Educational Tools,  Teaching & Learning

ChatGPT: The New Frontier

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sitting at my stand-up desk, I mused about the beginning of this post. Thwack! The idea came to me like a bug playing tag with my windshield on a South Dakota interstate in the middle of June. I would use ChatGPT, a freshly minted artificial intelligence (AI) chat robot. I asked Siri to play the theme from the movie Inception and carefully steered my browser to With Hans Zimmers’ electronic sound garden in the background, I placed my cursor in the chat box and typed, “Write a 300 word introduction to Servant Teaching.” ChatGPT began working on the query and produced, word-by-word, six paragraphs. I will share the first two with you below: 

Servant teaching is a philosophy and approach to education that emphasizes the role of the teacher as a servant to their students. This approach is based on the idea that the teacher's primary goal is to serve their students’ needs and best interests, rather than focusing solely on imparting knowledge or achieving academic success. 

Advocates of servant teaching argue that this approach creates a more positive and supportive learning environment, where students feel safe and valued, and are, therefore, more motivated and engaged in their learning. Servant teachers focus on empowering their students to take an active role in their own learning, encouraging them to ask questions and explore new ideas, and providing them with the support and resources they need to succeed. 

After reading those two paragraphs, your reactions may vacillate between amazement and horror. Keeping with my DiSC Di tendencies, let me tackle the horror feelings first.  

You may ask, “could my students use ChatGPT to gain an unethical advantage in their academic pursuits? Yes, . . . yes, they could. You may ask, “how will we keep students from using ChatGPT?” We won’t be able to stop students from using ChatGPT. Still, there is good news – Turnitin just released technology to detect ChatGPT and other AI-produced materials (check out Turnitin’s blog post and short video for details). 

With the scary stuff out of the way, let me pose three questions for you to ponder: 

  1. What teaching and learning issues surface with AI technology? 
  1. What do you think about using AI to educate students in your specific discipline? 
  1. How would you use ChatGPT? 

Lastly, be looking for future posts on this topic. While this post breaks the ice, future posts will address the questions above. In keeping with the vibe, I asked ChatGPT to write a short, witty, Cedarville University-approved closing statement to a blog post. 

And that's a wrap folks! Thanks for reading and remember to always ‘Think Biblically, Act Missionally’ at Cedarville University.

ChatGPT contributed to this post...or did it? Maybe it wrote the entire thing and Rob’s contribution is the lie. 

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