Teaching with AI: OpenAI's new teachers guide

OpenAI has released a ‘Teaching with AI’ guide to help instruct teachers on how to use ChatGPT in their classrooms. OpenAI has received bad press due to the ChatGPT plagiarism and cheating scare emerging within academia. The company seems to be taking control of the narrative and supplying educators with the tools necessary to integrate ChatGPT into their workspaces.

OpenAI’s Teachers Guide

The company states, "We’re releasing a guide for teachers using ChatGPT in their classroom– including suggested prompts, an explanation of how the program works, its limitations, the efficacy of AI detectors and bias.” OpenAI claims that using ChatGPT accelerates student learning, and certain prompts can support educators as they “get started with the tool.” The post offered success stories from teachers from higher education institutes across the globe to demonstrate the flexibility and versatility of the platform.

Plethora of possibilities

OpenAI states that ChatGPT can be used for role-playing challenging conversations. One example the company provided is from Dr. Helen Crompton, Professor of Instructional Technology at Old Dominion University, U.S. OpenAI cited how ChatGPT helps “encourage her education graduate students to use the software as a stand-in for a particular persona– like a debate partner who will point out weaknesses in their arguments.” OpenAI demonstrates through these speakers the diverse nature of the platform when used in academia. For example, the company states that ChatGPT can also simulate job interviews, help prepare a graduate student for a recruiter's potential questioning, or transform into a new boss delivering feedback. OpenAI cited Dr. Crompton, saying that exploring information in a conversational manner can help students better understand their material with “added nuance and a new perspective.”

Help to teachers

What would you think if an artificial intelligence chatbot built your quizzes or tests and supported your learning without you even knowing it? According to OpenAI, Frans Bellas, a professor at Universidade da Coruña in Spain, recommends the software for doing just that. Although this might seem hypocritical to some, as the plagiarism police have clamped down on using ChatGPT in universities, ChatGPT does have its benefits. The OpenAI article slips in little tips and tricks backed by scholars to help educators gauge the use of artificial intelligence in streamlining learning and teaching. OpenAI states that Bellas “first shares the curriculum to ChatGPT and then asks for things like fresh quiz and lesson plan ideas.” Furthermore, OpenAI claims that the program can help teachers like Bellas ensure inclusivity and accessibility for students, tailoring the questions to students.

Learning languages with AI

Non-native English speakers turn to ChatGPT to help translate words, improve their writing style, and practice conversations. According to quotes from the OpenAI article, Dr. Anthony Kaziboni, the Head of Research at the University of Johannesburg, encourages students to use ChatGPT for translation assistance and to improve their command of the English language. Thus “reducing friction for non-English speakers” in a public and academic environment.

It’s critical

Finally, we move on to critical thinking, one of the significant concerns that sprung to the minds of educators when initially confronted with the perceived threat that ChatGPT imposed on this soft skill. OpenAI cited Geetha Venugopal, a high school computer science teacher at the American International School in Chennai, India. In the OpenAI article, she mentions that “teaching students about AI is as fundamental as teaching students how to use the internet responsibly.” While also “understanding the importance of constantly working on their original critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity skills.”

AI academic mentorship

This maps the beginning of AI in education and demonstrates that integration is of dire importance to the development of academia. OpenAI provides some exciting prompts for teachers to use when teaching and preparing for lessons. However, we at Cybernews Academy were most interested in example D, creating an AI tutor. We have already discussed this topic in our article, ‘ChatGPT: Your new academic mentor.’ The notion that teachers are using and promoting OpenAI’s program to help streamline student productivity and understand concepts by explaining ideas and answering questions is remarkable. OpenAI’s prompt instructs the software to transform into “an upbeat, encouraging tutor who helps students understand concepts by explaining ideas and asking students questions.” Then, the teacher instructs the program to ask questions about what students want to learn about, ask them about their learning level, and then ask what they already know about the topic. This method should help students understand the subject as the chatbot should provide explanations, examples, and analogies tailored to their learning level and previous knowledge.

Revolutionizing academia

This practice is not unfamiliar to many independent educational institutions. For example, the Khan Academy has launched and trialed its own AI chatbot tutor called Khanmigo, which helps students solve problems by instructing and guiding them through the methodology without providing the answers outright. AI is slowly becoming a prevalent part of contemporary education as chatbots like ChatGPT and Khanmigo are increasingly used. Although educators faced concerns surrounding plagiarism and academic misconduct when confronted with AI in academia, this fear has been somewhat tempered. Academic AI chatbots are now being used to aid students in their academic work instead of providing answers outright. Khanmigo and other chatbots support students' learning by coaching them through the process and forcing them to think critically about their answers.

Artificial intelligence has seemingly infiltrated all facets of our daily lives, and finally, it is conquering education. But is it all bad? Despite previous fears surrounding AI in education, artificial intelligence could benefit many students worldwide with personalized learning and one-on-one tuition. Not only does this helps the student, but it also benefits teachers who spend insurmountable hours on lesson plans, tailored tuition, and exercises based on curriculums. AI could be educators' final tool to diversify their teaching styles and get students interested in learning. AI is becoming more widely accepted in academic institutions, giving students the green light to use programs like ChatGPT to support their learning.