In preparation for our event with the Goodison Group on Scotland on artificial intelligence (AI) and education, some 16 and 17-year-old students submitted to the Goodison Group in Scotland their reflections on the question of artificial intelligence and education.
This blog offers thoughts on how AI could be used within education to benefit both students and teachers. It is reproduced as a think-piece on a positive future to accompany our event report: “AI and Education with the Goodison Group”
In a perfect world, AI would be used to help students learn, explore theories, and use AI to help with contextual knowledge. AI would also be able to help teachers with marking, creating essay titles et cetera. With a suitable management scheme for AI, it can benefit the education sector as a whole.
As AI improves, responses to queries will improve. Chatbots like Chat GPT will get better, mainly through more accurate information, although it is already very precise, as well as style of writing. However, it is not just the AI that needs to be improved but how we use AI. Users need to know how to ask more precise questions, and detail how they want the answer to be written. Students and teachers alike need to know how to phrase their questions.
This is a fundamental and easy way of improving AI to help with education. For students to receive the best answer possible they need to be able to tailor their questions in a way that AI can respond in the most satisfactory way and personalise how students receive information that suits them best . This can be achieved through chatbot creators having information regarding this.
Students could use AI to help them understand a topic of study, whether finding it difficult, or just requiring more information on it. There would be no need for textbooks. Material written in these textbooks, should be made available for AI to use. This ensures that there is no information or research that AI is missing when responding to a question. If there are niche concepts that students wish to explore further, then AI will be able to help fulfil curiosity and thirst for knowledge.
Students should be free to use AI as a form of research for dissertations, essays and coursework. As we know, students sometimes work during unusual hours where teachers may not be available to help. AI can provide knowledge on a topic that helps students with their work twenty-four seven. AI will be able to enhance the necessary knowledge and skills required to shape student’s futures.
Using and referencing AI will be a big part of student’s future and for educational institutions to not teach students how to use AI responsibly may do damage to their growth later on . However, schools do need to regulate the extent of AI use.
AI can speed up the teaching process, allowing teachers to have more time actually teaching and planning lessons than marking or writing exemplar responses. Teachers can write exemplar essays with AI to show students how best to answer a certain question. They could use AI to generate essay questions, or mark student work. These simple uses of AI enable teachers to enjoy the aspect of teaching they most love, teaching.
With only a review of the AI’s marking and model answers written in seconds, teachers will have more time to plan lessons which improves the quality of lessons as well as their enjoyment.
The management of AI can be simple. On a governmental level, Britain and America have little to no regulation whereas China has strict testing and pre-approval . Schools should lean towards a Chinese approach.
Without strict regulation there is the ability for students to write projects, essays, and coursework on AI and submit the work as their own. This should not be permittable. In each school’s and university’s policy booklet there should be outlines as to the extent of which AI can be used. Students should be required, at the end of a piece of work to state whether AI helped with research and what their question(s) to AI was. Students should also be including references to the sources AI used.
1 IndustryTrends, ‘8 Ways AI Is Used in Education’, Analytics Insight, 2022 https://www.analyticsinsight.net/8-ways-ai-is-used-in-education/ [accessed 25 April 2023].
2 Goodison Group, ‘Schooling, Education and Learning 2030 and Beyond’ (Goodison Group in Scotland, 2020) https://www.scotlandfutureforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/SchoolingEducationLearning_2030Beyond_ProjectReport_WebVersion.pdf.
3 ‘How to Worry Wisely about Artificial Intelligence’, The Economist, pp. 9–10.
Scotland’s Futures Forum exists to encourage debate on Scotland’s long-term future, and we aim to share a range of perspectives. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the Futures Forum’s views.