How Chat GPT is transforming the role of teachers in today’s world of digital learning

By Aarul Malviya, Founder of Zamit

There is no doubt that Chat GPT has come to capture the imagination of everyone including tech geeks, professionals, businesses, school and college students, among others. In a clear advancement on the preeminent Google search, this generative large language model tool has promised to do, and indeed proved it as such, what no technology or device has done so far – namely, offer well-reasoned, synthesized answers to possibly all questions that a human can have, replicating the human language and thinking process.

While the full implications of its advent and rise are still being debated with a plethora of views and opinions doing the rounds depending on where one came from, the AI-based chatbot seems to be particularly impacting the education profession and the larger educational community. And within this community, even as students the world over are relishing the idea of using this newly found ‘homework assistant,’ the teachers are still trying to get their heads around it.

So, at a time when the digital or online learning, buoyed by the emergence of new-age edtech companies and startups, is on an ascendancy, how is Chat GPT really transforming the role of teachers?

Accepting Chat GPT and not negating it
First, instead of continuously looking at the downsides and finding faults with it, most teachers are accepting Chat GPT as a fact of life and are trying to use it to maximize teaching-learning efficiencies. With AI increasingly becoming a more integral part of our everyday lives, teachers realize that it is better to embrace technology than to wish it away. Even if they ban the AI-based tool on the school’s servers or the students’ mobile phones, they know full well that it would be practically impossible to ban its use altogether. And therefore, they are increasingly incorporating Chat GPT as a part of their teaching strategy and toolkit.

Reinventing ways of classroom engagement
Second, Chat GPT has prompted teachers to restructure their forms of classroom engagement with their students in many ways. For instance, instead of plainly asking students to carry out a certain written assignment – that may involve a mix of pre-stored information retrieval from memory or experience, subjective yet coherent thought process, sequential as well as abstract reasoning, and structural language skills – teachers are asking students to make a comparison of what they can come up with and what Chat GPT has to offer on a given subject. In other words, they are helping students to explore for themselves the capacities as well as limitations of this AI bot.

Using it as a teaching assistance tool
Third, teachers are taking recourse to Chat GPT as a form of teaching assistance with a view to prepare lesson plans, devise assessment and testing material including exercises and quizzes while also generating explanations, descriptions and summaries. With GPT emerging as a source of instant and ready-to-access information and knowledge, they are also using it to give instant feedback and observations on student’s performance during activities and discussions in the classroom, both physical and online. In addition, they are using it for assessment and scoring of students in tests and examinations. By using Chat GPT to automate repetitive tasks, they have been able to focus on more meaningful and worthwhile tasks critical to students’ learning outcomes.

Employing Chat GPT for research
Fourth, since teachers are essentially also researchers and scholars aiming to produce new knowledge and insights on a regular basis, they are using Chat GPT to good effect as a research assistant. Moreover, they are also guiding their students in learning to use it efficiently for research. In the process, they are also helping their students in navigating the ethical complexities of ownership and attribution rights for a pre-existing research or written output.

Using Chat GPT’s capacity for translation to source quality learning material
Fifth, as a potent tool for translation, teachers are also sourcing the best of learning material in other languages and using Chat GPT to translate it for the benefit of their own students.

Therefore, by embracing Chat GPT, teachers are not only showing themselves to be resilient and adaptive but also making their students future-ready. Simultaneously, while being vigilant on cheating and plagiarism issues, they are simultaneously helping their students to use it ethically and efficiently.

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