How realistic are universities’ plans to deal with ChatGPT?

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The New York Times published a piece regarding university policies and strategies for students using ChatGPT or similar tools to prepare coursework. For each strategy, I’ll assess how realistic it is and what the consequences might be. Articles like this one, as well as the policies they describe, are shortsighted, because AI text generation is … Continued

Deductive vs. big-bang book structures

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As you structure your book, deductive logic is leading you astray — especially if you are an academic. State big conclusions first, if you want readers to keep reading. The logical, and wrong, way to structure a nonfiction book Here is the logical way to structure a book: Very nice. Very easy to follow. Very … Continued

When AI tools like ChatGPT can write, how should we teach writing?

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ChatGPT undermines the traditional way we teach writing in high school or college. We can try (and fail) to preserve the old ways of teaching. Or we can develop new ways that assume future writers will have access to AI tools and help them to use those tools. Current ways we teach writing already stink … Continued

When is using artificial intelligence to write your student essay cheating?

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Artificial intelligence writing software is now good enough to write decent student essays. If a student turns in such an essay, is that cheating? And what are we going to do about it? Aki Peritz wrote about the problem in Slate and Jeff Schatten pondered it in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Both pieces include … Continued

Who’s afraid of critical race theory (or anything that sounds like it)?

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For a lot of conservatives, “critical race theory” is a dangerous concept that will pollute the vulnerable minds of children in schools. And because actual sightings of critical race theory in schools are so rare, groups like the Texas Public Policy Foundation are warning us of its other insidious names, like “diversity” and “identity.” What … Continued

Do you learn anything useful in college?

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I’ve been out of school for nearly 40 years. I’ve been contemplating the value of college through the lens of my adult children’s experience. Some of the skills I learned have been useful. The content, though, has been mostly useless. This song has been going through my head: When I think back on all the … Continued