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ChatGPT could turn writing into ‘technical Mad Libs.’ But could it also spark needed change in higher ed?

Several Pittsburgh-area professors are trying to embrace AI in the classroom rather than resist the new wave of . Chris Girman, an English professor at Point Park University, talks AI software ChatGPT and its potential impacts on teaching and learning in his office on Monday, Jan. 23rd, 2023. (Photo by Amaya Lobato-Rivas/PublicSource) Professor Chris Girman has an idea for an in-class assignment with his students at Point Park University. It would bring a widespread concern in higher education directly to his classroom. He'd like them to generate essays using ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence tool attracting national attention over fears it will lead to more elusive cheating on assignments. Girman, chair of the Department of Literature, Culture, and Society, doesn't want his students to submit AI-generated essays for a grade. He'd like them to critique the chatbot's work in class. If the essays are “beautiful,” what makes them so? What do the students dislike? Are they happy with the paper that the tool generated on their behalf? Ultimately, Girman wants his students to take ownership of their work and become deeply invested in the process of writing. Through that, he hopes they'll say: “I don't want this bot to take this away from me.” “We confront it, and that huge fear goes away. We realize how we can control it,” he said of the technology. “Students don't want to be robbed of the product. They don't.” Across the country and in Pittsburgh, universities and professors are wrestling with […]

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