How I met GenAI as a teacher and decided to have it as my best mate


How I met GenAI as a teacher and decided to have it as my best mate

by İlkem Kayıcan Dipcin

In this blog post, I want to share my story meeting GenAI and embrace it as if I found my lost sibling. Yeah, this has a bit of exaggeration, but the truth is despite some ups and downs my relationship with this emerging technology is going well right now and let me give some details. 

In response to the escalating academic misconduct issues, including contract cheating and excessive reliance on grammar checkers and writing tools, I embarked on a research journey in 2020. My focus was on student-led and collaborative academic integrity literature, emphasizing the importance of community building in maintaining academic integrity. I crafted comprehensive modules on academic integrity and plagiarism awareness for undergraduates, graduates, and high school students, empowering them with essential knowledge.

Following my focus on academic integrity in teaching and learning writing, my passion for AI simultaneously deepened when I discovered the BALEAP PIM (Professional Issues Meeting) organized by The University of York in November 2021. The theme, "Ownership in EAP - Integrity, argumentation, and authorial voice," captivated me instantly. During the event, I was introduced to the astonishing world of machine translation and AI in education. Dr. Stephen Gow's presentation left me speechless as he introduced the tool,, capable of crafting an entire essay from just an opening sentence. This revelation ignited my obsession with ethics, digital tools, AI in teaching writing, and its impact on learners' experiences.

Just after the emergence of Open AI's ChatGPT and its impact on teaching academic writing, I started to conduct a PURE research project with 17 undergrad students from both computer science and social sciences departments in February 2023 “Is Essay dead? Exploring the skills and scope of ChatGPT in writing assignments”, I had the opportunity to present the outcomes at EATAW 2023 conference. In summary GenAI has brought a revolutionary transformation to my daily professional life.  Not a single day goes by without me delving into researching, experimenting, observing, and reading about the profound impact of AI on teaching, learning, and even daily life. ChatGPT has become an indispensable companion as I explore the vast possibilities and implications of AI in education. So, by now I hope I will have the chance to share tips and suggestions about the implementation of GenAI in teaching. My next blog post will be on  “Suggestions for Teaching Writing in the Age of GenAI.”