Category: Instructional Technologies

Keywords in higher ed: AI authoring tools

Keywords in higher ed: AI authoring tools

During my graduate degree coursework in composition and rhetoric, I came across a book titled Keywords in Writing Studies, edited by Paul Heiker and my professor himself, Peter Vandenberg.

The book’s concept is given in its title: Keywords provides a fresh and concise array of essay entries, each packed with heavy research dedicated to unpacking an operative referent in the realm according to its related studies, theories, and applications.

As a student that has kept nearly every required textbook, I can reflect on the utility of such a cogent textbook concept, and now would like to transfer its reader-friendly approach to the great wide realm of instructional technologies—to start, within in the smaller realm of AI authoring tools for teaching and learning.

I anticipate my keywords approach will be much messier and less formal in scholarship, as the body of published works, studies, and opinions on AI authoring is sprawling and immense. However, the goal is to offer an ongoing collection of resources that facilitate your own research and dialogue around important questions about technology in teaching and learning.

With this keywords approach in mind, let’s begin!

AI authoring tools & learning

AI authoring tools such as ChatGPT, Bard, DALL-E3, and the like, pose immediate questions for rethinking how to teach core learning tasks and skills, particularly those assigning students to compose original work.

Though there is no direct teaching solution to safeguard against cheating, and worse, whether a student is actually demonstrating their learning, many conversations in higher education circle back to how assessments are designed for students to think critically about information and acquire digital literacy. Such classroom-rooted strategies and conversations about AI authoring are also recommended by the leading product developing company in AI writing detection, Turnitin.

Difficulties in regulating AI use & ethical concerns

Studies have noted areas of AI use that pose challenges for demarcating its ethical scope and regulation. Key questions implicated by AI machine learning and data science include responsibility for use, bias and discrimination within development, transparency in development, and responsibility for stakeholder action or policy.

From a corporate stance, the move towards regulation is difficult, if not impossible, as implementation of restrictions cannot be imposed on a scale that corresponds with its users. Though statements and calls to pause development have been made, much AI development is within the private sector, and those that might be in the position to draft such regulations do not necessarily understand the nature and scope of the technological developments to impose effective boundaries.

Ethical considerations with AI authoring tools that more directly relate to teaching and learning include biases against non-English speakers and replications that bypass creative attribution, such as the popular query of Greg Rutkowski styled outputs that mimic his aesthetic without his consent.

Academic integrity & teaching with AI

Because of its dominance in the assessment tools arena and Loyola’s adoptions of several products, Turnitin resources on academic integrity and AI writing are within the purview of technology-based assessment in higher education. Their latest webinar offering on how to include AI in institutional policy offers a puzzle map for approaching the complex issue of AI.

An Exigence for Faculty Development

A silver lining that AI authoring brings to our attention is the prompt for enriching faculty development through dialogue and creative learning design.

Though some find AI authoring tools a cause for panic, many specialized faculty in the fields of medicine and sciences are excited about the opportunities AI provides for teaching and learning.

Reflections in faculty panels, such as this one at Ole Miss University of Mississippi or professional higher ed groups, such as the AI in Education Google group.

While Loyola Instructional Technology and Research Support does not decide on the adoption of learning tools for the institution, we do invite ideas for teaching strategies, further research, and learning designs.

Bringing Global Accessibility Awareness Day to Loyola

Bringing Global Accessibility Awareness Day to Loyola

If you follow ITRS on Twitter, you know we were recently celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which occurs on the third Thursday of May every year. The spark behind GAAD is that accessibility awareness, testing, and design should be mainstream and essential—not just the work of a few specialists.

On a personal level, my contribution to this day of recognition is to spread awareness of the journey that accessible design entails. Learning to design accessible courses; to create accessible websites and documents; and to remediate inaccessible courses, documents, and websites takes time, patience, and a growth mindset. If the idea of making your course completely accessible and inclusive is overwhelming, you’re not alone! Start today by incorporating one new accessible design practice into your course development work—add headers to your documents, captions to your videos, or alternative text to your images. Recognize that the work of digital accessibility is never done; it’s truly a journey rather than a destination.

Here at Loyola, there are several teams excited to support faculty, staff, and students in digital accessibility work, including Instructional Technology & Research Support, the Office of Online Learning, and the Student Accessibility Center. In ITRS, we focus on the accessible, inclusive design of digital course materials in and outside of the learning management system, Sakai. To that end, ITRS offers one-on-one consultations to address questions about accessible design and assistive technology. We can discuss digital accessibility best practices, check your course materials for compliance with ADA and W3C standards, and assist with formulating an action plan for remediating inaccessible learning materials. To schedule a consultation, visit our booking page, select Instructional Technologies, then Digital Accessibility. We look forward to working with you!

Panopto 10: Coming Soon

Panopto 10: Coming Soon


Panopto 10

Greetings from ITRS! We are pleased to announce the arrival of Panopto 10, Loyola’s official lecture capturing platform. The new version will be available on December 20th, 2020 and will include several new and improved features:

  • Tags — Panopto’s video library has a new way to support content organization and discovery: #tags.  Users can now add tags to their recordings from the video settings, the editor, or in Panopto Capture. 
  • Smart Chapters — The new Smart Chapters tool automatically creates a table of contents for any recording with a screen capture, including recordings from Zoom.
  • Delete Streams in the Editor — Users can now delete or replace video streams in the editor, allowing for greater flexibility in making changes to recordings.
  • Share interesting points in a video — This feature enables viewers to easily share a link to a specific point in the video with others.
  • Audio Normalization — Users can now make audio levels consistent throughout their recordings with the audio normalization feature in the editor.
  • Updated Mobile apps — New updates to the Panopto app (coming soon) will provide users with enhancements for recording and uploading content from their phones.