Alexa Alice Joubin, co-director of the Digital Humanities Institute, said she started using AI tools in her classroom in 2021 to help students with their writing assignments and design research questions.
She said generative AI — which responds to changing situations — is often subject to “hype” in the media and academics that makes it seem capable of writing entire papers, when in reality AI is still at a “very basic” stage. “It’s a tool,” Joubin said. “But it can accomplish only very limited tasks, not discursive tasks.”
Joubin said she asked an AI system to design a frequently asked questions section for her syllabus. She added that she uses AI with students to help them refine their research questions to be more open ended, instead of yes-no questions or questions that might not suit research topics.
Joubin said students should disclose when they use AI as a tool for writing, akin to how researchers disclose what scientific equipment they use to complete experiments.
Joubin said she has her class complete multiple discussion boards instead of a midterm paper and converted her final exam into a two-minute film project to ensure her students produce “meaningful” and “personal” assignments. Joubin said she partly made the change to prevent cheating using ChatGPT because she feels students won’t outsource work they are passionate about to AI