AI in Education: Oklahoma University Takes Proactive Steps In Teaching Responsible Usage

Professors at UCO are slowly implementing AI into the classroom, in hopes that teaching students how to properly use the tool will deter them from using it solely as a method of cheating.

Friday, August 18th 2023, 4:42 pm



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As artificial intelligence becomes more widely available, many are wondering how it will work in education. Many professors and teachers are concerned that it could be used to cheat, but one Oklahoma university is working to teach students how to use AI as a tool, instead of just a method of cheating.

“Students will be using AI, it’s everywhere now,” said Laura Dumin, the AI Coordinator at UCO. “We're seeing predictions that in just a few years we won't be able to tell the difference between human written and AI written content, and if that's the case we need to think about how AI can help.”

You can use artificial intelligence for almost anything; a simple recommendation, or even going as far as writing an entire research paper. This has sparked concern in higher education across the country. Professors at UCO are slowly implementing AI into the classroom, in hopes that teaching students how to properly use the tool will deter them from using it solely as a method of cheating.

“Here at UCO, we're approaching it with caution but also with a lot of optimism,” said Amanda Keesee, the Manager of Technology and Training at UCO.

Kesee and Dumin both work at the University of Central Oklahoma. Keesee does a lot of work advising professors on how to implement technology such as AI into the classroom, and best practices for technology in the education sector. Dumin is the AI Coordinator, as well as a full-time professor. She explains she uses AI in her courses in many ways.

“I bring AI into my classroom, and I say here's what's happening right now, here's what CHATGPT can do, let's ask it this question,” said Dumin. “You can do things like write a draft, put it into AI, ask it for critique. You can ask it for points you missed or for three counterarguments to your argument. So those kinds of things can be really helpful to students.”

Keesee says she tells professors hesitant towards AI that it can be implemented slowly in the classroom.

“I think one of the easy ways to start AI in the classroom is to allow students to use it for brainstorming or for kickstarting an assignment. Then taking that starting point and writing it with their own words and their own thoughts,” said Keesee.

At UCO, each professor has the option of whether to allow AI in their course or not. If students abuse AI and use it to cheat, they will receive a punishment similar to plagiarizing.

Keesee and Dumin share the idea that introducing AI at the college level will set their students up for success.

“It's going to give our students a leg up in their career field because they're going to come in knowing how to use these appropriately and knowing how to engage with that as a resource and as a tool,” said Dumin.

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