OpenAI publishes ChatGPT guidance for teachers and educators

September 3, 2023
OpenAI

OpenAI has released an all-inclusive guide for integrating ChatGPT into educational settings in a major move aimed at educators. 

This guide covers a gamut of topics, including the technology’s functionalities, limitations, and suggested prompts. The guide also discusses essential subjects like the efficacy of AI detectors and how to address bias.

Dr. Helen Crompton, a Professor of Instructional Technology at Old Dominion University, highlights the benefits of ChatGPT for teachers, stating, “Exploring information in a conversational setting helps students understand their material with added nuance and new perspective.” 

Similarly, Fran Bellas, a professor at Universidade da Coruña, actively incorporates ChatGPT to enhance his educational materials. 

“If you go to ChatGPT and ask it to create 5 question exams about electric circuits, the results are very fresh. You can take these ideas and make them your own,” Bellas stated. 

ChatGPT also shows promise in helping non-native English speakers improve their speaking and writing skills. 

Dr. Anthony Kaziboni, the Head of Research at the University of Johannesburg, said, “Command of English is a tremendous advantage in the academic world, and misunderstandings of even small details of English grammar can hold back students from recognition and opportunity.”

Since ChatGPT is not always accurate and can be misleading, Geetha Venugopal, who teaches computer science at the American International School in Chennai, argues the importance of nurturing critical thinking among students. 

“The goal is to help them understand the importance of constantly working on their original critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills,” Venugopal said. 

She advises her students to cross-verify information from AI sources and promotes healthy skepticism.

Sample prompts

OpenAI provided some sample prompts for teachers to try, such as, “You are a friendly and helpful instructional designer who helps teachers develop effective explanations, analogies and examples in a straightforward way. Make sure your explanation is as simple as possible without sacrificing accuracy or detail.”

In recent months, the inexorable advance of generative AI in the education sector has become a significant talking point.

Many are concerned that AI will erode critical thinking skills and knowledge creation as people start to rely on it.

However, increasing use of the technology is inevitable, so schools and universities will likely need to learn how to harness the technology’s benefits while minimizing risks. 

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Sam Jeans

Sam is a science and technology writer who has worked in various AI startups. When he’s not writing, he can be found reading medical journals or digging through boxes of vinyl records.

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