Category: Instructional Technologies

Teaching strategies for “the ChatGPT wave”: Transferable lessons from proctoring tools

Teaching strategies for “the ChatGPT wave”: Transferable lessons from proctoring tools

Read time: 5 minutes

In my popular culture research, a cultural movement often carries the referent of a “wave.” Example: The Hallyu movement of the 1980s to 2000s (debatable depending on the scholar you consult) refers to a “wave” of Korean popular culture beyond the nation’s borders.

In my day-to-day work, I might use the referent “wave” to refer to the conversation en vogue in the fields of teaching, learning, and academic integrity: in this instance, let’s use the referent “the ChatGPT wave.”

But first, a quick blast from the past [three years] for context:

Higher education conversations about assessment in digital learning environments rarely avoid a debate on academic integrity. From my experience—and likely yours—this specific debate maps itself on a spectrum ranging somewhere from “enforcing academic integrity with the latest and most stringent means available” to “recognizing no perfect enforcement is possible and does not seem productive to ensure student learning”.

My emphasis here is on two points, to be revisited very soon: (1) that no flawless enforcement of academic honesty is possible with a tool; and (2) that a fixation on enforcement of not cheating rather than a focus on fostering student learning leads to costly outcomes for all.

Perhaps this diversity of positions on assessment with academic integrity emerged rather sharply during the emergency move to online learning per the COVID-19 pandemic. The immediate legacy might be summed up in some phases: faculty unrest for a technology-based solution to prevent students from cheating, a hasty adoption of an inadequate solution, uncomfortable and stressful assessments for both its administrating faculty and its examinee students using said inadequate solution, then a quick abandonment of said inadequate solution due to privacy violations (some of which are undergoing legal disputes, well within our region).

As we embark on the amazing frontier of AI (artificial intelligence) authoring tools, let us brace ourselves for the ChatGPT wave by remembering to prioritize student learning rather than hunting for cheaters. Here are some teaching strategies for AI authoring tools like ChatGPT, very much informed by our recent misadventures with proctoring tools:

Remember that a tool is not a human. Just like the highly touted and speedily adopted proctoring tools of yesteryear cannot guarantee or completely safeguard cheating by a human student, ChatGPT and AI tools share an obvious quality: ChatGPT is not a human student. A human demonstrates learning for a specific learning outcome, whether by sharing a sentiment or committing an error that is irrevocably human. Looking for signs of life might mean creating space for students to show their human selves, perhaps by engaging conversation about something fun to them, or posing a writing prompt that is more specific to their periphery of being, or assigning something creative or audio recorded. If you assign work that is general and without connection to your students, expect machine-like responses.

Revise your learning objectives and corresponding activities for someone who wants to learn. As an instructor, I find my essential job description, whether I am teaching professional business writing or instructional design, is to facilitate meaningful learning experiences for my students. Many times, essential charge prompts reflection and revision of my coursework and assessment designs. Rising to the occasion of facilitating meaningful learning is an easy move when students want to learn. National enrollment in higher education has seen better days, so being interesting seems like a project of mutual interest for faculty.

Find help for the things you don’t know. Since my start in the field of teaching and learning support, I have seen resources and services grow rapidly in the name of faculty teaching online and with instructional tools. It is highly likely that your place of teaching extends such resources and services to you, if only you seek them out. “Closed mouths don’t get fed,” as the saying goes, and in my experience, if you don’t ask for help, you will only fall more behind. Technologies are always updating and departments may shift in structure, but you can control your own course (pun intended) by looking for those that literally have in their job descriptions to help you.

Learn about the tool’s development and limitations, and share this with your students. OpenAI, the developers behind ChatGPT, are very transparent about its testing process and limitations as an AI authoring tool. Some key and critical limitations to note so far include a proclivity to outputs that are “toxic or biased” with made-up facts; and an English-speaking, and therefore cultural bias “towards the cultural values of English-speaking people.” Having a conversation with your students about such limitations makes for transparency in your class while addressing the serious possibilities for mis-presentations of self. Who wants to be seen as toxic or treacherous?

If we have learned anything from the Test Cheating Scare of 2020, let us brace for this ChatGPT wave with clarity of purpose as instructors, and aim for human exchanges with our students.

Christmas is around the corner, and so is Sakai 22!

Christmas is around the corner, and so is Sakai 22!

