Skip to Main Content

AI, Digital Literacy, and Education: Home


What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that uses natural language processing techniques to respond to user-generated prompts. Put simply: You ask ChatGPT a question or provide a prompt, it replies using natural language.

What do you need to know about ChatGPT?

OpenAI (the company that designed ChatGPT) collects a lot of data from ChatGPT users

  • The privacy policy states that this data can be shared with third-party vendors, law enforcement, affiliates, and other users.
  • While you can request to have your ChatGPT account deleted, the prompts that you input into ChatGPT cannot be deleted. If you, or your students, were to ask ChatGPT about sensitive or controversial topics, this data cannot be removed.

TIP: Before asking your students to use ChatGPT (if you plan to do so), please read over the privacy policy and allow them to opt out if they do not feel comfortable having their data collected and shared as outlined in the policy.

ChatGPT limitations

  • ChatGPT was trained using a massive dataset of text written by humans that was pulled from the Internet, thus, the responses can reflect the biases of the humans who wrote the text.
  • ChatGPT is not connected to the Internet and the data used to train it was collected prior to 2021.
    • According to the FAQs, ChatGPT “has limited knowledge of world and events after 2021 and may also occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content” (Natalie, para. 4).
  • To make up for knowledge gaps (e.g., lack of training data to pull information from), ChatGPT will provide a response to the best of its ability (often made up) rather than say “error” or “cannot compute.”
  • See “How to Talk to ChatGPT, the Uncanny New AI-Fueled Chatbot That Makes a Lot of Stuff Up” (Ropek, 2022).

What can ChatGPT do?

  • Write essays
  • Write lesson plans
  • Design an outline for a class syllabus
  • Write learning objectives
  • Design quiz/test questions
  • Write a script for a podcast or video
  • Design a rubric
  • Provide directions for a learning activity
  • Write emails to students

What else can ChatGPT do?

  • Design (and attempts to solve) math and science word problems.
  • Role play class scenarios.
  • Remix student work.
  • Provide writing examples.
  • Give students feedback on their writing.
  • Provide tips on how to personalize/differentiate learning.
  • Generate discussion prompts for class.
  • Provide one-on-one tutoring or coaching.
  • Write letters to parents (K-12 teachers) or students.

*These ideas and more from this Twitter thread by Robert Petitto, this Twitter thread by Matt Miller, and Ditch That Textbook.

What can ChatGPT NOT do? (Yet)

  • Write a self-reflection
  • Write about anything that happened after 2021
  • Provide non-text based responses
  • Make predictions about future events
  • Browse or summarize content from the internet
  • Draw connections between content and visual materials


What can faculty do?

Before you panic and consider banning technology from your classroom in favor of handwritten essays and oral exams (not that there’s anything wrong with those methods, but they might lead to more student anxiety)…consider how this tool might help you rethink teaching and learning.

Instead, you might...

Update your syllabus.

Sample statement prohibiting use of AI-generated text

All written work submitted for this course must be completed by you, personally. Use of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate text is strictly prohibited. Submission of text generated by AI will be considered a violation of academic integrity, including AI-generated text that you have summarized or edited.


Sample statement providing parameters for use of AI-generated text

You are responsible for the content of any work submitted for this course. Use of artifical intelligence (AI) to generate a first draft of text is permitted, but you must review and revise any AI-generated text before submission. AI text generators can be useful tools but they are often prone to factual errors, incorrect or fabricated citations, and misinterpretations of abstract concepts. Utilize them with caution.

Talk with your students about academic integrity.

  • Students often gloss over the boilerplate “academic integrity” statement in a syllabus. Update it to include AI tools. Update it to be more student-centered (see Zinn 2021 template). Bring it up in class. Talk about why academic integrity is essential to students (Hint: Don’t just focus on extrinsic motivators like their grades).

Redesign your assignments.

Encourage risk-taking, productive struggle, and learning from failure.

  • Students can learn more from failure than success (Ofgang, 2021), but far too often, when students fail, they are not given an opportunity to learn from their failure (e.g., revise and resubmit, retake a quiz).
  • When failure is the end result, rather than part of the learning process, students may be more likely to turn to tools like AI to cheat.

Be transparent about assignments.

Reconsider your approach to grading.

Shift from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation.

  • Students are more likely to cheat when “the class reinforces extrinsic (i.e., grades), not intrinsic (i.e. learning), goals.” (UC San Diego, 2020, para. 6).
  • Consider how you might increase intrinsic motivation by giving students autonomy, independence, freedom, opportunities to learn through play, and/or activities that pique their interest based on their experiences and cultures. Learn more about motivational theories in education from Dr. Jackie Gerstein.

Use ChatGPT as an educational tool.

NOTE: Before you ask students to use ChatGPT for an assignment, re-read the information about privacy and data. The following suggestions are based on the faculty using ChatGPT to generate responses to share with students.

Engage students in critiquing and improving ChatGPT responses.

  • Pre-service teachers might critique how a ChatGPT lesson plan integrates technologies using the Triple E Rubric or examine whether it features learning activities that support diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. (This will help future teachers learn to critique TPT resources! )
  • Computer science students might identify potential ways to revise ChatGPT generated code to reduce errors and improve output.
  • Students might critically review the feedback ChatGPT provides on their writing and determine what is most helpful to their own learning.
  • Students could analyze, provide feedback on, and even grade text produced by ChatGPT as a way to prepare for peer review of their classmates’ work.

Analyze how ChatGPT generates text for different audiences.

  • Ask ChatGPT to explain a concept for a 5 year old, college student, and expert. Analyze the difference in the way ChatGPT uses language.

Help students build their information literacy skills.

  • Ask students to conduct an Internet search to see if they can find the original sources of text used to generate a ChatGPT response.

Have students generate prompts for ChatGPT and compare and contrast the output.

  • Students could even design their own tool to evaluate the ChatGPT responses.




Curated Collections of Resources

  • URL:
  • Last Updated: Jan 18, 2023 3:47 PM
  • Print Page