This is the higher ed tech podcast season four episode 13. Chat GPT in the classroom with Rebecca Beck
Tim Van Norman 0:21
Welcome to today’s HigherEdTech Podcast. I’m Tim Van Norman, the instructional technologist here at Irvine Valley College.
Brent Warner 0:28
And I’m Brent Warner professor of ESL here at IVC. We both enjoy integrating technology into the classroom, which is what this show is all about.
Tim Van Norman 0:36
Welcome. We’re glad you’re here. How’s it going? Brent?
Brent Warner 0:40
It’s going! We’re three weeks into the semester. Yeah, everything’s good. My classes are great, actually. They’re, they’re proactive. They’re, they’re getting into things. And so I’m excited about that. And, you know, semester is moving along time. It’s all we’re already in February. And it’s like, oh, my gosh, the time is gonna fly this semester. So
Tim Van Norman 1:03
Brent Warner 1:04
So Tim, we were having a conversation. Last Last episode, ChatGPT. I think we covered everything you could possibly say, in 30 minutes or so. Maybe not (laughter)
Tim Van Norman 1:16
“In 30 minutes” is the key. We covered what we could in 30 minutes. And with the feedback we’ve even had this week. I’m really glad this can last couple of weeks. I’m really glad we talked to Rebecca, you talked to Rebecca a little bit and this is a great part two, that we’re gonna bring in.
Brent Warner 1:37
So last time, we kind of did an overall kind of just thought piece conversation on ChatGPT. But now we’re going to talk about actually integrating it into the classroom. And a few of us are doing that. Not a lot of us but but I was talking to Professor Rebecca Beck, who is with us here today about that, and she is also integrating it. So without further ado, a proper introduction of Professor Beck. Rebecca is also she’s an ESL faculty. But her work is focused in on academic writing and writing one level transfer level English as well. She is the vice president of equity in the Academic Senate, and also the incoming president in the Academic Senate. So she is fairly busy. But thank you for making the time Rebecca, and wonderful colleague and friend. So Rebecca, thank you for joining us.
Rebecca Beck 2:31
Thank you, Brent. Thank you, Tim. I am glad to be here with you and engaging in this really much needed conversation I think about the benefits and the concerns that some was may have of using ChatGPT in the classroom.
Brent Warner 2:48
Yeah, I think the first we’ll do a very brief reminder of what ChatGPT is. And Rebecca, maybe you’ll let’s have you define it, how you talk about it with your students and how you talk about it with your classes, because that might be an interesting way to start approaching the conversation about using it in the classroom.
Rebecca Beck 3:07
Sure. So the way that I labeled it to my students is it’s a language calculator. It’s essentially a artificial intelligence bot, that helps you develop language B because it’s generating how words fit together. So as a language instructor, and as a linguist, this is fascinating to me, because for years and years and years, we have been looking at using corpuses. And collocation models to understand in English instruction, how words fit together. And now we have artificial intelligence to do that, and the levels that it is writing and creating human like thoughts. And so I’m always emphasizing when I talk about it with my students, that it’s a language model. Robot, because I don’t want them to think it’s a human. So even when we talk about it in the classroom, I say well, the bot said, right, so I stay away from the according to judge CPT, because I want to remind them that it it is a language model, that it is using the information that it was given to help generate language strings and strings of words and strings of ideas. So I as a linguist, that’s how I define it.
Brent Warner 4:34
I like that you call it as the bot said, because in my class, we started doing it and some of my students have already started pronoun with with he and she and they’re like, oh, he told me this and she told me that and I’m like, Oh, my gosh, hold on, let’s, let’s let’s step back and let’s really kind of understand this because I was you know, I mean, there is a there’s a lot to that too, right and the way that people are understanding it feeling like they’re getting human type feedback?
