Applying AI in higher education: it takes a village …

Written by Gill Ferrell, 1EdTech Europe
16 Jan 2024
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Applying AI in higher education: it takes a village …

Artificial intelligence (AI) was the hot topic of 2023 in the world of education technology, and interest shows no sign of abating.

The potential for students to use large language models, such as ChatGPT, in producing work for assessment first grabbed the attention of higher education, but there are many more potential uses. The range of AI-powered tools is growing rapidly, and the application of data and machine learning is supercharging familiar tools.

It can be quite bewildering for higher education leaders to come to grips with the opportunities and potential risks of such tools, which is why the 1EdTech community called on the expertise within our Emerging Digital Pedagogies Innovation Leadership Network for guidance.

This collective effort resulted in the creation of 1EdTech's Artificial Intelligence Preparedness Checklist, which can help you kickstart important discussions on AI at your institution.

We look at the topic from many different perspectives, including some facets you may not yet have thought of:

Organisational guiding principles: are your values clearly articulated; do you have a leadership group in place; are you hearing all stakeholder voices, including students; are your library and procurement staff involved; does your legal team have agreements in place that could override any unfavourable changes to supplier terms and conditions or prevent them from 'leveraging' (i.e., exploiting) your data in ways you didn't envisage?

Policy: how do potential implementations of AI fit your policy on equality, diversity, and inclusion; can students refuse the use of such tools; is staff experimentation with such tools covered by your research ethics guidelines?

Pedagogy: is curriculum and assessment design being adapted to allow for the likelihood that students have ready access to such tools; has your academic integrity policy been updated; are you communicating clearly to students what is and isn't allowed?

Literacy: do you have guidance on citations and copyright; do you have training materials for various types of students and staff; how are you fostering safe experimentation?

Just as it “takes a village to raise a child,” it will require community effort and collective responsibility from the diverse stakeholders within your organisation to establish appropriate protocols, policies, and best practices for using AI in learning, teaching, research, and administration in ways that support your mission and learner profile.

Join us at Ahead by BETT to explore how a range of universities are building AI task forces within their institutions. The session will take place in the Ahead Auditorium at 13.45 on Friday 26 January.

About 1EdTech: 1EdTech® Consortium is a global non-profit community of leading education providers at all levels, government organizations, and edtech suppliers that powers learner potential by fostering the evolution of an open, trusted, innovative education technology and digital credentials ecosystem.

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