Using ChatGPT in Learning and Teaching

ChatGPT has dominated the news in academic circles recently. What is it, and can we use it to enhance learning and teaching at the University?

An image produced by Stable Diffusion with items laid out in an isometric grid style, including mortarboards and boxes, and an overall 'educational' feel.

Image by Stable Diffusion, prompt: 

(large language  model:1.1), (education:1.7), (artificial intelligence:1.4), (teaching:1.3),  (knowledge:1.2), "Using Large Language Models in Learning and Teaching"

Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT can produce responses to prompts which feels like conversing with a person - sometimes. These LLMs are high-level predictive text generators; the GPT in  ChatGPT stands for Generative Pretrained Transformer, indicating that it has been trained on a dataset to generate in this case text (a transformer is a deep-learning model in machine learning parlance).

While a lot of attention has been focussed on how these might allow students to cheat, they can also be used by educators to aid their teaching. This quick three part primer will briefly discuss what an LLM is and what you can do with them in your teaching, and some recommendations on how to encourage students to use them appropriately.

Part 1 - What are they?

Part 2 - What can (and can't) they do?

Part 3 - How can I use them?

More Information

Jairus Bowne