Inside Higher Ed: Academic Experts Offer Advice on ChatGPT

ChatGPT Advice Academics Can Use Now

By Susan D’Agostino

Ever since the chat bot ChatGPT burst into public view in late 2022, students, professors and administrators have been woozy from a chaotic cocktail of excitement, uncertainty and fear. The bot writes poems, sonnets and essays. It also serves as a convincing debate partner on a seemingly unlimited number of subjects.

Given that the natural language model earned passing scores on the evidence and torts portion of the bar exam, among other feats, some in academe fret that the technology may facilitate widespread cheating. Others see opportunity for accelerating discussions about reimagining teaching to help students write prose that differs from what machines can produce.

Robert Cummings, an associate professor of writing and rhetoric; Stephen Monroe, chair and assistant professor of writing and rhetoric; and Marc Watkins, lecturer in composition and rhetoric, all at the University of Mississippi, advise colleagues to experiment and don’t panic.

“Channel anxiety over ChatGPT into productive experimentation,” they write. “We built a local team of writing faculty to engage with the tools and to explore pedagogical possibilities. We want to empower our students as writers and thinkers and we know that AI will play a role in their futures.” 

Read the complete report here.