Generative AI technologies, such as large language models, have the potential to revolutionize much of our higher education teaching and learning. ChatGPT is an impressive, easy-to-use, publicly accessible system demonstrating the power of large language models such as GPT-4. The recent technological developments trigger substantial uncertainty and change in university-level teaching and learning.
Students ask questions like: How can ChatGPT or other artificial intelligence tools support me? Am I allowed to use ChatGPT for a seminar or final paper, or is that cheating? How exactly do I use ChatGPT best? Are there other ways to access models such as GPT-4? Given that such tools are here to stay, what skills should I acquire, and what is obsolete?
Lecturers ask similar questions from a different perspective: What skills should I teach? How can I test students’ competencies rather than their ability to prompt generative AI models? How can I use ChatGPT and other systems based on generative AI to increase my efficiency or even improve my students’ learning experience and outcomes?
Even if the current discussion revolves around ChatGPT and GPT-4, these are only the forerunners of what we can expect from future generative AI-based models and tools. So even if you think ChatGPT is not yet technically mature, it is worth looking into its impact on higher education.
This is where our recently published whitepaper comes in. It looks at ChatGPT as a contemporary example of a conversational user interface that leverages large language models. The whitepaper looks at ChatGPT from the perspective of students and lecturers. It focuses on everyday areas of higher education: teaching courses, learning for an exam, crafting seminar papers and theses, and assessing students’ learning outcomes and performance. For this purpose, we consider the chances and concrete application possibilities, the limits and risks of ChatGPT, and the underlying large language models.