Rebecca Beck 5:03
Yes, that the notion of of not anthropomorphize, the word is put up by saying that, right, attributing the human characteristics to the bot is something I wanted to stay clear from, because I want to remind them that the machine, you know, the robot is there as a tool, right? Like I said at the beginning, it’s a human calculator, it’s going to help us understand how words fit within one another. And then I also use the example of Legos. Because all of us are familiar familiar with Legos. And Legos have always been my go to analogy to explain cohesion and coherence. Right. So put into Legos together, it’s, you know, cohesion you’re adding, but then building a spaceship is coherence, right, where you create from different blocks. And so that is how I continue to bring these analogies into the classroom. So they can have an entry space, because I think at this point, in the creation of this technology, we all need to enter it from a place of reference, because it is so new, and working with students who are not just entering this technology, but entering the comfort the academic conversation, I need to make it as accessible as possible, so that they can see themselves doing it and using it. And so that’s what I have done the language calculator and how to build cohesion and coherence using blocks. And so now we’re using a bot that has blocks of language to help us in our writing.
Tim Van Norman 6:47
That’s a fascinating take on it. And I love it. I love the fact that you’re you’re focusing on the fact that it is a tool. Yes. And, you know, we did our last episode we did on Chad GPT, we kind of touched on the possibility of it being a tool. But now we’re actually going to talk about you’re talking about actually practical use. Not not theoretical, oh, you know, if you happen to whatever this is going to be there’s a lot more practical here. We’re gonna include theory, because, you know, some of it is theoretical. We haven’t. It’s so new. We don’t know exactly. (Dog Barking) — and this is why we’re doing this live, you know, or live to us anyway.
Brent Warner 7:38
Well, you know you’re a real podcast when you get a dog barking in the background somewhere (laughter).
Tim Van Norman 7:42
Rebecca Beck 7:44
We had a talk with the dog, and he still wanted to showcase his barking ability, apparently. Well,
Tim Van Norman 7:50
Brent Warner 7:51
He’s doing very well!
Tim Van Norman 7:51
Okay. So as you look at this, step back for a second, what issues do you see in the classroom with using ChatGPT, we’ve talked about, there’s a fear that students are going to cheat using it, and they’re going to submit papers using it. And that’s obviously a very real fear, fear. But what, as you’ve started to use it, and granted, we just talked about at the beginning of the show, we’re three weeks into the semester. So it’s not like anybody has had a chance to really dig into it, and know what the effects are going to be yet. But what do you see as issues or potential issues? To clarify,
Brent Warner 8:34
here? We click we said this last time, nobody is beholden to what they say today in a few days, because even tomorrow, easy. Switching fast, but but we still have general approaches. Yes,
Rebecca Beck 8:49
yeah. Well, I liked the question of stepping back, Tim, because that is one of the reasons why I decided to use it. So let me give you my my reasoning. I teach writing, I don’t assign writing. And I think there’s a difference there. If I’m a writing teacher, which is what I do, as you mentioned, I have to use this new language calculator in or not use it, but help my students use it. Because when they move to a course in which writing is assigned, then I want them to not use it as a tool to be used for academic dishonesty. Because that is the concern that many of us have, right that students are going to go to the bot and put in the answer or excuse me put in a question and then the bots gonna spit out the the answer and that is a concern and I understand why many people may be in those of us who are in the classroom. Maybe concern, however, and this was a question someone asked me just a couple of days ago, well, are you going to ban it, then? Are you going to ban it? And no, I don’t want to ban anything that I think can be used as a tool for my students to become stronger writers. And so if I think about that, you know, I teach writing, I just don’t assign it, then it becomes clear to me why I have to teach my students how to use it. Because my job is to teach writing. And so by stepping back and on organizing it from that perspective, I feel it is my responsibility, then, just like it is my responsibility to teach my students how to evaluate internet resources, right? Because when they go to a history course, or a psychology course, they may not know how, if they were not taught in a writing class, and the history professor, or the psychology professor, who’s teaching content may not have the opportunity to teach how to do the evaluation of online resources. And so that’s where, when I began reading about this back in November, I just thought to myself, I don’t assign writing where the students are just going to throw the prompt, I have to teach them how to study a prompt, I have to teach them how to organize their thoughts, I have to teach them the process of getting to an answer that they find fits the writing task, which I think it’s the most successful aspect of academic writing, they have to be critical thinkers. And so with all those things in mind, I thought, Okay, I’m gonna use it. Because if I don’t teach them, how they may go into it thinking this is going to solve my problems, and I’m never gonna learn how to write.
