Fun with AI: Day 1 Introductions and Boundaries


This post is for those of us who are thinking of ways to introduce Dos and Don’ts about AI to our students from the very first day of classes. We can make this fun while ensuring that the task helps to establish our expectations of what constitutes appropriate AI use and what does not. For the following example, I used ChatGPT 3.5.

Day 1 Introductions

For this activity, we will model the task for our students. You will need to open ChatGPT 3.5 and type an introduction about yourself; then ask the application to make it sound as though it is coming from someone else (e.g., a specific character, someone from a specific location or historical period). For this example, I asked ChatGPT 3.5 to make me sound like a Caribbean pirate. (I changed my name for confidentiality purposes).

Me: Write the following introduction in the language of a Caribbean pirate: “My name is Sandra, and I’ll be your instructor for this term. I love learning from my students as they share their knowledge and skills. It is these types of interactions that help me to address my students’ learning needs.”

ChatGPT: Ahoy there, me hearties! I be Sandra, yer captain for this learnin’ voyage. I be revelin’ in the wisdom and talents me young crew brings to the table. ‘Tis through these lively exchanges that I chart a course to meet me students’ learnin’ desires. Fair winds to all on this educational journey!

Depending on the students’ language proficiency, you can ask them to help you develop a list of characters, people from various places, or periods in history.

Setting Boundaries

This activity can be the springboard to discussing with students when and how to use AI and when and how not to use it (the latter is just as important).

Keep in mind that AI usage would need to consider both your institution’s policy and your classroom expectations. For example, you might decide that students can use AI after you provide them feedback. You could provide the prompt such as “fix the run-on sentences in the following paragraph,” followed by a prompt such as “list the sentences that needed fixing and explain the grammar or punctuation error for each one.” Afterwards, students can log in their sentence errors and fixes as part of their learning portfolio (e.g., PBLA). More advanced learners could keep this information on an Excel spreadsheet, making sure to group entries by assignments and their dates.

But that’s not all! A culminating task in the course could include a reflection of students’ learning: what needed fixing, what I did to fix them, what worked, and what do I still need to work on. It could also expand to include students’ view of effective prompts and ineffective ones. The possibilities are boundless. AI use has boundaries.

As we begin 2024, let us think of ways to join technological developments, not necessarily beat them.

How are you planning to incorporate AI in your teaching?

Hi, my name is Cecilia. I love taking part in good brain awakening discussions. Blogging, I find, lends itself for that. I also believe in sharing my skills through scholarly practice, which is why I write regularly and have presented at several conferences, including TESL Ontario, TESL Toronto, CALL, and at Seneca College. My M.A. in applied linguistics along with my skills and experience have led me to my current position at Centennial College, where I teach English and ESL in the School of Advancement. I'm truly passionate about what I do: teaching, writing, creative expression, and helping my students (both L1 and L2) gain agency and take control of their own learning. Thank you for your readership and I look forward to reading and answering your comments. You can find me on Twitter @capontedehanna


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