aspects deserving particular attention
ChatGPT collects data from the interactions to improve system accuracy. This information is indicated when creating an account. It may be relevant to discuss the impact of sensitive data sharing on the webwith the students.
Some people might feel concerned about the possible replacement of teachers by artificial intelligence (AI). Any new technology can instill fear at the very beginning. I do not believe AI will ever be able to replace us. But we might have to rethink our pedagogical practices and the way we perceive our role as teachers. We cannot stop technology, so we must adapt our teaching practices to the “real world.” There is always a solution to integrate digital tools while preserving a pedagogical alignment.
I encourage you to try the platform to discover its positive aspects and its limits. However, patience is needed, since the tool is often inaccessible due to a large number of simultaneous connections, which deactivates it.
Could the advent of this technology simply be a new way to optimize our teaching practices?