Training staff and students on the use of AI tools must be part of any institutional policy that is implemented to deal with the challenges of the new technology.
A New Training Course
In this paper, we describe a course developed by senior academics titled Knowledge and Learning in the Age of Chat GPT. The course deals with fundamental questions about knowledge, its creation, verification and application, especially in an educational context.
The Rationale for the Course
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT begin to encroach into the realms of knowledge production, it becomes important that students and even teachers have a clearer understanding of how universities and colleges create, validate, and transmit knowledge. Rather than worry about how ChatGPT will undermine the integrity of educational processes, HE institutions must bring the technology to heel as simply another source of information that must be tested and verified like any other source.
More than ever before, HE institutions must forge an environment where all knowledge is subject to critical evaluation and students are given a more explicit understanding of knowledge creation and validation. Students must be taught that knowledge is fragile and vulnerable to manipulations and biases. With that realisation, and equipped with critical and analytical skills, students will be able to evaluate the output of AI technologies and make informed decisions on how to use and apply the information generated by AI tools.
HE institutions must also examine how AI can beneficially serve educational processes. For instance, AI has the potential to liberate education from the control of external agents like the media, governments and politicians or a particular perspective or set of beliefs. Tools like ChatGPT can provide learners with an immediate alternative view of the knowledge that is officially transmitted.
Overall, the course equips students and staff with the necessary skills to ethically navigate and apply the opportunities and challenges that AI technologies bring to the realm of education.
Ideally, the course should be taught over two full days. However, a shortened version can be delivered in one day.
Welcome, and introduction to the course.
A brief overview of the topics to be covered.
II. How ChatGPT Answers Questions
Explanation of how ChatGPT works on large data sets.
Examples of how ChatGPT can be used to extract knowledge from text.
Distinguish ChatGPT from information on the Internet.
Discussion of the advantages and limitations of this technology.
Ethical issues arising from the use of ChatGPT.
III. ChatGPT in Higher Education
Personalized and self-learning.
Online tutoring and mentoring.
Automated grading of exams and assignments.
Translation, question answering, summarizing.
Generating course materials.
Improving accessibility to higher education, generally and for special needs students.
Originality and plagiarism.
IV. Validation of Knowledge
The importance of credibility and accuracy of knowledge and the role of the university in that process.
Importance of knowledge in making informed decisions, solving problems, and advancing knowledge.
Traditional methods of knowledge validation - peer review, fact-checking, citation analysis, and expert opinion.
Challenges in validating online information and information produced by AI tools.
V. Hierarchies of Knowledge
Discussion of the hierarchies of knowledge, from data to information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom
Explanation of how these levels build upon one another and contribute to deeper insights.
VI. Knowledge Systems
Meaning of knowledge.
Different types of knowledge.
Overview of different knowledge systems and how they have created knowledge in the past.
Examples of how indigenous knowledge, religious knowledge, and scientific.
Different approaches and perspectives in knowledge systems.
VII. Bloom's Taxonomy and Learning
The hierarchy of cognitive skills.
ChatGPT and the hierarchy of cognitive skills.
Explanation of Bloom's Taxonomy and its six levels of learning: remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, and creating
Discussion of how different types of questions and learning activities can promote higher-order thinking skills.
VIII. Critical thinking
Thinking tools to evaluate information/knowledge.
Evaluation of sources.
Analysis of biases.
Application of logical reasoning.
Identifying logical fallacies.
IX Limitations and Challenges
Explanation of the limitations of ChatGPT and other similar technologies, including the possibility of biased or flawed knowledge.
Discussion of the importance of critical thinking skills in evaluating knowledge from these sources.
AI technology may seem to make learning more exciting but the excitement must be tempered with vigilance in ensuring the accuracy and quality of information.
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