ChatGPT will change education, not destroy it

ChatGPT will change education, not destroy it

ChatGPT will change education, not destroy it

Teachers ask students to use ChatGPT to generate text on a topic and then point out any flaws. In one example a Stansbury colleague shared during her workshop, students used the bot to generate an essay on the history of printing. When his US-centric answer didn’t include any information about the origins of print in Europe or China, the teacher used it as a jumping-off point for a conversation about bias. “It’s a great way to focus on media literacy,” says Stansbury.

Crompton is working on a study of ways chatbots can improve teaching. She lists a list of potential applications that she’s excited about, from generating test questions, to summarizing information for students of different reading levels, to helping with time-consuming administrative tasks like writing. emails to colleagues and relatives.

One of her favorite uses of technology is to bring more interactivity into the classroom. Teaching methods that get students to be creative, role-play, or think critically lead to a deeper type of learning than rote memorization, she says. ChatGPT can act as a debate opponent and generate counter-arguments to a student’s positions, for example. By exposing students to an endless amount of opposing viewpoints, chatbots could help them find weak spots in their own thinking.

Crompton also notes that if English is not a student’s first language, chatbots can be a great help when writing texts or paraphrasing existing documents, doing a lot to level the playing field. Chatbots also serve students who have specific learning needs. Ask ChatGPT to explain Newton’s Laws of Motion to a student who learns best with pictures rather than words, for example, and it will generate an explanation that features balls rolling on a table.

Tailor-made learning

All students can benefit from personalized teaching materials, says Culatta, because everyone has different learning preferences. Teachers can prepare a few different versions of their teaching materials to cover a range of student needs. Culatta thinks chatbots could generate personalized materials for 50 or 100 students and make bespoke tutors the norm. “I think five years from now, the idea of ​​a tool that gives us written information for someone else is going to sound really weird,” he says.

Some ed-tech companies are already doing this. In March, Quizlet updated its app with a feature called Q-Chat, built using ChatGPT, which tailors the material to each user’s needs. The app adjusts the difficulty of questions based on how familiar students are with the material they are studying and how they prefer to learn. “Q-Chat provides our students with an experience similar to that of a one-on-one tutor,” says Lex Bayer, CEO of Quizlet.

In fact, some educators think future textbooks could be bundled with chatbots trained in their content. Students would have a conversation with the bot about the contents of the book as well as (or instead of) reading it. The chatbot could generate personalized quizzes to coach students on topics they understand less well.

Of course, not all of these approaches will succeed instantly. Donahoe and her students came up with guidelines for using ChatGPT together, but “we may have come to the end of this course and I think it absolutely didn’t work out,” she says. “It’s still an ongoing experiment.”


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