Balazs Szelenyi

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I experienced a significant challenge in teaching. My students, preoccupied with their phones and computers, seemed disengaged from the class. However, the situation has improved markedly with the adoption of Generative AI. While students are still using their phones, they are now much more engaged and productive. They actively participate in class and are deeply involved in the course material. Moreover, when used effectively, the Generative AI platform serves as a class notebook, allowing students to efficiently track and organize the information they search for and discuss. This has enhanced their learning experience and engagement with the subject matter.

Balazs Szelenyi
Associate Teaching Professor
Director of Faculty and Lead Teacher, International Programs
College of Professional Studies

Careful lesson planning, when combined with generative AI, can greatly elevate student engagement in both learning and research. I view it as an invaluable tool that not only aids students in their research but also supports their writing efforts. In our classroom, we utilize ChatGPT in a role akin to a teaching assistant or a personal aide. I often liken it to a dynamic partnership for my students, telling them, ‘Consider yourselves as Batman, and ChatGPT as your Alfred.’ Now you have become a superhero.

For instructors who are new to implementing AI into their teaching practice, I advise starting small and experimenting. Focus on the learning process and build a path for students to reach those ‘aha’ moments. Stay informed about new apps and tools, and update your skills accordingly. Teach students about responsible AI use, including understanding its limitations and potential biases. Encourage collaborative use of AI, where students share insights and learn from each other’s interactions with the technology. Assisting students is crucial, as I’ve been surprised by how many need help developing their prompt engineering skills.

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