Spring 2024 Teachtalk Series: AI Literacy

The XCITE Center for Teaching & Learning, in partnership with Information Technology Solutions (ITS), UCR Library, UCR Graduate Division, and faculty from various colleges, presents a series of presentations discussing the use of AI in teaching.

  • The first session —"What is AI?"—

    The first session—"What is AI?"—is a comprehensive presentation about what large language models (LLMs) are, how generative AI (GenAI) can be employed, and what tools have been vetted for use by UCR. Presenters will also explore applications of AI in different fields, going in detail about its capabilities and limitations. The live session takes place on May 14th, 2024 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM.

    Presenters and Synopsis

    Mike Kennedy, Deputy CIO, ITS - 04:19
    Mike Kennedy presents an in-depth discussion on generative AI, introducing the topic with an AI primer, and talking about the evolution of AI and related components. He discusses the transformer technology that underpins modern AI models like Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) and the recent surge in computational power driven by Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). These advancements have led to emergent properties in AI, enabling models to develop capabilities beyond their initial training that show unprecedented potential. Mike also discusses practical applications in the form of AI tools available to UCR faculty.

    Carrie Cruce, Teaching Librarian, UCR Library; Katherine Koziar, Data Librarian, UCR Library - 25:05
    UCR Library staff members Carrie Cruce and Katherine Koziar expand on information literacy, the process of locating, evaluating, and using relevant information. To leverage AI effectively, they introduce a framework named CLEAR, which stands for concise, logical, explicit, adaptive, and reflective. The goal of this framework is to precisely engineer your prompts for chatbots to get a cohesive and valid response that answers your question. To finish the presentation, they run through a demo of Google Gemini and NotebookLM to learn more about gothic literature, highlighting the CLEAR principles along the way.

  • The second session—"AI Challenges and Opportunities"—

    The second session—"AI Challenges and Opportunities"—discusses methods of incorporating AI while making sure it is used responsibly by all parties. This presentation will explore how to design assignments and assessments that utilize GenAI technology and account for how they might be used. Discussions will emphasize enhancing student engagement and personalized learning. The live session takes place on May 21st, 2024 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM.

    View Presentation

    Presenters and Synopsis

    Anna Mills, English Instructor, College of Marin - 1:40
    Anna Mills, an English instructor at the College of Marin, provides strategies to be used in the classroom that can better acquaint students and teachers with the capabilities of AI and its ethical use. She stresses that AI should be used as a tool to help rather than entirely depend on. This is because AI often gets things wrong, producing mirages of data that don't exist, or containing biases that highlight stereotypes in society. Anna explains that being transparent and practicing accountability helps students build confidence in their own judgment rather than relying on AI. She finishes her speech with a demo of Myessayfeedback.ai which allows students and teachers to leverage AI to provide writing feedback, while ensuring privacy protection and ethical use of AI.

  • The third session—"Teaching with AI: A Faculty Panel"—

    The third session—"Teaching with AI: A Faculty Panel"—will feature professors in writing-intensive subjects. The main topic of the session will be how to enhance teaching and learning through creative employment of AI technology. Panelists will share their pedagogical approaches with content-rich material. The live session takes place on May 28th, 2024 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM.

    Presenters and Synopsis

    Jaclyn Vasquez, Lecturer, University Writing Program - 3:05
    Lecturer Jaclyn Vasquez describes her experience with AI in the classroom, specifically on incorporating AI into educational discussions. In an assignment that incorporated ChatGPT to generate readings and responses, she found varying responses from her students. Although some were excited and curious about this new form of critical thinking, others were hesitant because students noticed ChatGPT changed their voices too much in their generated responses. She concludes that using AI succeeded in creating a moment of reflection for her students, but also valuing AI as a generative resource. 

    Shane Shukis, Lecturer, University Writing Program - 14:47
    Lecturer Shane Shukis talks about his struggle to encourage more participation from his students, as anxiety and fear of failure tend to shadow his students’ practice. From Shane’s research, he decided to use AI as an alternative outlet to practice learning outcomes. Overall, students thought this new style of asking AI for help, like identifying any grammatical errors in their writing, was a safe environment to learn. 

    Barry Lam, Professor, Philosophy Department - 21:45
    Professor Barry Lam created an assignment that involved prompting ChatGPT to give questions on the content of a book they were discussing in class. He noticed that some of the questions contained false or misleading claims, to which the students had to identify. This furthermore tests the reliability of ChatGPT, and how such inaccurate information can still benefit student learning.

    Alejandra Dubcovsky, Professor, History Department - 31:45
    When ChatGPT was first announced, Professor Alejandra decided to incorporate this new potential form of learning. Overall, she found that binding historical primary documents with ChatGPT responses were beneficial to critical thinking and understanding arguments of such prompts.