The School of Education and Lifelong Learning at SETU Waterford recently hosted our 3rd IGNITION Community of Practice event, which focused on the dynamic intersection of Generative AI and inclusive education. Held on November 7th, this online gathering brought educators from different universities.
Keynote speaker Professor Mike Sharples, Emeritus Professor of Educational Technology at the Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, UK, led the event with a compelling presentation. With an impressive background in human-centred design and educational technology, Professor Sharples addressed the complex challenges and expansive opportunities that generative AI systems like ChatGPT present in higher education.
During the event, Professor Sharples discussed strategies for detecting AI-generated student assignments, the importance of developing institutional policies for fair AI use, and the critical need for AI literacy among staff and students. He advocated for a proactive approach to AI in education, emphasizing its potential as a tool for enhancing creativity and productivity, provided it is used with an awareness of its limitations.
The session also included a lively panel discussion chaired by Laura Widger from SETU, with insightful contributions from Dr. Helen Murphy of SETU and Matthijs Platje from Hanze University of Applied Sciences. The panel explored the nuances of AI-assisted assessment and the imperative of guiding students in the ethical use of AI tools, aiming to empower rather than create dependency.
Professor Sharples, who has authored over 300 publications and played a pioneering role in mobile learning, shared his vision for a future where AI is seamlessly integrated into educational practices. The panel echoed this sentiment, discussing the need for a balanced approach to AI integration in the curriculum.
We are proud to have facilitated such a critical dialogue on the use of AI in education and is excited about the ways these conversations will shape future teaching and learning strategies. We would like to thank our partner university SETU.
To all who attended and contributed to the discussions, we extend our heartfelt thanks. Your engagement is what makes our IGNITION Community of Practice events a success. Stay tuned for future events as we continue to explore the forefront of educational innovation.