Since ChatGPT was first introduced, universities have been working to understand how access to new Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) tools will impact teaching and learning. 

To help the U of G community adapt to the presence of AI in the classroom, the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) organized a week-long virtual series on Teaching with AI from June 3 to 7, 2024. Faculty, instructors, staff and students from U of G main campus, the University of Guelph-Humber, and Ridgetown campus were invited to engage in 17 virtual workshops, drop-ins and playgrounds. Attendance highlighted the significant impact of AI on teaching and learning at U of G, with 195 attendees, many of whom attended multiple sessions. 

“Much of the conversation about GenAI so far has been about how students use or misuse generative AI. In these sessions, we moved the conversation towards thinking about how we can empower students to use GenAI in ways that enhance their learning, and how we as instructors can integrate GenAI into our teaching, assessments, and course design,” said Dr. Sara Fulmer, acting director of OTL. “It was incredibly exciting to see people with varying levels of experience with AI and different perspectives on GenAI experiment with new tools, share ideas, ask critical questions and learn together.” 

Sessions covered a wide range of topics, from using generative AI in courses to redesigning assessments to leveraging GenAI to help with instructor workload. Panels featured students, instructors, and faculty sharing their uses of GenAI in teaching and learning and the opportunities and challenges of this technology. Through the workshops, many attendees became interested in integrating GenAI into their work.  

“It was so fascinating to see how receptive people became to using GenAI once they learned more about it,” said Shehroze Saharan, educational technology developer with OTL. “In one session, we polled participants at the start to see  if they were using GenAI to design their courses and assessments, and none of the attendees said yes. After demonstrating a number of different tools and software, at the end of the session, we asked if they would consider using GenAI in these ways, and 100 per cent of participants said they would. It was remarkable to see how attitudes of GenAI changed, showing that people are willing to give these new tools a try and even begin to use them in their own work.” 

Participants share what they learned at Teaching with AI

Attendees engaged with the workshops because they wanted to learn more about AI. “I attended because the AI landscape is evolving so rapidly, and I felt left behind,” said Dr. Jeji Varghese, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. “I wanted a deeper understanding of AI’s potential and ethical use in education and in future careers for students.” 

After the session, one participant shared how they anticipate using AI tools. “This series was a game-changer for me and introduced me to a variety of tools that I can see myself using as a future sessional instructor for tasks like crafting topic outlines, creating background music, generating images, and creating test question and rubrics,” said participant Rahul Patel, PhD student in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. 

Another participant shared how the sessions enabled them to feel more confident using and talking to students about AI. “The sessions dealt with all of the relevant aspects I was looking to learn about, but I didn’t expect how far along it has already come and how many teaching-specific platforms or apps there are already,” said participant Dr. Emmanuelle Arnaud, assistant dean (graduate programs) and associate professor in the Ontario Agricultural College. “Some of the things it can do are mind-blowing! Although I feel like there is a lot more for me to learn, I now feel more comfortable tackling AI in my teaching.” 

Panelist Carri-Ann Scott, interim assistant program head for Early Childhood Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber, found the session gave her a sense of affirmation. “As a panelist, I had hoped to share some of my enthusiasm for the opportunities that working with AI brings,” Scott said. “I was encouraged by the positive and constructive feedback I received from the audience, which affirmed that we are on the right track in engaging and critically reflecting on how AI is changing our outlook and our post-secondary environments.” 

Several units across campus were involved in facilitating workshops for this series, including the Centre for Advancing Responsible & Ethical Artificial Intelligence (CARE-AI), OpenEd, the Office of Quality Assurance, and the McLaughlin Library, as well as external collaborator Contact North. “Leveraging expertise from across campus was key to the success of this series,” said Fulmer. “We’re eager to continue collaborating on sessions and resources to support our campus community with carefully and meaningfully integrating GenAI into teaching and learning, while also reflecting on the limitations and issues with these tools.” 

Learn more about integrating AI into your classroom

Recordings, slides, and materials from all Teaching with AI Series workshops are now available. 

Have suggestions on topics for future sessions? Reach out to the Office of Teaching and Learning at 

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