Tim Van Norman 11:58
Yeah, excellent. I love that. I love that concept of using it to get to the house, rather than using it to get to the what? Correct the results that you’re looking for, get get to the How are you thinking? How do you evaluate it? I remember when, when Wikipedia came out? Faculty, absolutely. You can’t use Wikipedia as a source. And, you know, my thought I was gonna use it as the source, use it as a seer. These all the Wikipedia articles had sources that were already were in there, use that for your research, and go find that article, go find that document. And it just helped with doing some of the research. But yeah, I, I can see that same type of thing happening here, where maybe Chad GPT isn’t the one to write the art write it, but it can help you get started help you with some of that the focus and the grammar or, or things like that. So, from that perspective, are you seeing grammar as a positive with 10? GPT? Or are you meaning are they are the articles? Are the things coming out of ChatGPT proper grammar? Or are they? Are they slapped together? Or are they like put together like a human would? Because very few humans completely are proper grammar all the time? Unless that’s what they do. And just by what I just said, you know, you can see I’m having
Brent Warner 13:34
grammar all the time?
Rebecca Beck 13:36
Well, I’ve always taught my students that proper grammar is not always the most important piece of your, whether you’re communicating in writing or in the spoken word, if you get your message across and the person not right. But in terms of grammar, it’s okay. That you know, it’s sometimes it uses words that my multilingual writers, and I say my because I always tell my students if I know your name, you’re my student. But the students in my course, have questions about the vocabulary uses sometimes, as I said, because it is, it sounds a little stuffy, if there were a word that I could use. And so that is one of the first critiques that we have had. So I’m going to step back a little bit and explain to you what I have been doing with it so that you can understand the context of my answer. So my students added the prompt to our essay into the bot into ChatGPT and they received an answer, right? And then we put that answer into a document and they built a graphic organizer from that. So what I want them to do from this exercise is I want them to critique what ChatGPT created. Because if I want them to become critical thinkers and on their own decide the bot is not effective. They have to see what the bot produced and question it and not just take it and say, oh, yeah, because ChatGPT wrote this, it must be good. And so today was the day where we discovered that oh, well, let’s see, my graphic organizer is missing. From the essay that the bot wrote, the graphic organizer shows me that it’s missing a clear explanation of chapter three, per se, because that’s what Chuck GPT did, it didn’t include that. And so then we engage in conversations will what would make it more effective, right, so we are in the middle of it right now, right? Because on Thursday, we’re going to come back, and finish critiquing our graphic organizers that are missing pieces, and then they’re going to write an analysis of what was wrong with the essay that Chet GPT wrote, and why it doesn’t fit the prompt. And I’m giving them up an entry space by putting that in the graphic organizer, so that it’s easier for them to say, well, the essay in the bot doesn’t have an interesting hook. The essay that the bot produce doesn’t have a nice conclusion, or and being nice and giving them the criteria does it connect to what we decided was going to be an effective conclusion, it reminds you of the main idea. So the exercise is in critical thinking, right? Because I want them to question the product of charge up T. Because why many teachers who are playing with the bot right now have the ability to say, well, it’s not good, and it’s flattened. And it’s because we know what good writing looks like. And we know that you have to have critical thinking and a process. Our students, if we don’t teach them to question the bar, I don’t think are going to be calm, effective. Writers who can critique it, and just be satisfied with the product. And that’s the problem, I think, if we just sit with our, you know, cross our arms or put our head in the sand, and, and we can’t compare, right, some of us who have been teaching writing or writing academics, yes, you’re gonna put questions in the box, that may be silly, and you’re gonna get completely wonky answers. Our students don’t have the understanding yet, though, a wonky answer is and how are we going to teach them to understand that?
