Academic Affairs presents at Innovating Teaching and Learning in the Era of Generative AI conference

Sign for the Innovating Teaching and Learning in the Era of Generative AI Conference
 

Four members of UT Austin’s Academic Affairs community presented at a recent The University of Texas System conference hosted by UT San Antonio’s Office of Academic Innovation. Strategic Academic Initiatives postdoctoral fellows Natalie Murray, PhD, and Raj Sankaranarayanan, PhD, Kory Bieg, associate professor and associate dean of Academic Affairs in the School of Architecture, and Julie Schell, EdD, assistant vice provost and director of the Office of Academic Technology, all shared their expertise on integrating generative AI into higher education.

The conference, Innovating Teaching and Learning in the Era of Generative AI, brought together educators from across UT System to explore how generative AI and other emerging technologies are transforming teaching and learning. It was held in-person March 6-8.

‚ÄúWith participants across the UT System, the conference created a forum for sharing use cases to improve teaching and learning in the era of GenAI,‚ÄĚ said Murray. ‚ÄúThe convergence of perspectives and knowledge exchange facilitated by this conference opened doors for¬† the development and adoption of innovative ways to bring new technology into higher education so students, faculty, and staff can engage with it.”

Murray and Sankaranarayanan presented ‚ÄúAgility and Transformation in Teaching & Learning in the Era of Generative AI.‚ÄĚ The discussion included conversation on how the context of teaching and learning is evolving due to digital innovation, causing instructors and students alike to navigate new knowledge and skills together. The session included three main aspects regarding generative AI impacts in the classroom: the context of emerging technology within academia, the student experience, and best practices for teaching and learning.

For example, the presenters discussed how best practices could be evaluated and evolve in learning environments using GenAI.

Strategic Academic Initiatives postdoctoral fellows Natalie Murray, PhD, and Raj Sankaranarayanan
Natalie Murray and Raj Sankaranarayanan

Next, Bieg participated in a panel titled ‚ÄúInnovations in Education: Harnessing Generative AI Across Disciplines.‚Ä̬† Alongside two other professors from within the UT System, he spotlighted the transformative power of AI in educational settings through lightning presentations‚ÄĒexplaining the use of emerging technology in areas such as critical thinking, creativity, and revolutionizing teaching practices.

Bieg focused on the use of generative AI in architecture, specifically text-to-image platforms like Midjourney, Dall-E 2, and Stable Diffusion. These platforms offer unique support to designers, expanding their toolkits by offering alternative methods to make the design process more robust. He showed examples of projects using outpainting and inpainting, newer techniques that use AI to fill in missing parts of an image or extend the boundaries of an image. He also spoke about effective prompt engineering and various methods of using AI tools within the academic space. Students and instructors alike are translating 2D imagery into 3D constructs with the help of these new tools and techniques.

Finally, Schell, also serving on the conference planning board, presented ‚ÄúAI Forward-AI Responsible: How to implement generative AI in the classroom,‚ÄĚ which focused on a case study of of her graduate-level design course and her first experience with implementing AI in the classroom. Schell‚Äôs students completed three design projects during the Fall 2023 semester. In this course, she scaffolded the use of generative AI by increasing student engagement with it for each assignment.¬† She also taught her students her framework for AI-forward, AI-responsible learning‚ÄĒsomething that will be a requirement for their design careers.

Kory Bieg, associate professor and associate dean of Academic Affairs in the School of Architecture, and Julie Schell, EdD, assistant vice provost and director of the Office of Academic Technology
Kory Bieg and Julie Schell

One of Schell’s students, Alix Zhang, participated in the conference’s student panel, where she reflected that Schell’s course was the first of her UT classes to introduce and actively engage with generative AI.

‚ÄúThe conference offered a great opportunity to think in a community about our curiosities, concerns, and future-forward vision related to generative AI with students, faculty, and staff across the UT System,‚ÄĚ said Schell.

Thank you to everyone from Academic Affairs who was also involved with the conference and supported the UT System with your time and expertise!

date
Type
News
Tags