Welcome to Moreland University, ChatGPT: A Deeper Dive into AI’s Impact on Education
There has been an explosion of articles, podcasts, and blogs about the intersection of ChatGPT and education. It’s hard to know what line of thinking to follow, whether to wring our hands or start cataloging the number of ways the tool can be leveraged for teaching and learning. While we plan to follow a few of those threads in future blogs, we thought we might start by asking ourselves what it will mean for us, as instructors in a completely online environment, with a published curriculum of activities that rely largely on written submissions to prompts?
How Two Moreland University Faculty Members Evaluated the Chatbot’s First Assignments.
We dipped into our Moreland University curriculum and asked ChatGPT to respond to some actual prompts from the courses we teach. The first example is from a course in our M.Ed. Educational Technology degree program, and the second is from our M.Ed. Globalization in Education degree program.
The following prompt is from the first unit of the M.Ed. Educational Technology program (Unit 1, Activity 1): Present 3 or more areas of education that educational technology affects or influences, personal definition of educational technology and role of technology in learning and your own professional career.
ChatGPT’s response is in blue.
- Curriculum and instruction: One of the main areas that educational technology affects is curriculum and instruction. Technology can be used to create interactive and immersive learning experiences, as well as to provide access to a vast array of resources and information. This can help to make learning more engaging and personalized and can also support teachers in the delivery of instruction.
- Assessments and data analysis: Another area that educational technology affects is assessments and data analysis. Technology can be used to create and administer online assessments, and to analyze the resulting data in order to measure student progress and inform instruction.
- Access and equity: educational technology can also play a critical role in improving access to education and fostering equity. For example, online learning platforms and remote teaching tools can help to provide access to education for students in remote or underserved areas, while assistive technology can help to support students with special needs.
We probably would not have noticed anything unusual about this complete, competent response. If it appeared in a cohort’s asynchronous online Discussion Forum, parts may have sounded a bit formal, but not highly suspicious. With a few minor adjustments to the prompt, the reply, or both, detection would be even less likely.
ChatGPT Sources and Citations.
Next, we ran a prompt from a course in the M.Ed. Globalization in Education program (Module 13, Unit 2, Activity 1): How can my school act in supporting immigrant and refugee children at the local, national, or regional level? Use at least 5 citations in APA format.
ChatGPT’s response is in blue.
There are several ways that schools can take action to support immigrant and refugee children at the local, national, and regional levels. Here are five strategies that have been effective in supporting these students:
- Providing language support and English language development programs: Ensuring that immigrant and refugee students have access to high-quality language support and English language development programs can help these students thrive academically and socially in their new school environments (Orellana et al., 2013).
- Offering culturally and linguistically responsive education: Culturally and linguistically responsive education (CLRE) involves teaching practices that are sensitive to the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of immigrant and refugee students, and that recognize the strengths and experiences these students bring to the classroom (Gay, 2010). CLRE can help these students feel more connected to their schools and more motivated to learn.
- Building partnerships with community organizations and agencies: Schools can benefit from building partnerships with community organizations and agencies that work with immigrant and refugee families, such as settlement agencies, community centers, and legal clinics (Hull et al., 2015). These partnerships can provide a range of support services to immigrant and refugee students and their families, including language assistance, legal advice, and social and emotional support.
- Advocating for policies and practices that support immigrant and refugee students: Schools can advocate for policies and practices at the local, national, and regional levels that support the well-being and academic success of immigrant and refugee students, such as policies that provide access to free and reduced-price meals, transportation, and extracurricular activities (Hull et al., 2015).
- Providing professional development for educators: Professional development for educators on working with immigrant and refugee students can help teachers better understand the challenges and strengths these students bring to the classroom, and can provide them with the skills and knowledge to effectively support these students’ academic and social-emotional needs (Tajalli et al., 2018).
Gay, G. (2010). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice (2nd ed.). Teachers College Press.
Hull, G., Jackson, J., & Hardcastle, J. (2015). Education, migration, and the rights of children: Making the links between policy and practice. Routledge.
Orellana, M. F., Orellana, C., & Meza, R. (2013). Teaching for linguistic and cultural responsiveness: A study of language brokering in Latina/o immigrant families. Educational Researcher, 42(8), 448-457.
Tajalli, H., Berry, C., & Cin, S. (2018). Professional development in the education of immigrant children: A systematic review. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 19(4), 1061-1078.
The writing is a little formulaic, a little stiff perhaps, and too accurate in comparison to student responses we are familiar with. But we would have a hard time knowing whether this was generated in whole or part by a student.
The Risk of ChatGPT on Education.
AI and human-built anti-plagiarism tools are evolving rapidly. In a recent article, the developers of ChatGPT at open.ai explained, “We’ve always called for transparency around the use of AI-generated text. Our policies require that users be up-front with their audience when using our API and creative tools… We look forward to working with educators on useful solutions, and other ways to help teachers and students benefit from AI.”
As the chatbots improve, it is not difficult to imagine that it will be almost impossible to tell whether an assignment is written by a student or ChatGPT. The result of suspiciously interacting with assignments students submit erodes trust and a healthy teacher-student relationship.
To illustrate how easy it is to humanize this chatbot, we provided ChatGPT with a prompt and made slight revisions to its response below.
The prompt: Provide a 75-word response to a student about how important culturally and linguistically responsive education is when working with immigrant children in international schools.
The chatbot produced a text in its characteristic, factual, formal manner, shown below in blue.
Culturally and linguistically responsive education is important when working with immigrant children in international schools because it acknowledges and values the unique cultural and linguistic backgrounds of these students. It also helps to create a sense of belonging and inclusivity in the classroom. By taking into account the experiences, needs, and strengths of immigrant children, teachers can create a more equitable and effective learning environment for all students. This approach can also help to promote the academic success and overall well-being of immigrant children, as it acknowledges and addresses their unique needs
To personalize it a bit, we made a few edits. Our edits are in red.
Hi Patrice. Culturally and linguistically responsive education is indeed important when working with immigrant children in international schools because it acknowledges and values the unique cultural and linguistic backgrounds of these students. I appreciate your focus on that, along with everything else. It also helps to create a sense of belonging and inclusivity in the classroom. By taking into account the experiences, needs, and strengths of immigrant children, teachers can create a more equitable and effective learning environment for all students. This approach can also help to promote the academic success and overall well-being of immigrant children, as it acknowledges and addresses their unique needs. Thank you!
And with that we have a look at a possible future educational dystopia, in which the student and teacher maintain the appearance of instruction and learning from behind their respective curtains. Wizard of Oz?
To learn more about the impact of AI on education, watch our webinar on the implications of artificial intelligence in k-12 classrooms.