Brent Warner 18:10
There, there are so many little directions, I want to go here, Rebecca has lots of ones here. So first, I’m happy you’re doing that activity, right. And building that critical thinking I actually am doing something similar with my class right now. So they did a a short composition, like a paragraph or something. And then what I did for every student, I copied that and I put it into ChatGPT with a prompt, and I said, Here’s my prompt, please analyze what what the student wrote. And then give some pros and some cons about their writing, right. And then one by one, I did every single one. And then I copied and pasted it back to the students into their same document that they got. And I said, here is what ChatGPT analyzed your work as let’s do an analysis. And you’re gonna take a look at what it said to you. Do you agree with it? Do you disagree with it, give some thoughts on what’s going on with that with its response to your writing based on on all of this right. And so my goal was very similar to yours, slightly different activity, but but similar, which is we want them thinking about what it’s producing and what it’s showing. And if we can have honest conversations with the students and say like, Well, is it is that good write it because I said, frankly, I said, Hey, I think that the what Chad GPT is saying, sometimes is right. But I also said, I think it’s also a little bit overly generous with its feedback to you like it’s being a little nicer. I mean, it’s being polite and is being nice, but like, it’s also not necessarily giving you the hard truth in some places where you might need it in your writing. And so, so we were kind of starting to have that conversation and I’ll be interested Same for me on Thursday, like they’re doing their responses over the next day or two and then on Thursday, we’re going to come back. And so I love this idea of give seeing it as a way for people to get instant rate feedback, and to be able to work together and then use that as a, I mean, it’s a boost to critical thinking, it’s instantly you’re getting that like chance to go, wait, wait a second. Now, this, I love the bot. So I love, you know, this bot is now telling me what I’m doing and I get to disagree with it or agree with it or figure that out. And I think there’s probably going to be a lot of human reaction, we’re all going to want to say I want to beat the boss, you know, or I want to, I want to show where it’s wrong. And so I really am interested in that kind of critical thinking aspect and activities to do with it. But I’m also interested in there’s so many parts, you said, Here you went you, you gave too many too many breadcrumbs to follow. But the other part, which is this idea, and I think we’ve had this conversation is, you know, the teachers sticking their head in the sand and saying, I’m not going to deal with this, and I’m going to either not talk about it, or I’m going to ban it in the class or, you know, we’re going to go back to writing on paper, all of these things. And the the the line that I keep pushing forward is that we as educators have a moral imperative to introduce and to work with our students, to show them how to responsibly interact with the technology that will be an absolute part of their life for the rest of their lives. And it isn’t it is the opposite of what we signed up for in our jobs, to push them backwards into the way that we came up in the week we came into learning and, you know, writing only on paper and not really doing any of this, you know, not getting the boost that you know now your friends or your future colleagues are going to have been working with for years and you get you get kind of stifled, you get you get stuck without it. Right. So, Rebecca, I’m not sure if you have thoughts on that like, like, what is our responsibility as teachers here?
Rebecca Beck 22:02
No, I agree with you. 100%. Brent. I- I’m one like you that believes we need to work with the students we have. And not with the student I was. Because when I learn how to write, we didn’t have computers. We didn’t have word processing, I had a typewriter. And if I messed up, I had this little piece of paper, you would stick into the typewriter to fix the typo. I mean, it was so cumbersome and so archaic. That it just to this day, I just go oh my goodness, how complicated things were. And so thinking about my students now, and the students who are going to be in my classroom in the next 20 years, I could not face them and said, Okay, ladies and gents, we’re gonna write on paper now. Because I don’t think that the bot is going to help us learn and deconstruct writing in the way that I think could happen. I mean, I just can’t I that goes against everything that I am as an instructor
Brent Warner 23:16
Well, to present the worst message is your we’re gonna write on paper, because I don’t trust you right off the bat, like that’s the very first thing you’re telling a student, it’s like, Oh, my God, that is not the approach. That, from my perspective, like that is not the way that I want to be communicating my relationship with the students.
