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Generative AI


Committees are not all useless! I want to applaud the faculty committee at our university for their recommendations to instructors regarding generative- AI. First, let me set the context.

At LCC International University, bright, motivated, and multilingual students from over 50 countries attend classes in English, participate in leadership seminars, and build a community of learners. These students grew up with social media at their fingertips; they don’t know the world without the internet.

I teach composition to students who have always used technology to write essays. They use online dictionaries, Google Translate, and Grammarly, just to name a few. Some of their former secondary schools allowed students to “cut and paste” sentences directly from the internet without citations, and without shame. It is perfectly OK to lift a passage from Wikipedia and drop it into an essay without citing a source. They have never seen a reference page.

I can dance myself into frenzy explaining about intellectual property rights and properly cited accurate citations. We practice quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. We judge the credibility of sources. We practice crafting reference pages following APA 7th edition.

And now AI.

When I first heard about AI, I wrote my resignation letter. AI can “generate” their essays in seconds, and nothing can truly detect that the pages were AI generated. But the more I learned about AI, the more I realized that AI is a powerful tool with a million possibilities if we keep it in proper perspective.

Back to the faculty committee. My colleagues crafted a starter kit of recommendations regarding AI-generated texts.

Familiarize yourself with AI-generated texts.

·         Have regular conversations with students about what AI is and isn’t. Learn about both Grammarly and Grammarly-Go (generative AI); there is a difference.

·         Require that all assignments are submitted through Turnitin, our university’s AI-detention tool; while not perfect, we start with this.

·         When you suspect the use of AI, have a conversation with the student.

·         Create assignments that are focused, personal, and current.

·         Talk to your students about generating original ideas for writing assignments, rather than just “googling” something.

·         Teach summarizing; but collect their work in such a way that you know the document is their own work.

·         And keep those conversations going.

Together, our students and us will learn how to navigate an AI world, thoughtfully utilizing AI for its tremendous capabilities, while recognizing its limitations.

Author: Robin Gingerich, Ph.D., MA TESOL Program Director at LCC International University.

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