MU Connect issue 5 (page 04 to 05)

Home About HKMU University Publications MU Connect MU Connect issue 5 (page 04 to 05)

and education:​ From AI-detection to AI-empowered teaching and learning

ChatGPT immediately caused a stir as soon as it was released to the public. The curious tested the chatbot's abilities, while others began to worry about the prospect of almighty human-like machines. Soon, it dawned on the world that this technological trend would be unstoppable, despite Mr Geoffrey Hinton, one of the 'godfathers' of AI, leaving Google with dire warnings. In the higher education sector, the sentiment gradually shifted from concern over plagiarism to cautious acceptance of the inevitable. So, what is HKMU's take?

University position: Embracing technology with accountability

Standing at the frontier of open and innovative education, HKMU never shies away from technology. The University has laid out its principles in a position statement: 'HKMU values all learning tools that help our students excel academically. We recognise that ChatGPT, along with other AI chatbots, is one such tool that can provide students with quick and easy access to information.'

The statement does come with a caveat: 'As fairness, integrity, perseverance and innovation are the four core values of the University, we encourage our students to use ChatGPT wisely and responsibly, in conjunction with other tools and resources such as the library, peers, tutors and professors.' The University reminds students to take ownership of their work and not rely on ChatGPT solely to complete assignments.

All starts with understanding

Let's face it. If generative AI is meant to be a disruptive technology, the education sector will need to get ready for an overarching AI revolution. To help faculty members come to grips with this development, the University organised a series of seminars and workshops in the run-up to the new academic year.

This series of staff training kicked off with a half-day event titled 'AI & ChatGPT for Higher Education' on 25 April. In a seminar, Dr Sean McMinn, Director of the Centre for Education Innovation at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, reoriented the audience's focus beyond the technical sense of 'AI literacy' and towards a broader understanding of 'AI readiness'. This encompasses an awareness of how work will change in the future and the self-perpetuating bias in AI. As Dr McMinn puts it, we must 'promote capabilities that differentiate humans from machines' while acknowledging that 'AI shapes human practices'. The pedagogical approach will have to be adjusted to incorporate models such as design thinking and dialogic learning to help students work critically with AI.

Evolving with the technology

The truth be told, it is still too soon to arrive at a specific framework on the incorporation of AI into teaching and learning. In the panel discussion that followed, Prof. Janet Wong, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, and Dr Kevin Hung, Head of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science of the School of Science and Technology, recognised the use of AI in their respective industries and the need for a thorough review of course structures in the long run. However, with generative AI tools coming on the scene, the more urgent task would be adjusting the assessment model with a greater emphasis on meta-abilities.

When it comes to curriculum design, perhaps it is easier to start from scratch. Dr William Lai of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, who is involved in the design of the forthcoming Bachelor of Arts with Honours in New Music and Interactive Entertainment programme, says, 'In fact, we've always had AI in mind in the development of the curriculum as it's been around in the entertainment industry for quite some time. Factoring in the latest developments, we'll expand the AI component to prepare students for the evolving industry.'

For now, the University is organising workshops for students on the basics of using ChatGPT. The first ones provide tips on using the tool in academic writing and language learning.