Rebecca Beck 23:37
Same and I think that’s why I struggled when when someone asked me why you’re going to ban that. I don’t I want to teach my students to use it responsibly. And so going back to the question, is it my job? Yes, I think it is my job, it is my responsibility to teach the students who are going to be using ChatGPT in the future, in their jobs, how to use it, because it is a tool. And I continue to say it hasn’t used it has its uses. But if we don’t teach our writers how to use it now, it can become a tool where people are just going to not think about writing or critical thinking it’s going to go away because I think, right off the bat, that’s where I have had conversations with some people, oh, it’s just gonna kill critical thought. And I said, Well, I don’t act as a 50 year old individual. Critical thinking to me is different than the critical thinking my 17 year old is doing and the way that he can play video games and handle virtual spaces is in no way compared to what I can do. So am I gonna say that his critical thinking skills are deficient or are mine because I can’t do what he can do. So again, it’s going back to that idea of of what do our students need to know how to use to live in the reality that they’re going into? And? Yeah, I definitely believe it is my job as a writing faculty to teach them how to use this tool in ways that are going to help them.
Brent Warner 25:21
Tim, I know, I know, you have follow up comments here, but I just want to just because it’s so connected, one of my students, you know, on their Google Doc, they wrote a little comment on the side, I said to you know, annotate some of these things. And, and I just love what she wrote. She wrote in talking about all this, she said, “it takes more courage to admit that the world has changed than to live in denial.” And I just like, wow, I dropped, I was like, I’m done. She nailed it. Like, just a quick comment like that. And I just thought it was so powerful to be able to say that like, Hey, okay, this is what we’re doing. This is what the world looks like now, right?
Tim Van Norman 25:57
Absolutely. I love I love those comments. I love how you’re using it to further critical thinking, rather than looking at it as a as anti critical thinking. And it’s true, the more you give somebody the ability to think critically, and tools to think critically. And opportunity to think critically, I hope, the more they do it, but and that’s what you’re bringing into your class, you’re teaching them how to, and that’s a great, great concept. As you’re doing this, are you concerned about checking for how they’re going to use it? Or are you just encouraging them to do it, such that they are, as you were talking about evaluating the content that they get, and they’re doing their own checking, so they’re not create, they’re not using ChatGPT to create content, they’re using ChatGPT. And working with it to make sure that the content that actually truly comes out, is the critical thinking is what they’re trying to communicate. Does that make sense?
Rebecca Beck 27:11
Yes, yes, I understand what you’re saying. Because that is the question that I have had people ask me as well, where they say, Well, now that you, you know, opened it, and they’re playing with it, and they’re doing this, well. They’re gonna now use it and try to put the prompt again and create a new essay. And that’s when I tell my students at the end of the day, we’ve had these converts, like because today we had an open conversation about how that is unethical, because you’re not writing it yourself. And in this course, we talked about, you’re going to learn how to be a writer. And so how do you do that is you stumble, you make mistakes, we encourage each other. So Brent and I talked about this, I’ve always strived to create a very humanity, human, what’s the word? Not humanitarian. I’ve always tried to create a strong community in the classroom. So we we see each other as just not just as transactional, teacher, student, but to caring people who are here, I’m your guide, and the writing journey that you’re entering in, I’m going to help you. So if you were to go and use the bot, to pass work as not of being your own, then you’re kind of violating that relationship that was said, and we’re going to have as just two people respecting one another. Because like I said, I could throw, I could put my syllabus and charge up to you and give it to you. And I don’t care. Because I don’t care about you as an individual. And I just want you to look at this and be very transactional, you the student mean that teacher, Sia, and what I get sometimes as well, what happens when you teach four or five different classes, you can still develop that strong community in your classroom of just humans learning together, you know, and I don’t want it to sound like oh, you know, just foofy emotional stuff. But that’s what I think makes good teaching where the student is so invested in the learning for himself, for his classmates, to show and to be proud of the work that they’re doing to their guide, so that their guide slash teacher can say, yes, you’re doing this and I’m going with you and we’re doing this together. So at the end of the day, cannot control it, whether ChatGPT writes it or their cousin writes it, or they paid someone 50 bucks. I can’t do that. But am I gonna sit at home and work? No, but I hope to create a classroom and Vironment and I do. And I strive to do that every day where my students feel compelled to just say, No, I’m going to do this because Rebecca believes I can do it. And I know that I can do it. Nice. I like that.
Brent Warner 30:11
Yeah. And that’s kind of the, the thing that I’ve talked to a couple of people online about this, too. And we’re saying, Oh, well, what about all? We were kind of I don’t think we’re going to talk about it very much end up talking about it very much today. But there are all these checkers, right? Like these things out there that are, you know, is that chat GP? Is it written by AI? Or is it not like all these ones that instantly came out as soon as the as soon as it was released? And someone was saying, Well, how about this? How about this? How about this, and I was like, I’m sharing about this stuff, because I’m interested in the technology. But that’s not how I’m trying to build my class, right? Like, I am sharing these things out on Twitter. And I’m saying like, hey, this thing is getting my my responses right or wrong, or whatever else it is, it’s understanding whether or not this is AI. But I was not being clear on online on social media that I’m like, This is not what I’m doing in my classroom. I’m not running chat, you know, checkers on every assignment that they’re doing, right? I’m trying to build, the same thing that you’re talking about is trying to build this community where we respect each other, where I say, hey, like, are you going to spend my time to like, ask me to check something that’s not your work and like, and that’s kind of that what we’re trying to build. And in fact, today, I had a couple of students came up to me and talk to me about their writing. And they said, Oh, well, yeah, I ran this through, not ChatGPT, but through something else to boost up my writing, and so that it would be more clear, or whatever else it is. And I said, Okay, that’s fine, I understand why you did it. But let’s do this. Instead, if you’re going to do those, let’s have you write your own writing First, your own paragraph first, and then put right underneath it, what chat GPT or whatever bot, you’re used to clean that up, and then put that down below. That way we can have honest conversations about your writing about your language about different things. And you can still see if it’s kind of producing the information that you’re thinking it is. And we can also have conversations too, to say, well, guess what, here’s what you wrote. But what ended up improving your English to is kind of communicating a different idea? Is that what you want, and that also gives them opportunities to reflect on their writing, but writing other parts of it as well. And so I’m very interested in this, you know, it’s not an it’s not a brand new idea, but like, build the culture, right? The rest comes together with it. And so I really, I want to kind of keep communicating that message out to people as well, that it’s not the tech, it’s not the tool, the tools are part of your learning, but they’re they are tools, right? And so how do we build that community so that it’s a value of value add? Overall? And so Rebecca, I’m wondering, at this moment, how are your students actually responding to all of these, you know, the ChatGPT itself? Or what what are they saying in the class?
Rebecca Beck 32:56
They’re grateful to know about it, because half of them knew about it, and they didn’t understand it. The other half had never heard of it. Right? So they’re the ones who had heard about it, and now understand it. They’re like, okay, I get it. And I can understand why writing teachers are concerned. Right. So again, they’re the ones who are doing all the thinking about why it may be a concern for some people, the ones who had never heard of it are just like, what, they just can’t conceive how this exists, right. And so today, we had the discussion about, you know, our computer’s gonna take over the world, and we’re all gonna die. And, you know, so, again, it’s inside a space that I think it’s adequate conversations to have and open up the discussion with the writing teacher. And it was interesting. At the end, one of my students came to me and she said, Isn’t that interesting how, the more we talk about artificial intelligence, the closer we are those people and how the classroom was embracing our humanity, of making mistakes and, and creating time, and the opportunity to handle the conversation in a gentle way that no one felt stupid. No one was embarrassed to ask the questions. And at the same time, we all felt heard, I like to express my concerns as what, you know, how it can be used for, you know, negative purposes. And they said, Yeah, I feel that if I don’t know how to write, or if I’m not giving the steps and the process and the tools, I can use it for convenience, right. And that conversation came up too. So again, this is exactly what I wanted to happen. I wanted to have this conversations with my students, not just with my colleagues, because I believe my colleagues have the critical thinking skills to think clearly about this, but my students don’t. So I want them not about this, obviously, they are amazing thinkers, I meant the critical thinking skills about using a bot, in the classroom as a tool. That’s what I meant.
