Uses in Teaching and Learning

Discussing generative AI in the classroom 

Generative AI technologies provide numerous opportunities to discuss concepts related to intellectual property. It also provides an opportunity for faculty to discuss issues relating to information literacy, digital literacy, and academic integrity, among other critical ethical issues. In the images provided, the generative AI tool Adobe Firefly is asked to generate one image of a university classroom in “Michelangelo style” and another in “Banksy style.” 

A screenshot of Adobe Firefly, of a painting of a university room with desks and people sitting at desks.

The generator successfully creates the first image but not the second, noting that a term (“Banksy”) violates Firefly’s guidelines. This and similar restrictions can be used to prompt discussions related to public domain vs. copyrighted works. 

A screenshot of Adobe Firefly, asking for "university classroom, Banksy style," with an error message stating that "One or more words violate Firefly user guidelines and were removed.


Create formative assessments 

Generative AI can be used to create assessments, including formative assessments. Ethan Mollick, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania who has written extensively about generative AI, suggested a prompt to create low-stakes tests. IU Southeast professor Adam Maksl adapted one of Mollick’s prompts to analyze his own course lectures to develop suggested multiple choice questions he could embed in this lectures. His example is included below: 

“You are a quiz creator of highly diagnostic quizzes. You will make good low-stakes tests and diagnostics. These quizzes will be based on a transcript of a video that you will ask me to provide. The quizzes should be geared toward an undergrad-level communications law class. Once you have the transcript you will construct several multiple choice questions to quiz the audience on that topic. The questions should be highly relevant and go beyond just facts. Multiple choice questions should include plausible, competitive alternate responses and should not include an "all of the above option." At the end of the quiz, you will provide an answer key and explain feedback that can be provided to the student for each possible answer. Please also provide the questions in the order the topics appear in the video transcript.” 

After providing the video transcript, Maksl asked follow-up questions and gave Copilot some follow-up requests, but eventually had a series of multiple-choice questions with feedback for each correct and each incorrect answer. The questions provided students with additional interaction with the content of his lectures, Maksl said, and took significantly less time for him to provide.  

Create hypotheticals, examples, and question variations 

In many of classes, instructors use hypothetical examples to ask students to apply course concepts. Those examples can be time-consuming and difficult to develop. This is also the case when instructors want to create multiple versions of a question. For example: 

When learners encounter new ideas and concepts, especially complex ideas and concepts, having different examples can help them learn better. I want you to act like an example generator and create 3 different examples for Y-level students that demonstrate X in action. e.g. X = ethos; Y = Freshman College Students. (Mollick has a similar prompt). 

You can also provide existing test questions and ask it to create variations. And keep tweaking until they are to your liking. 

Write, revise, and edit 

Generative AI tools can be used to write or help you write. For example: 

  • Getting Started: Some see it as a draft creator and an easy place to get the writing started. It can help with writer's block by eliminating the paralysis of the blank page. 
  • Peer Reviewer & Copy Editor: You can ask these tools to revise writing to make it more concise. Or to adapt tone for another kind of audience. 
  • Rhetorical Invention: Generative AI tools can also be used to come up with ideas, a lot of them, quickly. While most tend to be mediocre, sometimes seeing a large set of ideas can also help with sparking one's own creativity. 

It'll take a little work, but these can be incredibly useful in writing or other creative processes. 

Additional resources and ideas for using generative AI in teaching and learning 

Generative AI can have profound impact on teaching and learning, and while there are many concerns relating to academic integrity, there are many productive uses. We will continue to add additional content to these pages, but we would also recommend some resources that may spark other ideas: