Wednesday, December 20, 2023

AI Pedagogy, the introduction

  1. AI-powered chatbot is a tool. By aiding, any other tool displaces human skills. For example, CAD displaced manual drafting, and word processor/printer displaced penmanship. Educators have an ethical obligation to prepare students for the world where the tool is used, not for the world where it does not exist. Skill displacement is expected.

  2. Writing with AI, or ‘wraiting,’ is an advanced and complex cognitive skill set, mastering which should be associated with students’ cognitive growth. It partially overlaps with traditional writing but does not coincide with it. Eventually, "wraiting" instruction should replace writing instruction.

  3. The default is to allow or require students to use AI. The only reasonable exception is when the use of AI prevents the development of a truly foundational skill. The pragmatic difficulties of policing the use of AI make it even more urgent to develop a rational justification for any restrictions.

  4. In some cases, the displaceable skill is foundational for learning higher-level skills. For example, basic literacy is not a displaceable skill because it is foundational for many other higher-level literacy skills. Therefore, limitations on the use of certain tools in education may be justifiable, although they may not be arbitrary.

  5. There must be rational criteria for distinguishing between displaceable and foundational skills. An assumption that all skills associated with traditional writing instruction are foundational is just as unreasonable as the assumption that they all are displaceable. The arguments about strict linearity of curriculum are not valid. Just because we used to teach certain skills in a certain progression does not mean that some of these skills cannot be displaced by AI or other tools.

  6. A skill is foundational and non-displaceable if:

    1. It is needed for pre-AI and non-AI tasks, or is needed to operate AI. 

    2. It is demonstrably needed to develop post-AI skills such as original, critical, creative,  and discerning thinking (OCCD thinking).

  7. Rather than worrying about students cheating, instructors should make an effort to make their assignments cheat-proof. The key strategies are these:

    1. Asking to submit sequences of prompts to assess student development.

    2. Refocusing evaluation rubric to focus on OCCD thinkingб ву-emphasizing displaceable skills

    3. Raise expectations by considering content produced via a lazy prompt to be the base level, failing product

  8. Each of the uses of AI are unique, and raise different questions and concerns. Their use in instruction should be evaluated separately. These are some examples with :

    1. Aggregator of information

      1. Tell me what is known about global warming

      2. Which philosophers are most notable in virtue ethics?

      3. Remind me what Cohen’s d is in statistics.

    2. Coach/Tutor/Counselor

      1. Test my knowledge of Spanish

      2. I feel overwhelmed and disengaged. What can I do?

      3. Give me some problems that are likely to be on GRE test, and explain what I did wrong

      4. Teach me how to [...] using Socratic dialogue, where you ask leading questions, and respond depending on my answers. Present your questions one by one

    3. Data processor

      1. Run multiple regression analysis on this data

      2. Summarize transcript, examine it for main themes and do sentiment analysis

      3. Give me keywords for each of these text segments

      4. Put data from this copied webpage into a table. I only need first name, last name, email. 

    4. Brainstorming partner

      1. I am thinking of writing a paper on… Which theories I should rely on? Who are the key authors?

      2. I have this idea… Has anyone else been offering an idea like this? Is it original?

      3. How would you build an argument, what supporting and opposing points should I consider? 

      4. I have these empirical data. What claims can I make based on them? 

    5. Feedback provider

      1. Give me feedback on my paper. Use the rubric it is going to be graded on

      2. What do you think I should do to improve this paper? 

      3. Give me feedback on my lesson plan

    6. Ghost writer

      1. Write a section of my paper; use these key ideas

      2. Elaborate and elucidate this fragment

    7. Editor and copy editor

      1. Give me feedback on the paper I just uploaded. Which parts need elaboration? Which parts may be redundant, which - too wordy?

      2. Revise this segment for clarity

      3. Revise the segment for grammar only

Prompt as a magic incantation

In engagements with AI, the crafting of prompts—a crucial interface between human intention and machine output—has acquired an almost mystic...