ChatGPT Shakes up Higher Education

By Chris Sharp
📅 January 18, 2023
🕑 Read time: 5 minute(s)
ChatGPT Shakes up Higher Education

ChatGPT from OpenAI is a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool in a class called natural language processors (NLPs) and generative AI, and it has made waves in the field of education. ChatGPT represents a leap forward in NLPs with its easy-to-use interface and uncanny ability to understand and write about seemingly any topic. Given a simple (or complex!) text prompt, ChatGPT will write a cohesive response based on a language model trained using billions of words and phrases taken from sources on the internet. Impressively, ChatGPT can hold the “thread” of a conversation session and take previous prompts or instructions into account.

Many people have a mixture of excitement and anxiety (academic integrity, etc.) about how ChatGPT and other AI tools will affect higher education. AI tools are here to stay, though, and it is important to embrace the possibilities while also understanding the pitfalls. ChatGPT is often extremely confident in its responses even when there are inaccuracies or missing nuances, and it can even make up fictional references if asked to cite its sources. ChatGPT is currently based on GPT 3.5, and this technology is rapidly evolving. We will continue to publish new information as ChatGPT changes and as more people gain experience with the tool across UF.

To learn more, I asked ChatGPT “How will you affect higher education?”, and I am quoting its full response below:

“Language models like mine have the potential to greatly impact higher education by making it more accessible and efficient. Some of the ways this can happen include:

  • Automated Essay Grading: Language models can be trained to grade essays and other written assignments, which can save teachers time and allow them to focus on providing feedback.
  • Language Translation: Language models can be used to translate texts and documents, making it easier for students and teachers to understand and work with materials in different languages.
  • Tutoring and Learning Assistance: Language models can be used to provide personalized tutoring and learning assistance to students, which can help them to better understand difficult concepts.
  • Research Assistance: Language models can be used to assist with research by helping to identify relevant literature and generating summaries of articles and other materials.
  • Content Creation: Language models can be used to generate educational content, such as practice questions, quizzes, and summaries of key concepts.

However, it is important to note that while language models like mine have the potential to greatly impact higher education, they are not a substitute for human teachers and should be used as a tool rather than a replacement.”

You can try ChatGPT yourself on the OpenAI website. To learn more about AI and ChatGPT and find relevant articles and academic dishonesty mitigation strategies, check out this page about ChatGPT on the CITT Learning Innovation and Technology website. In addition, please feel free to contact us with any questions or to ask for a consultation about how AI might affect your specific courses!

Image credit: Hitesh Choudhary, Unsplash license

TagsEducation TechnologyEngagementFaculty Development, Student Success, TeachingTechnology