Don’t let final exams put a damper on your holiday spirit! Instructional Technology & Research Support (ITRS) is hard at work and preparing to unveil a new version of the Sakai LMS just in time for the holidays. Loyola will upgrade to Sakai version 22 on Wednesday, December 21st. During the upgrade process, Sakai will be unavailable (approximately 7am-11am Central Time). Faculty, staff, and students are not required to make any changes for the upgrade; all course and project sites will be intact and ready for use in Sakai 22. 

The annual Sakai upgrade ensures that Loyola can take advantage of the latest Sakai features and functionality, and we can eliminate pesky software bugs that have been squashed by the Sakai community. A few highlights you can anticipate in Sakai 22 include:

  • A new tool, Conversations, allows for threaded Q&A and discussions. Conversations enables users to filter and bookmark posts so it’s easy to find the content that matters most. 
  • New page layout options in the Lessons tool. 
  • A new integration with Gradescope, an AI-supported grading platform that streamlines grading of paper-based, bubble sheet, and coding assessments. 

Want to learn more? Visit Sakai 22 Upgrade. Here, you’ll find registration links for informational sessions conducted by your friendly ITRS colleagues, a promotional video highlighting new Sakai features, and more! 

Interactive Learning with Top Hat

Interactive Learning with Top Hat

Top Hat is an interactive web-based response platform at Loyola. Instructors can leverage students’ devices to take attendance, launch discussions and questions, and solicit real-time feedback. Students can use devices they already own, like smartphones, tablets, or laptops.

Top Hat offers several ways for instructors to facilitate engagement with different question types, discussion boards, and gamified elements like polling tournaments. In addition to the instructional benefits, Top Hat provides instructors with learning analytics like daily attendance, student participation, and student performance reports.

In a virtual workshop with our Top Hat partners, Quintin Peirce and his team will provide an overview of how Top Hat can help drive engagement and outcomes in your lectures and labs, both before and during class. The team will also show a walkthrough of accessing Top Hat through Sakai to ensure a smooth technical experience. Student logins will be administered at the beginning of the session to facilitate active participation through the platform.

This session will take place on Thursday, August 11th, 3:00-4:00pm CT: Register Now

Coming Soon…ITRS Workshops for Summer Faculty

Coming Soon…ITRS Workshops for Summer Faculty

Attention LUC Faculty!

It is our pleasure to announce an upcoming series of academic technology webinars. Please join ITRS for the following events (select the links in the session titles to register):

Monday, April 25th, 11-11:30am 

Zoom Basics –  Learn how to get started with Zoom, set up a recurring meeting for your Sakai course, configure security settings, and more.

Tuesday, April 26th, 12-12:30pm 

Introduction to Labster for Faculty – Discover Labster, a virtual science lab boasting a catalog of over one hundred lab simulations for various scientific disciplines.

Wednesday, April 27th, 4-4:30pm

New Features in Panopto for 2022 – An overview of exciting new tools available in Panopto.

Thursday, April 28th, 10-10:30am

Statistics in Sakai – Learn how to use the Statistics tool in Sakai for evaluating student engagement.

Friday, April 29th, 1-1:30pm

Advanced Zoom: Polling & Breakout Rooms – This session provides an introduction to using these tools for facilitating student engagement in Zoom meetings.

We hope to see you at these sessions. In the meantime, please send any questions to or book a Zoom meeting with a member of the ITRS team here.

New Features in Panopto for 2022

New Features in Panopto for 2022

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Panopto has updated with new and exciting features to significantly improve the processes of editing, sharing, and and viewing recorded sessions. The following features are now active and/or available:

  • Video Reference Copies – The process of copying a session has improved significantly with Reference Copies, or copies that are connected to the original session. After recording and editing a video, Panopto users can create reference copies of the video in different folders to share with different courses/sections. When a user edits the original recording, the changes are applied to all reference copies of that session (if any). Please note that non-Reference copies can still be made in the video settings.
  • Discussion Notifications – All users now have the option to receive a daily summary email of discussion activity on their recordings. These notifications can be activated and managed to preference in the User Settings section.
  • Audio Descriptions – Users can create or upload audio descriptions to their recordings in order to increase accessibility using Panopto Editor. If viewing a recording with audio descriptions added, users can turn them on/off using a button in the Panopto Viewer. When toggled, the video will automatically pause and read audio descriptions.

With these changes, we hope that you will have an even better experience in creating and viewing sessions. For more information on Panopto, be sure to take a look at the ITRS Panopto Site.

