Ilka Kostka

The most important advice I would give is to have an open mind about how generative AI might enhance teaching. We cannot deny that developments in generative AI are rapid, disruptive, and quite controversial. However, we should remain focused on the fact that good teaching should always drive the use of technology and not the reverse.

Ilka Kostka
Teaching Professor, College of Professional Studies

I had a feeling that students knew about ChatGPT early in the spring 2023 semester, just several weeks after it was released to the public. Without having read or experimented too much with ChatGPT, my initial reaction was that ChatGPT and other generative AI tools would make a significant impact on English language teaching. For this reason, I wanted to start experimenting with ChatGPT to try and figure out how it might enhance what I was already doing in the classroom. I knew that I had to learn more about these kinds of tools and how they work, and I was also curious about students’ attitudes toward ChatGPT and whether they were using it.

By experimenting with ChatGPT and other tools with students, I have found that the biggest benefit is the opportunity for students to explore ChatGPT critically and responsibly and in a safe and supportive environment. Critical AI literacy is a skill students will need in their university courses and beyond, so bringing AI into the classroom can help build these skills and students’ confidence to use them appropriately and safely. As an instructor, I have also found that using generative AI can save me time in preparing for class and developing materials. It has also reinforced the notion that all tech tools need to be used in alignment with critical thinking, effective pedagogy, and a humanistic approach, all of which I keep at the forefront of my teaching.

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