Beyond the Hype: Taking a 50 Year Lens to the Impact of AI on Learning — from by Nafez Dakkak and Chris Dede
How do we make sure LLMs are not “digital duct tape”?

[Per Chris Dede] We often think of the product of teaching as the outcome (e.g. an essay, a drawing, etc.). The essence of education, in my view, lies not in the products or outcomes of learning but in the journey itself. The artifact is just a symbol that you’ve taken the journey.

The process of learning — the exploration, challenges, and personal growth that occur along the way — is where the real value lies. For instance, the act of writing an essay is valuable not merely for the final product but for the intellectual journey it represents. It forces you to improve and organize your thinking on a subject.

This distinction becomes important with the rise of generative AI, because it uniquely allows us to produce these artifacts without taking the journey.

As I’ve argued previously, I am worried that all this hype around LLMs renders them a “type of digital duct-tape to hold together an obsolete industrial-era educational system”. 

Speaking of AI in our learning ecosystems, also see:

On Building a AI Policy for Teaching & Learning — from by Lance Eaton
How students drove the development of a policy for students and faculty

Well, last month, the policy was finally approved by our Faculty Curriculum Committee and we can finally share the final version: AI Usage Policy. College Unbound also created (all-human, no AI used) a press release with the policy and some of the details.

To ensure you see this:

  • Usage Guidelines for AI Generative Tools at College Unbound
    These guidelines were created and reviewed by College Unbound students in Spring 2023 with the support of Lance Eaton, Director of Faculty Development & Innovation.  The students include S. Fast, K. Linder-Bey, Veronica Machado, Erica Maddox, Suleima L., Lora Roy.

ChatGPT hallucinates fake but plausible scientific citations at a staggering rate, study finds — from by Eric W. Dolan

A recent study has found that scientific citations generated by ChatGPT often do not correspond to real academic work. The study, published in the Canadian Psychological Association’s Mind Pad, found that “false citation rates” across various psychology subfields ranged from 6% to 60%. Surprisingly, these fabricated citations feature elements such as legitimate researchers’ names and properly formatted digital object identifiers (DOIs), which could easily mislead both students and researchers.

MacDonald found that a total of 32.3% of the 300 citations generated by ChatGPT were hallucinated. Despite being fabricated, these hallucinated citations were constructed with elements that appeared legitimate — such as real authors who are recognized in their respective fields, properly formatted DOIs, and references to legitimate peer-reviewed journals.