Talk of artificial intelligence (AI) and Chat GTP is everywhere – and there are many decisions to be made, such as how we can work with it to benefit students’ learning and our teaching, while maintaining our commitment to academic integrity.
ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is just one example of what’s called a generative artificial intelligence tool – some other examples are WebGTP, Dall-E, Vall-E, Github Copilot, Caktus, Jasper and Codex. The technology is rapidly evolving, and we need to embrace the idea that these tools are here to stay – and while this might present some challenges, it also presents many opportunities.
How are we responding?
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Professor Rorden Wilkinson, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) recently issued a communication in which he encouraged us all to work together to discover the opportunities that ChatGPT presents. Particularly in relation to how we assess and provide feedback to our students.
.. if harnessed properly, the gains from utilising AI in our education—for us and our students—are significant.Professor Rorden Wilkinson
Each Faculty has issued a response to the recent upsurge around AI. While there are variations in these messages, there are points in common across all of them. The Deputy Deans, Education and Employability have highlighted our need to:
- work together to understand how to use artificial intelligence tools in education and share ideas and practices;
- have conversations about artificial intelligence tools and provide clear guidelines on their use for students;
- consider how artificial intelligence might be used in workplaces of the future and how we prepare our graduates for the future world of work;
- continue to expect our students to acknowledge all sources used in the creation of their assessment tasks;
- take steps to manage the immediate impact without making major changes to assessments for Session 1;
- take a longer-term view by reflecting on how we redesign learning and assessment tasks to consider the intersections of artificial intelligence with the critical issues of academic integrity, authenticity, equity, and constructive alignment of curriculum.
Other thoughts from our Deputy Deans Education and Employability include:
The Faculty of Medicine Health and Human Sciences:
On the positive side, artificial intelligence is being used in medicine to save lives by enhancing diagnostic accuracy and supporting decision-making. In our own Faculty we have leading academics at the forefront of the application of artificial intelligence for positive impact. While artificial intelligence also has positive applications in education, it does pose a challenge to academic integrity and the assurance that individuals have developed their capabilities and meet required standards.Cath Dean, Deputy Dean Education and Employability
The Faculty of Arts:
The short version is that we’ve been looking at Open AI in the FoA for a while. We’re not scared of it; we’re not banning it. It’s interesting and exciting. In the short term, we can make a few small changes if needed to manage its arrival, but nothing major. In the long term, we’re going to work with AI and teach our students how to incorporate it into their learning, how to use it outside of University, and how to the tackle the social challenges it presents.Albert Atkin, Deputy Dean, Education and Employability and Maryam Khalid, Associate Dean, Curriculum and Learning
Macquarie Business School:
The conversational capability of the AI engine, combined with its seemingly definitive and comprehensive answers, gives learners unprecedented access to a new ‘guide on the side’ with 24/7 availability. While this provides powerful opportunities for personalised learning support, it also carries inherent challenges, such as an over-reliance on AI and a threat to the integrity of learning and assessment processes.Yvonne Breyer, Deputy Dean, Education and Employability
The Faculty of Science and Engineering:
The AI who shall not be named, is making its presence known in the educational community and we encourage you to reach out for support if your unit is particularly susceptible and get advice on assessment approaches.Katrina Sealey, Faculty Executive Director
Where to next?
Here’s what’s planned for the coming weeks:
- Professors Rorden Wilkinson (DVC-A) and Mariella Herberstein (Dean of Students) will be reaching out to students to remind them of the importance of academic integrity.
- A range of different resources, guidance and support to assist staff.
- A video for students and one for staff will be released comprising views and insights from across the MQ community.
- A series of articles will be released via the learning and teaching blog covering some of the key issues such as: what can we do about assessments in session 1; guiding students about the use of AI tools in their assessments; and the potential for fake academic referencing.
- Conversations will continue in many forums across the university including the Teaching and Leadership Community of Practice (join here).
Stay tuned for more information
Coming soon – a special AI & Chat GPT edition of the learning & teaching blog will be delivered to the inbox of TECHE subscribers. If you are not already a subscriber, you can subscribe to TECHE here.
Do you have any specific questions about Chat GPT and the AIs (Artificial Intelligence and/or Academic Integrity)? Send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org to join the conversation.
Banner image: Photo by hxdbzxy on Shutterstock
Image of Prof. Wilkinson: Joanne Stephan.