Tim Van Norman 35:26
So as you’re looking at this, before a pre show you were talking about giving a story how you were talking to some other faculty, and encouraging them to use it in their class. So what was the response that other faculty had to you encouraging them in this direction?
Rebecca Beck 35:49
Thank you, that’s a great question. Because it has been a discussion, given that I am a writing faculty and I spend a good amount of time talking with other writing faculty. But I do want to share that at our writing meet our writing one meeting, that topic came up the writing one coordinators are Professor NASA and Professor Johnson. And so I appreciated them giving us the space to talk about it. And so, you know, are we aware of it? How are we going to use it? And so the conversation went, you know, along the lines of what you would imagine, you know, writing faculty hearing about it for the first time, and no, I, you know, I am worried I don’t know how to use it, or they want time, right? The semester has started, I already have my curriculum set and my plan, so I don’t know how to use it. And one of them, Jeff Johnson, really, you know, I love chatting with Jeff about writing, I respect him a lot as a, as a colleague, as a scholar. He was one of those who’s like, Let me think about it more, right. And then he sent me an email and said, Hey, Rebecca, I appreciate you bringing it up. And because I shared my assignment with him, and he said that he was grateful that I opened up the discussion. And so then I replied, and I said, Well, you know, thank you for listening to my, my reasoning of why I’m going to use it. And I explained to him what I’ve said to the two of you a little bit ago, that I do not think it is in my best interest as a writing teacher to put my head in the sand. And I want to teach our students to use the language calculator, then he replied, You have convinced me. And I do want to give Jeff Johnson credit because he said he was one of those who had this head in the sand reaction. But he has now moved on the, you know, open my mind and see how it can be used. Because I think as Brent said, and I have heard others, the whole bot can be used at such different parts of the writing process. So you know, even those faculty, were teaching more advanced writing courses, where they may be focusing in different aspects of writing not, you know, not necessarily the prewriting. But they can use it for more deep rhetorical analysis or for peer review or for revision, right? Because I think you can, can you imagine how much fun it would be to do an analysis of the grammar that Chet GPT uses. I mean, that’s really not my jam at all, but it doing an analysis of the grammar that it uses, right, analyzing the style, the tone, the voice, the diction, the syntax that this thought bot is producing would be fascinating. And so I think there are so many opportunities there. But I wanted to share that because like I said, Jeff Johnson is one of those individuals who’s always mastering his craft. He’s an amazing instructor. And he’s always looking for ways in his conversations, to master the craft of teaching. And I love that. And so he’s remained open minded now.
Brent Warner 39:23
Yeah, well, I think Jeff Johnson gets our award for Most shout outs on the on the podcast. Really, we love him. Like, whenever we have a chance, we’ll talk about Jeff Johnson. We’ll have to get him on the show at some
Rebecca Beck 39:39
You have to get him on the show, now.
Brent Warner 39:39
Or we can leave him as a mystery figure off to the side. Sorry, Jeff. So this is all great. I think the thing that’s key here and I think I also want to be very respectful of the people who are nervous or don’t understand or are not necessarily people who are wanting to jump into the new technology as soon as it comes out because It’s so new, it’s so fresh, like, I get the concern, right. Like, I get that that worried feeling I get it sometimes myself, when I first saw it, I was like, What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? And then I and I mean, I spent way more time thinking and talking about this all day long every day. And so that’s kind of like, timewarp, to my understanding and the approaches that I might take, as compared to a lot of people who over winter break or just doing their own things, right, or whatever else it is, and so, so I want to make sure that I don’t want people to feel criticized for not using it yet are not knowing or understanding. But I do want to encourage people, like you said, Rebecca, to be open minded about it to be like, hey, what can I make changes to? Are there little places where I can incorporate this? Excuse me? Are there opportunities for, for building something on top of it, or whatever else it is, and it’s not just about, plug your words in and then see what comes out, there’s, you know, I think we’re starting very first baby levels to see like, okay, there are real ways that we can actually use pedagogy, we can actually integrate a lot of these thoughts, and really helped our students to start at, you know, a level above where they used to start at, right. And so now, I actually am optimistic that students are ultimately going to end our class with more skills than they used to, because they’re not because they’re getting a boost, they’re getting the opportunity to push forward. And so I know we’re kind of running out of time here. There’s so many great things to talk about. But I want to make sure is there anything that we didn’t talk about that you think is important to communicate or that you want people to think about or just an idea to share?
