Faculty Takes A Practical Approach to AI

Millbrook’s history faculty is embracing the challenges and possibilities inherent in the growth of artificial intelligence, specifically Chat GPT. No longer a novelty, Chat GPT is a powerful tool for students when deployed thoughtfully and responsibly.

There are many assignments for which Chat GPT is neither effective nor appropriate and may be detrimental to learning. Transparency is crucial as teachers and students navigate the ever-changing world of AI. Process statements in which students provide detailed information about their use of Chat GPT are required alongside traditional footnotes and bibliographies.

The history department has encouraged the use of Chat GPT while setting standards and expectations. Fifth form students working on their U.S. History term papers used AI to sift through topics and refine their essay subjects. With help from Chat GPT, students identified possible topics by winnowing broad areas of inquiry, resulting in focused thesis statements early in the process. History Department Chair Lindsay Peterson observed that this year’s term papers were remarkable for their novel subjects and refreshing approaches to material. This efficiency allowed more time for deeper research and better writing after a topic was chosen.

Aware of the ubiquity of artificial intelligence, the history department has adopted new ways to hold students accountable for understanding material. Fifth formers in U.S. History formed small peer groups, read each other’s papers and defended their work, demonstrating their knowledge of the material in real-time, without AI assistance. Members benefitted from the group work through exposure to peers’ essays.

AI is here to stay. Through their research and professional development, Millbrook faculty strives to institute best practices with integrity and purpose.
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