Until last year, universities and schools were not open to the idea of including AI in the syllabus, in fact, they were adopting policies about how to ban tools like ChatGPT. But now, educators at both small and large US and international universities are encouraging and teaching students how to best use these tools, according to a report by CNN.
“Earlier on, we saw a knee-jerk reaction to AI by banning it going into spring semester, but now the talk is about why it makes sense for students to use it,” Lance Eaton, an administrator at Rhode Island-based College Unbound, told the media outlet.
They have made AI-focussed Facebook groups, such as Higher Ed Discussions of Writing and AI, and the Google group AI in Education.
“It’s really helped educators see how others are adapting to and framing AI in the classroom,” Mr Eaton said. “AI is still going to feel uncomfortable, but now they can now go in and see how a university or a range of different courses, from coding to sociology, are approaching it.”
The report said that the professors now fear ignoring or discouraging the use of ChatGPT and say that it will be a disservice to students.
According to a study conducted by Intelligent.com, about 30 percent of college students used ChatGPT for schoolwork this past academic year and it was used most in English classes. The study said that 1 in 8 saw their GPA increase, the majority believe it’s related to their use of ChatGPT.
The study further said that college ChatGPT users seem to have had a positive experience studying with the tool. More than 3 in 4 say they are ‘somewhat’ (46%) or ‘highly likely’ (32%) to recommend studying with ChatGPT to another student.
Jules White, an associate professor of computer science at Vanderbilt University told CNN, “It cannot be ignored,” adding, “I think it’s incredibly important for students, faculty and alumni to become experts in AI because it will be so transformative across every industry in demand so we provide the right training.”
In fact, some schools are hiring outside experts to teach both faculty and students about how to use AI tools.