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Faculty Guide

Guide to effectively using library resources and services at HIU.

Check Your Assignments - Are they too easy for AI

Essays that focus on recalling or reporting information are no longer meaningful assignments. The AI, or a Google search, will answer these prompts. That means that the assessment is no longer meaningful. Assignments that require reflection, on the class, on the lecture, on the text, on self, those cannot be replaced by AI (yet, but that is a longer conversation). Writing assessments need to be geared toward research or creativity, in which flection plays a part.

Keep Perspective On AI Writing Assignments

Prompt Writing / Prompt Engineering

The AI was trained on books and novels; huge amounts. Most current AIs tend to write like an author or narrator. To get the most out of the AI, it is then, sometimes best to not ask it a question, but to set up a story. There are three parts to creating these types of prompts: create a believable character, use flattery to make the character better than most people, but not overly perfect, and then finish the prompt as an opening of dialogue. With that prompt, also be sure to keep clarity, conciseness, and specificity.

Don't do this: What are ten uses of a frying pan?

Do this: Paul, a culinary arts student, asked his instructor, "Chef, what are the many uses of a frying pan?" And the Chef responded...

Hint: don't overdo the flattery because, in literature and movies, someone that is too good at something often has flaws; too smart and they make common mistakes, too athletic, and they trip, too righteous and they sin. The AI will see a "perfect" character and present their flaw, even if you don't ask for it. Sometimes the AI "mistake" is because it is narrating a character flaw.

Some Potential Uses of AI in the Academy

The following are some potential uses of AI. Obviously, some of these could be misuses of AI and violations of academic integrity. If you allow AI use in a course, make sure that the student know the boundaries between use and misuse. Any use of AI should be explicate in your instructions and use by the student should be explicitly stated / cited in the work.

1 - Simple brainstorming - listing of ideas. A student could do this with a partner or friend, but AI can now do this pretty well.

2 - Have the AI generate research questions on a topic.

3 - Have the AI generate a list of keywords or terms for study on a topic.

4 - List of Pros or Cons for an idea. This is similar to #1, but for controversial ideas.

5 - Points of View. Not perfect, but the AI can take your idea and then try to restate or point out issues that might come up for a person from another background / culture / mindset. This could help some students see outside their own personal context.

6 - Summarize an academic article. Really a good idea for difficult concepts or for language learners. ** WARNING - may deskill "close reading" if done too much.

7 - Identify themes or patterns in an article, chapter, or essay.

8 - Edit or "improve" some writing. Grammarly, Microsoft Word, and soon, Google Docs, include AIs that can be used to add content or change content to a writing. ** There are "dehumanizers". That is, there are AIs built just to take one written piece and rewrite it so that it reads more like something a typical person would write.

9 - "Conversation" Partners

a - this can be used for learning languages, translating, or listening for pronunciation (this can be both, listen to the AI or the AI listen to the student pronounce words)

b - ask the AI to be a patient (for psychology or kinesiology or pastoral counseling), give it a problem and then have a conversation about the issues the AI is dealing with.