About This Book

This Open Educational Resource (OER) was produced for educators who wish to find positive and productive ways to incorporate generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools into their work. This includes:

  • using AI tools to develop courses, lesson plans, activities, assessments, and rubrics;
  • leveraging AI tools to enhance existing in-class activities and assignments;
  • teaching students how to engage with AI effectively, ethically, and responsibly;
  • utilizing AI tools to efficiently complete administrative tasks.

This resource is focused on how AI tools can be used in polytechnic education. However, much of the content will also be relevant to educators in other educational contexts, like university or high school. The term ‘instructional staff’ is used widely in this resource and is meant to include instructors, professors, lecturers, teachers, educational assistants, and tutors.

Land Acknowledgement

Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech) campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories that provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

RRC Polytech is committed to a renewed relationship and dialogue with Indigenous peoples based on the principles of mutual trust, respect, and reciprocity.

Development of This Resource

Funding and Support

This OER was funded by a RRC Polytech Strategic Transformation and Applied Research (STAR) grant. STAR grants fund a variety of initiatives at RRC Polytech, focused on academic innovation, applied research, and college-wide improvements. This project also received additional funding and support from Campus Manitoba.

Method

Information for this OER was gathered through a scan of existing resources on generative AI in education in fall 2023 and winter 2024, as well as a series of focus groups conducted at RRC Polytech in November 2023, an undertaking approved by the RRC Polytech Research Ethics Board. Focus group discussions with RRC Polytech staff have provided insightful examples and anecdotes about how AI tools can be productively utilized in polytechnic education. Staff members who contributed to the resource had the option to be credited by name or remain anonymous.

Content in the What is Generative AI and Capabilities and Limitations of AI Tools chapters is adapted from the Generative Artificial Intelligence in Teaching and Learning at McMaster University OER.

Use of AI Tools

As mentioned in the Supporting Students to Use AI Effectively section, modelling transparent and responsible use of AI is the first step to teaching effective and ethical use of AI. AI tools have been used in a number of ways to produce or improve content for this OER. This includes:

  • turning a set of notes on a topic into a draft chapter outline;
  • generating suggestions for examples and case studies;
  • scanning lengthy resources for suggestions of which sections to read for information about practical uses for AI tools in education;
  • finding a term that wouldn’t easily come to mind (“what’s it called when students learn something but it wasn’t the primary learning outcome?”);
  • as a thesaurus (“what are twenty other ways to say ‘AI tools can be used to…'”);
  • for suggestions of how to rephrase sentences that ended up too long, convoluted, or disorganized.

Indigenous Perspectives

The incorporation of Indigenous perspectives and content into this resource has been a priority. At the same time, it is important to note that Indigenous knowledge is best gained through direct consultation with Indigenous people and accessing Indigenous-created resources. For emerging Indigenous perspectives on AI, visit the Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Working Group.

Updates

This OER was first published on April 8, 2024. We hope to provide regular reviews and updates in order to keep the information current.

AI Tools Referenced in this Resource

Sample Interactions

This OER contains a number of screenshots showing sample interactions with AI tools, and most of them are interactions with ChatGPT 4.0. This is not necessarily a recommendation of ChatGPT over other AI tools. ChatGPT was chosen for most examples because it is possible to share a link with readers that they can follow to view the full conversation, including full outputs and reprompting (ChatGPT login required). Other AI tools can complete many of the same tasks—several of them are explored in the Generative AI Tools for Education section.

Linked AI Tools

This resource also links to a number of specialized AI tools. Mentioning or linking to an AI tool does not constitute a recommendation—with limited resources, it wasn’t possible to fully explore every tool mentioned in the resource. It’s suggested that readers evaluate AI tools prior to interacting with them, including their benefits and drawbacks, and how using them at work aligns with their institution’s policies.

Terminology

For the sake of consistency and brevity, the term ‘AI tools’ is used repeatedly throughout this resource in place of ‘generative AI tools’. This may refer to AI chatbots like like ChatGPT, Copilot (formerly Bing Chat), or Gemini (formerly Google Bard), which are based on large language models. It may also refer to tools that convert text or other input into another form of media such as images (like DALL-E or Midjourney) or video (like Sora or Synthesia).

Accessibility

This resource has been tested with a number of screen readers. Read&Write and NVDA were both able to read all of the content including H5Ps and image alt texts.

All links in the OER are set to open in a new tab. Underlined text indicates that an internal or external link is available. Dotted underlined text indicates that a glossary item is available.

Acknowledgements

This OER was made possible with help from dozens of RRC Polytech staff who contributed their time and ideas. This includes sixteen staff who participated in focus groups in November 2023 and shared how they have used AI tools in their work. It also includes a group of reviewers who read a draft of the OER in February 2024 and provided valuable feedback that shaped the final version. Thank you to RRC Polytech staff who reviewed this resource, including:

  • Meagen Chorney, Instructor, Nursing;
  • Hannah Gifford, Academic Integrity Specialist, Centre for Learning and Program Excellence;
  • Rebecca Molly Hiebert, Chair, Professional and Academic Advancement;
  • Nataliya Kharchenko, Educational Developer, Centre for Learning and Program Excellence;
  • Monica Lytwyn, Instructor, Early Childhood Education;
  • Ebony Novakowski, Copyright Officer, Library and Academic Services;
  • Jocelyne Olson, Instructor, Communication;
  • Linda Perschonke, Instructional Designer, Centre for Learning and Program Excellence;
  • Piers Smettem, Instructor, Communication;
  • Dale Stevenson, Accessibility Specialist, Student Accessibility Services;
  • Darla Thiessen, Instructor, Communication;
  • Dan Waters, Instructor, IT Operations;
  • Rosemary Woodby, Reference Technician, Library and Academic Services.

Thank you also to Ariful Shanil from the Manitoba Flexible Learning Hub for reviewing.

Thank you to Monica Lytwyn, Meagen Chorney, Ginger Arnold (Instructor, School of Indigenous Education), and Michele Sykes (Instructor, Medical Laboratory Sciences) for helping to develop examples related to their areas of expertise.

Special thanks to Rebecca Molly Hiebert for initiating and leading the project, as well as Paula Havixbeck for leadership support, Ebony Novakowski for copyright support, and to Nataliya Kharchenko and Nicole Mauthe for assistance conducting focus groups.

Thank you to Campus Manitoba for supporting this project with an OER Development Grant, and to Kristy Lacroix, DawnDena Gordon, and Carley McDougall for support with Pressbooks and other aspects of this resource’s development.

Thank you to Winnipeg artist Braelyn Koop for designing the cover art.

Contact Information

Please use this feedback form to reach out with questions, comments, or suggestions about the Generative Artificial Intelligence: Practical Uses in Education OER.

 

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Generative Artificial Intelligence: Practical Uses in Education Copyright © 2024 by Troy Heaps is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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