If you need assistance with Panopto, feel free to book a live Zoom session with ITRS using this link.

Are you ready for Sakai 21?

Are you ready for Sakai 21?

Sakai 21 is coming to Loyola, fittingly, on December 21st, 2021. This change is an upgrade-in-place, meaning that Loyola faculty, staff, and students do not need to make any changes to their Sakai sites or accounts. All good things take time, so Sakai will be unavailable from approximately 7am to 12pm on 12/21/21. 

When Sakai returns, better than ever, here are a few things to look forward to: 

  • Dark Theme (also known as Dark Mode) to give tired eyes a break 
  • Enhancements to Lessons (e.g., a reorganized Add Item dialog), Gradebook (e.g., message students directly from the Gradebook), and Rubrics (e.g., search for rubrics by title) 
  • Certifications, a new tool for awarding micro-credentials 

Intrigued? Check out the Sakai 21 Upgrade page to learn more and to register for an upcoming infosession. This page also includes a promotional video showcasing the most exciting improvements, complete Sakai 21 release notes, and other resources. 

As always, ITRS is here to help Loyolans make the most of Sakai 21. Schedule a virtual consultation to work one-on-one with ITRS staff. 

Panopto: New & Enhanced Features for Summer 2021

Panopto: New & Enhanced Features for Summer 2021

Asynchronous lectures are growing in popularity, and fortunately, are becoming increasingly easy to record. Panopto, an invaluable tool for recording and uploading lectures and slides, is consistently growing in popularity and ease of use. Accordingly, ITRS is pleased to announce the arrival of new and improved features in Panopto:

  • Multi-stream Viewer – Mobile device users can view and navigate through multiple streams in recordings.
  • Moderating Discussions – After recording and sharing a Panopto session, creators are able to moderate discussions in the viewer.
  • Preview in Capture – Preview each individual stream in Panopto Capture.
  • Improved Share Feature – A new and improved interface for sharing recordings. Share emails now contain Table of Contents and captions (if present in the recording).
  • Multi-Language Search – Users can discover content by multi-language searching.

These new tools make for a (dare I say?) fun experience creating and viewing recorded lectures!

For more information, how-to guides, and live training sessions on Panopto, visit the ITRS Panopto site.

Join ITRS for Summer Learning Opportunities

Join ITRS for Summer Learning Opportunities

Loyola faculty, did you know ITRS offers year-round, free professional development opportunities? That’s right: while you’re sipping a tropical drink by the pool this summer, login for some learning!

A tropical drink that makes you think of ITRS

ITRS is offering the Instructional Technologies Course (ITC) from July 19th-August 13th. This course covers the basics of Sakai and Zoom, increasing participants’ comfort with the tools while prompting reflection about how to integrate technology into curriculum in a meaningful way. While any faculty or teaching-adjacent staff can benefit from this course, it is best suited for those who have little or no Sakai experience. Check out the promotional video to learn more about the course. Registration for the Summer 2021 cohort closes on July 15th.

If you’re no Sakai newbie, or are looking for bite-sized learning opportunities, check out the ITRS workshops schedule. Live sessions on Zoom, Panopto, and Labster are offered throughout the summer. We can’t wait to see you there!


Extended Reality (XR) at the Stritch School of Medicine

Extended Reality (XR) at the Stritch School of Medicine

Extended Reality (XR) is a collective term encompassing Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) technologies. These technologies are expanding in higher education, providing experiential learning opportunities for students to enhance their understanding of materials presented in class.  

The Loyola Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM) recently conducted a VR pilot in the second-year Mechanisms of Human Disease (MHD) course. Embodied Labs offers a series of modules providing students an immersive learning experience. Using the Oculus Rift S and Embodied Labs platform, students were able to experience Macular Degeneration and Hearing Loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and Lewey body dementia with Parkinson’s disease from the patient perspective. This exercise provided unique insight into conditions students learned about in class. Upon completion, students reported increased understanding of the conditions experienced and empathy for patients living with these conditions.  

This pilot was a successful VR implementation, with students indicating they would welcome increased use of this delivery platform throughout the curriculum. Please see our Bringing the Patient Experience into the Basic Sciences Through Virtual Reality poster for additional details. 

If you are interested in using XR and would like to explore how this technology might enhance your curriculum, please use the ITRS Scheduling page to start the conversation! 

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!