Teaching students how to use AI

Acquiring proficiency in AI technology will be pivotal in the future job market. At the University of Stavanger Business School, students are not only introduced to AI technology but are also taught how to leverage it effectively in both their studies and future careers.

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Ever since ChatGPT was launched last November, artificial intelligence has stirred a heated debate. In the educational sector, the discussions have particularly centered around cheating and how to prevent misuse.

At the UiS Business School, the faculty has opted for an alternative approach, actively encouraging students to embrace AI technology, thereby integrating it into the teaching.

The business school also has a policy for the use of AI. New master students were introduced to the use of artificial intelligence at the start of the semester. In addition, the school has an AI portal, a tool created to foster a basic understanding and use of AI techonologies.

"The UiS Business School is probably unique in Norwegian university sector when it comes to our positive and systematic approach to incorporating AI into learning and teaching processes," says economics professor Gorm Kipperberg.

Kipperberg, along with Yuko Onozaka, Tom Brökel, and Thomas Laudal, has been active in initiating efforts to explore the potentials of AI at the business school.

Can an AI-bot serve as your personal teaching assistant?

The school's AI portal is a practical tool that demonstrates the various ways students can use artificial intelligence to acquire new skills. The portal consists of several different bots, each with different use cases.

Screenshot of the business school's AI portal. The portal is designed to showcase the possibilities inherent in AI and how one can leverage the technology to learn new skills in a efficient way.

For instance, the portal features an AI learning assistant that can help you improve your math skills or teach you the programming language R. R is used in economics for statistical analyses and data visualization.

The portal also has a bot that guides students in crafting effective prompts, enabling precise responses from ChatGPT. Additionally, it can help you practice your negotiation skills, simulating scenarios and providing constructive feedback.

Yuko Onozaka has been one of the driving forces behind integrating AI into the teaching and learning activities at the faculty.

Innovative approaches to teaching and assessment

Professor of economics and head of the master's program in Business and Administration, Yuko Onozaka, says that she sees AI as a powerful tool that can enhance students' learning.

"For example, the 24/7 availability of an AI tutor provides flexible, personalized assistance and creates a judgment-free space for all types of questions. This approach aims to enrich the learning experience and build student confidence."

Why is it important for educational institutions to teach students how to use AI?

"AI will most definitely change how we live and work. Then, as an educational institution, we should be helping them stay ahead of the curve and make a difference in the world." 

What impact do you think AI will have on education and universities in the future?

"AI has already begun transforming the educational landscape. We must reconsider our traditional assessment methods in this new context. Beyond just facilitating personalized learning, AI opens doors to innovative teaching and learning approaches, some of which we might not even anticipate yet."

How has the feedback from students been so far?

"Overall, the feedback has been quite positive. While our students exhibit a natural curiosity towards AI, many appreciated the guidance and practical insights provided to them."

Written by: Silje Marnburg Ellefsen

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