DOLCE - March 3, 2023 - Two Faculty Presentations on Teaching with Chat GPT
From Margaret Merrill
On Friday, March 3rd, the ATS March DOLCE (Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education) featured ChatGPT presentations from two of our faculty colleagues from the University Writing Program: Andrea Ross and Lisa Sperber.
Andrea Ross is the author of Unnatural Selection: A Memoir of Adoption and Wilderness, from CavanKerry Press. Her writing has appeared in Huffington Post, The Conversation, Ploughshares, Terrain, Bay Nature, and many other print and online outlets. She has received fellowships and awards from the California Arts Council, the Mesa Refuge, and Bread Loaf.
Ross’s presentation, titled “ChatGPT Meets UWP 104A (Business and Technical Writing) and Other Thoughts about Generative AI,” reviewed the strengths and weaknesses of writing generated by ChatGPT, providing some examples of AI-generated responses to Ross’s writing assignments. Ross also discussed AI detection efforts and the sorts of writing prompts that reward authentic responses from our students.
Lisa Sperber teaches a range of professional writing classes. She is in the early stages of a research project that looks at writing produced by GPT software from a genre perspective. As a former Writing Across the Curriculum consultant, she has worked with faculty across campus to support writing instruction in their undergraduate and graduate classes.
Sperber’s talk, titled “Chat GPT: 'Great at Pretending to Think,'” examined ChatGPT’s writing by genre, introducing its strengths, limitations, and salient features in relation to the types of writing we assign in our classes. Sperber presented a typical literature review and blog produced by ChatGPT, focusing on ChatGPT’s use of evidence in these genres.
It was fascinating and thought-provoking to hear their perspectives on this new tool that has been called a “calculator for words.” Aaron Levie, the co-founder and CEO of Box, said, “ChatGPT is one of those rare moments in technology where you see a glimmer of how everything is going to be different going forward.”
Access the Zoom chat from the event [drive.google.com].
Resources shared during the event:
Andrea Ross’ slides [docs.google.com]
Hard Fork’s Feb 10 podcast - “Bing’s Revenge and Google’s AI Faceplant” [nytimes.com]
Recent article on Bing’s AI mentioned by Andrea - “Microsoft's new AI chatbot has been saying some 'crazy and unhinged things'” [npr.org] https://www.npr.org/2023/03/02/1159895892/ai-microsoft-bing-chatbot
ChatGPT Solutions [docs.google.com] - doc shared by Lisa
Writing Tasks AI Can Help With [docs.google.com] - doc shared by Lisa
Article referenced by Lisa - Mahowald, K. et. al. (2023) Disassociating Language and Thought in Large Language Models: A Cognitive Perspective. Pre-print. https://arxiv.org/abs/2301.06627
A working paper on ChatGPT and productivity effects mentioned by Matthew Wood - “Experimental Evidence on the Productivity Effects of Generative Artificial Intelligence” [economics.mit.edu]
“Lesson Plan: Teaching and Learning in the Era of ChatGPT” [nytimes.com]
- From Marilyn Derby: “Turnitin tells us that they've been working on a detection tool for a couple years and they expect to release it in April. We (OSSJA) will let you know when we have it. Here's a 2-minute video of what the tool can do” [turnitin.com]