Anything ChatGPT Can Do, My Students Can Do Better

Anything ChatGPT Can Do, My Students Can Do Better

Comedian Steve Martin as soon as mentioned that instructing is like present enterprise. Keeping this metaphor in thoughts, I attempt to strategy every of my lectures like a stay set. The thought is to maintain my college students current and engaged in order that we are able to be taught collectively in actual time.
But what occurs when the entertaining professor will get upstaged by a chatbot that may produce the lecture in addition to write pupil papers and take the ultimate examination? Does the school class turn out to be a meaningless joke?
Well, no.
There are individuals who worry that ChatGPT, Bard, and different generative AI bots will let college students outsource their very own studying. But I educate media historical past. I do know that new media applied sciences don’t make individuals out of date. Video didn’t kill the radio star.
So slightly than slip some language about ChatGPT within the coverage part of my syllabus about plagiarism (which received’t cease college students who know concerning the apps that may rewrite papers to evade detection), my plan this fall is to give attention to creating interactive classes that incorporate chatbots instantly into my instructing.
Instead of letting chatbots change the educational course of, I’ll present my college students that something that chatbots can do, they’ll do higher.
Many of my college students have been already making an attempt ChatGPT out final yr. Because chatbots may be particularly helpful for performing routine duties, one pupil defined that she had began to make use of ChatGPT at her job in customer support to generate fast responses to complaints, which she would then rewrite to enhance.
While chatbots are in a position to do this sort of job properly, extra sophisticated duties, corresponding to historic essays, generally is a catastrophe. But these limitations additionally open the door to instructing workout routines that present college students tips on how to make the most of this expertise of their work.
Professors instructing writing expertise can have chatbots generate outlines, drafts, and different lists of concepts. Then, the professor can direct college students to work in small teams to rewrite the textual content for larger originality.
Chatbots additionally supply a chance to show essential considering and media literacy expertise. ChatGPT is inclined to creating up false data out of the data-driven cloud—a phenomenon its handlers euphemistically name “hallucinations.” This signifies that college students must learn to verify details and confirm data, utilizing citable sources and databases.
Professors may also educate college students to be alert to the systemic racism and sexism that AI bots can perpetuate and amplify due to the supply texts they’re drawing from. I as soon as requested ChatGPT to write down a listing of a few of the main students of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment. Its response solely included white males—as if no particular person from one other background, ethnicity, or gender ever studied the U.S. Constitution.
An answer to this downside? Show college students how they may give the chatbot follow-up prompts that generate extra full solutions—say, particularly to incorporate individuals of colour, totally different genders, and various backgrounds. When I did this, ChatGPT readily listed Kimberlé Crenshaw, Ange-Marie Hancock, and different distinguished constitutional students.
For my lessons this fall, I’m additionally creating “AI Moments,” the place my college students will get an opportunity to see who does it higher: the robotic or the professor.
After I current a brand new lesson and speak about it with my college students, I’ll immediate ChatGPT to present a lecture on the exact same topic.
To take a look at out this concept over the summer time, I requested ChatGPT to rewrite my quick lecture on the historical past of broadcast media. Unsurprisingly, the textual content it generated was horrible. Just one cliché after one other. It was as chilly and boring as that slice of ham nonetheless enjoyable in my fridge from the Fourth of July. Now there’s an surprising picture for you—the sort of shock flip that ChatGPT won’t ever accomplish. The AI-generated draft additionally made unhealthy phrase selections—changing the phrase “media” with “platform” (not all media are platforms).  It additionally modified my query, “Did the emergence of broadcast TV imply the top of going to the flicks?” and as a substitute requested “whether or not the emergence of broadcast TV resembled the demise of cinema attendance brought on by the rise of radio.” This phrase alternative altered the that means of the purpose, which is that new media doesn’t change the outdated.
When I recreate this train in my classroom, I plan to have my college students search ChatGPT’s lecture for unhealthy writing that they are going to rewrite, turning every cliché into unique imagery and poor phrase selections into one thing extra exact. I’ll additionally ask them to seek out and remove bias and fact-check for inaccuracies.
What I discovered from my observe matches with ChatGPT is that I do know extra about instructing journalism, writing, and media historical past—regardless that the chatbot can draw from huge quantities of data on the web. And extra importantly, it can’t share concepts precisely or in a artistic and interesting manner.
This is the sort of realization I would like my college students to have this fall after we have interaction with the AI-generated textual content, overtly and transparently. My hope is that they are going to be taught to be taught to make use of AI successfully since these instruments will turn out to be ever extra widespread and perhaps even indispensable in workplaces and in training. But additionally that by way of this they understand that relating to the competition of scholars versus robots, they are going to at all times come out on prime.
Elizabeth Blakey is an affiliate professor at California State University Northridge the place she teaches media historical past. In her free time, she does stand-up comedy.
Originally printed on Zócalo Public Square. Primary Editor: Jackie Mansky | Secondary Editor: Sarah Rothbard

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