Victoria professors compute how AI will fit into post-secondary education

An English instructor at the University of Victoria is one of many at the school trying to figure out how artificial intelligence can be used as a tool to help students and how it also has the potential to be harmful to students’ learning.

In associate professor Erin Kelly’s young adult fiction class, she allows her students to use AI to write a 500-word essay in one of the assignments. The class was given the option if they wanted to experiment with ChatGPT and generate a short essay, but after students were tasked with writing another essay critiquing the bot’s work.

“There are a number of students who have chosen to choose those choices for assignments because in a lot of cases what they’re saying is, ‘This is something I heard a lot about. I’ve never used it. I’m interested in experimenting with it a little bit,” Kelly says. “Sometimes I will even get something like, ‘I am an English major interested in becoming a professional writer and researcher and I’m anxious about ChatGPT because of all the things I heard,’ and this is a new chance to finally get to play with it and see what it can do.”