Rebecca Beck 41:51
I know, I think I echo a lot of what you said, because I also highly respect individuals who want to move through this, the exploration of how this can be used in the classroom, at different pace, right, because there’s larger conversations about the role of this bot, in in composition courses, like I said, Where writing is taught, versus courses where writing is assigned. And then I’ve assessment. Right, so those are, you know, larger conversations beyond the scope of our chat today. No pun intended. But definitely, I think the, the apprehension is natural. I mean, I also, you know, been apprehensive about it before November, but like, Brent, I spent my break in putting my prompts in there and and seeing and today, why is it gonna say, and just questioning how, you know, what I was getting the results that the ball has given me. And so, again, I think we can still make the argument of AI is here. And I think our students are better off if we teach them how to use it. Because I can share just this week, how many texts I got from friends, accountants, managers, my my brother who’s like this, Chad GPT thing is amazing. Because it’s helping write proposal, it’s helping them save time, and they can do other things. So if we take it beyond the scope of the classroom, which I know, obviously is beyond the scope of our, our podcast, it’s benefiting other people outside of the classroom, right. So we step outside of that. Some of us may use it, you know, to write a letter to your homeowners association as to why you need to keep your flowers, or you know, so it’s a convenience we have now, just like the Internet became a convenience for us in 1991. But we had to start somewhere. And I think we have to, and it is okay, if you’re thinking well, I’m not sure yet. And not some point, maybe your students will ask about it. And I hope that you’re able to begin the conversation by just explaining the fear to because I did, and I told my students and they were like I said, all of them were like, Yeah, I can understand why you’re concerned.
Brent Warner 44:37
Absolutely. The the, the conversation continues, I think, like, Tim, we I think we mentioned it last time, we could probably just turn the whole show into a Bosch like talking about AI can be fun for us, yeah, right. So we are, you know, again, these are still just such early days in the conversation There’s so much more to learn and to figure out so. So we’ll keep talking about it as we move forward. It won’t be our only conversation, but it certainly will continue to come up. And, you know, Thanks, Rebecca, so much for joining us. Thank you. Thank
Rebecca Beck 45:15
Thank you both for having me and for listening and like you said, Please don’t you know, 15 years from now when we’re looking back now we started the conversation, please save this one. Here we are.
Tim Van Norman 45:30
Thank you for listening today. In this episode, we talked about ChatGPT in the classroom with Rebecca back. For more information about this show, please visit our website at the higher ed tech podcast.com. There you’ll find our podcasts and links to the information we’ve covered.
Brent Warner 45:45
As always, we do want your feedback. So please go to the higher ed tech podcast.com and let us know your thoughts. If you have ideas for future shows. There is a link over there where you can give us your ideas
Tim Van Norman 45:55
For everyone at IVC that’s listening, if you need to help with technology questions, please contact IVC technical support. If you have questions about technology in your classroom, please stop by the IVC Training Center in a 322 or contact me Tim Van Norman AT Tvan firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brent Warner 46:12
And if you want to reach out to me about the show, you can find me on LinkedIn at BrentGWarner.
Tim Van Norman 46:18
I’m Tim VanNorman,
Brent Warner 46:19
and I’m Brent Warner and we hope this episode has helped you on the road from possibility to actuality. Take care everybody.
The conversation about ChatGPT continues, this time moving from the theoretical to the practical. Tim & Brent sit down with Irvine Valley College writing professor, Academic Senate Vice President of Equity, and Academic Senate President Elect, Rebecca Beck to talk about specific ways and reasons teachers can and should incorporate ChatGPT into their classroom. Listen in for some awesome insights about how we teach our students, the value of critical thinking, and the need to develop a classroom culture of respect, all through the lens of working with AI Bots.
As always, please feel free to share with colleagues who may benefit from listening in to this conversation.