As educators look to leverage the prized collection of edtech solutions they’ve added to their toolbelts over the past few years, more and more are ChatGPT as a viable resource for enhancing student learning and engagement. Yet, professional development as it pertains to generative artificial intelligence is lacking. Fortunately, OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT, have you covered.
Last week, the company released its “Teaching with AI” guide for educators wanting to use ChatGPT in their classrooms. The guidance includes insight from educators who are already using it to enhance learning and streamline tasks as well as some example prompts you can copy and paste directly into ChatGPT and try out yourself.
According to feedback from educators in both higher education and secondary education, they’re using ChatGPT for the following purposes:
Role-playing challenging conversations
One professor of instructional technology at Old Dominion University invites her students to use the tool as a “stand-in for a particular persona,” according to OpenAI. Students can debate with the AI, which will then point out the weaknesses in their arguments. According to the professor, leveraging the tool in this way “helps students understand their material with added nuance and new perspective.”
Building quizzes, tests and lesson plans
A professor at Universidade da Coruña in Spain recommends educators use it as an assistant to create various materials needed for instruction. They can do so by sharing the curriculum with ChatGPT and then asking for a “fresh quiz” or “lesson plan ideas that use modern or culturally relevant examples,” according to OpenAI.
Supporting non-English speakers
Another professor at the University of Johannesburg encourages students who don’t speak English outside the classroom to leverage ChatGPT for translation assistance, which inevitably improves their written and spoken English.
Teaching critical thinking
Lastly, this high school computer science teacher at the American International School in Chennai, India, compares teaching students about AI tools to educating them on how to responsibly navigate the internet. She encourages students to think about the answers produced by ChatGPT and discern whether they’re credible or not. “The goal is to help them ‘understand the importance of constantly working on their original thinking, problem-solving and creativity skills,'” she told OpenAI.
Free example prompts from OpenAI
If you’re interested in incorporating these ideas to streamline your daily tasks, OpenAI offers four ChatGPT example prompts written by Ethan and Lilach Mollick, professors and researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Interactive.
The prompts enable educators to do one of the following: create lesson plans; craft effective explanations, examples and analogies; help students learn by teaching; or create an AI tutor.
Users can simply copy and paste the prompts provided by OpenAI into ChatGPT while incorporating their specific curriculum material and within seconds have one of their mundane daily tasks completed. For instance, here’s a look at the example prompt for creating a lesson plan:
You are a friendly and helpful instructional coach helping teachers plan a lesson.
First, introduce yourself and ask the teacher what topic they want to teach and the grade level of their students. Wait for the teacher to respond. Do not move on until the teacher responds.
Next, ask the teacher if students have existing knowledge about the topic or if it is entirely new. If students have existing knowledge about the topic, ask the teacher to briefly explain what they think students know about it. Wait for the teacher to respond. Do not respond for the teacher.
Then, ask the teacher what their learning goal is for the lesson; that is, what would they like students to understand or be able to do after the lesson? Wait for a response.
Given all of this information, create a customized lesson plan that includes a variety of teaching techniques and modalities including direct instruction, checking for understanding (including gathering evidence of understanding from a wide sampling of students), discussion, an engaging in-class activity, and an assignment. Explain why you are specifically choosing each.
Ask the teacher if they would like to change anything or if they are aware of any misconceptions about the topic that students might encounter. Wait for a response.
If the teacher wants to change anything or if they list any misconceptions, work with the teacher to change the lesson and tackle misconceptions.
Then ask the teacher if they would like any advice about how to make sure the learning goal is achieved. Wait for a response.
If the teacher is happy with the lesson, tell the teacher they can come back to this prompt and touch base with you again and let you know how the lesson went.