Community Updates


Chat GPT and AI in the Classroom

By Heather Fitzgerald

Posted on April 04, 2023 | Updated April 05, 2023, 11:54am

Filed in Faculty

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ChatGPT is a chat bot created by OpenAI that responds to user questions or prompts. Many sample text responses that ChatGPT generates can be indistinguishable from human writing, which obviously has implications for writing-based university assignments.

What we know right now:

  • Students in elementary school already know about this technology so you can be sure your students do too. Having open conversations about what they can and can’t use it for is a great way to let them know you know about it too!
  • ChatGPT (and other AI tools) are not that good yet, but they will get better. And they are not going away. So thinking about how and why you might use or address these technologies in your classes and course outlines is going to be increasingly important.
  • ChatGPT is not reliable: the platform can’t go beyond paywalls or access research behind library logins, it stumbles when asked to take a position on a controversial topic, and it will invent citations or sources to support an argument if it can’t find relevant ones. It may be a good tool for preliminary research or generic writing, but students should be aware of its limitations.
  • There are some pretty significant ethical concerns about how and from whom AI generators (text and art) get their source materials –creators get neither credit nor compensation for the work that these platforms use.

As with all technologies, ChatGPT will make some things easier and some things harder. And like all innovations, it does encourage us to consider, review and adapt our teaching (and learning) practices, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

And just a reminder that we have resources about cheating and plagiarism (and what to do if you suspect that’s happening in your classes) on our website: Cheating + Plagiarism | Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Further Resources
The following are collections of articles and resources for working with and in response to ChatGPT and AI generators in your teaching:

College writing instructor Anna Mills has shared several Google Docs related to Chat GPT and teaching.

Educator Bryan Alexander has collected resources and recorded webinars on how AI text generator might affect higher education more generally:
Resources for exploring ChatGPT and higher education