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Professors Plan Summer AI Upskilling, With or Without Support

Professors Plan Summer AI Upskilling, With or Without Support

Inside Higher Ed

Susan D’Agostino
May 26, 2023
Some faculty members recharge in summer; they exhale while tweaking assignments or course policies for the upcoming year. Other instructors face challenges that are unique to summer—they may struggle to find childcare while teaching multiple courses, sometimes on multiple campuses, during an accelerated term and often to students in need of remediation.
But Microsoft and Google are moving forward with integrating artificial intelligence text-generation into the environments where modern humans write. As the pace of progress in AI writing tools accelerates, faculty members across the summer spectrum face a shared challenge: How can they upskill in AI for teaching and learning—fast?
Some academics and institutions are offering AI faculty workshops or, in the words of Anna Mills, English instructor at the College of Marin, “safe spaces where we don’t feel overwhelmed by the fire hose of [AI] information and hot takes.”
In these summer faculty AI workshops, some plan to take their first tentative steps in redesigning assignments to recognize the AI-infused landscape. Others expect to evolve their in-progress teaching-with-AI practices. At some colleges, full-time staff will deliver the workshops or pay participants for professional development time. But some offerings are grassroots efforts delivered by faculty volunteers attended by participants on their own time. Even so, many worry that the efforts will fall short of meeting demand.
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