Letter from Dean Pam Jansma
Welcome to October. Time seems to be moving very quickly this academic year. I thought that I would begin with a brief tale as we head into fall and the middle of the semester.
Once upon a time, in the whimsical realm of Absurdiland, where coconuts migrated and swallows discussed airspeed velocities, a troupe of artificially intelligent jesters entered the scene. These silicon sorcerers, armed with algorithms sharper than Exaclibur and logic more twisted than a pretzel in a Möbius strip, pranced through the kingdom leaving chaos and laughter in their binary wake. The knights engaged in epic battles of wit, debating the profound questions of existence. In this bizarre tapestry of ones and zeros, the comedians proved that the meaning of life might be hidden in the punchline of a cosmic joke.
Anyone guess what the tale is? It is ChatGPT writing a few sentences about AI in the style of Monty Python, which brings me to what CLAS is doing with the arrival of AI in academia.
Over the summer, a group of faculty looked at generative AI and how we could leverage the emerging technology to enhance the educational experience. The task force, whose members are listed below, created a guide for faculty to insert into their syllabi, which outlined three possible scenarios as to how much AI would be permissible in the class (none, some, wide-open). The group made recommendations for moving forward, including having an online repository of assignments that incorporate AI and piloting the implementation of generative AI in Business Writing courses this academic year. Various members of the group also have visited departments to talk about their efforts and get feedback. As AI becomes far more influential and common, we in CLAS want to be ready to harness its potential for a better learning environment for students and faculty that leads to improved outcomes.
- Joanne Addison, English
- David Hildebrand, Philosophy
- Amy Hassinoff, Communication
- Cameron Blevins, History
- Fatima Esseili, English
The group is partnering with TIPS to offer a 3 part workshop:
- Navigating the AI Frontier: Aligning AI's Capabilities with Your Learning Objectives, October 19th, 11-noon, Zoom
- Navigating the AI Frontier: Practical Insights and Application, November 8, 11-noon, Zoom
- Navigating the AI Frontier: Tales from the Classroom, December 1, 1-2, Zoom