5 Tips for Using ChatGPT in the Classroom: Reduce Teacher Workload and Improve Student Outcomes
Updated: Apr 29
Artificial Intelligence Gives EVERY Teacher a Classroom Assistant!
As an AI expert and university professor, I understand that some educators may be resistant to using new technology in their classrooms. Some may even view artificial intelligence (AI) tools like
ChatGPT as "cheating." However, I firmly believe that ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can both help to reduce teacher workload and improve student outcomes.
ChatGPT is a computer program that uses artificial intelligence to communicate with people and provide assistance with tasks such as research, lesson planning, student support, personalization, and assessment. In this blog post, I provide examples, analogies, and specific sample prompts for each tip to help teachers to effectively use ChatGPT. I hope to encourage teachers to explore the possibilities of this technology as a tool for good in their classrooms.
Let's dig into some specific actionable ideas!
Tip #1 - Research assistance
ChatGPT is like having a personal research assistant who can quickly and accurately find the information you need, saving you hours of time that you would have spent scouring the internet for reliable sources. To use ChatGPT for research assistance, a teacher can simply ask a question related to the topic they're teaching and ChatGPT will generate a response based on its vast database of knowledge. (Always click on the sources to test the validity of the information.)
Example prompt: "Provide me with 5 reliable sources on the causes of the American Revolution. Also, summarize the key points that a 6th grader should learn. Include sources."
Tip #2 - Lesson planning
ChatGPT is like having a collaborator who can offer suggestions and ideas for your lesson plans. Imagine having a brainstorming session with a colleague, but without the need to schedule a meeting. To use ChatGPT for lesson planning, a teacher can ask for suggestions on activities, exercises, and assessments that will be appropriate for their students' level of understanding. You can request that it be formatted as a table!
Example prompt: "What are some activities and assessments that I could use to teach my students about the water cycle? Format it in a table with column headings that include relevant information for a 10th-grade student to understand. Include a column for the expected time needed for each activity."
Sample output of the above prompt
Tip #3 - Student support
ChatGPT is like having a virtual tutor who can provide additional explanations and examples to help students better understand the material. It's like having a study buddy who is available 24/7. To use ChatGPT for student support, a teacher can direct students to ChatGPT for explanations and further examples of concepts that they might not have understood during class.
Example prompt: "Provide an explanation, an example, and an analogy for ChatGPT [or any topic] that a 5th grader would understand."
Sample output of the above prompt
Explanation: ChatGPT is a computer program that can talk to people, answer their questions, and even write stories or give advice. It works by using a very powerful brain-like system called artificial intelligence, which allows it to learn from lots of information and experiences and use that knowledge to communicate with people.
Example: Imagine you're trying to write a story, but you're stuck on what to write next. You can ask ChatGPT to help you come up with some ideas for your story. You tell it what your story is about and what has happened so far, and ChatGPT can give you suggestions for what could happen next or how to make your story more interesting.
Analogy: ChatGPT is like having a really smart friend who knows a lot about many things and can help you when you're stuck or need advice. Just like how you can ask your friend for help with homework or ideas for a project, you can ask ChatGPT for help with questions or tasks that you need to complete. However, instead of being a human friend, ChatGPT is a computer program that uses artificial intelligence to help you.
Tip #4 - Quickly personalize for each student
ChatGPT is like having a personal trainer who can tailor exercises to your individual needs and abilities. Your personal fitness coach who can help you achieve your goals more efficiently. To use ChatGPT for personalization, a teacher can ask ChatGPT to generate customized exercises or assignments based on the individual needs and interests of each student.
Example prompt: "Generate a set of math problems that are tailored to varied students' levels of understanding. Include first term 3rd grade, 2nd term 3rd grade, and 3rd term 3rd grade sets of math problems. Each set should include 10 problems. Do not include the answers."
Example grading prompt: "Create answer sheets to be used for grading for each of these sets of math problems. Include the correct answers."
Tip #5 - Assessment trends
ChatGPT is like having a grading assistant who can provide insights and feedback on student work. It gives teachers their own assistants who can help to grade papers accurately and quickly. To use ChatGPT for assessment, a teacher can ask it to analyze student work and provide insights on how well they understand the material, which can help save time on grading and provide more accurate and detailed feedback to the student.
Example prompt: "I would like to use your assistance in analyzing my students' work. Please look at these math problems and provide insights on how well my students understood the material. Specifically, I would like to know if they made any common mistakes and if there are any areas that I should focus on more in class. Here are the problems: [copy your assignment grades into ChatGPT].
I hope that these examples inspire educators to embrace AI in their classrooms! Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help your organization to engage with AI.