Uncertain about AI in your teaching? Here's some help.

Artificial intelligence (AI) quickly is becoming ubiquitous in our personal and professional lives, including higher education. That's why, over the last year, Iowa State has added several programs that support faculty in response to the technology and its impact on teaching courses and student learning.

"While some schools have tried to ban or control the use of AI tools, our approach is to recognize that this technology, like other disruptive technologies before it, needs to be understood and integrated into our academic programs," said senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. "It's also a critical part of our mission to train students for the modern workforce, where employers expect graduates to understand and responsibly use AI."

Here's a quick look at resources for faculty:

1. Last spring, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) team developed resources for syllabi options depending on the extent to which AI is incorporated (or not) in a course, as well as ideas for faculty to consider when creating assignments and assessments.

2. This semester, faculty may participate in seminars offered through the AI in Teaching Series. Presentations from last semester's seminar series were recorded and are available, too. The next session, "How to Teach with Generative AI: Supporting Students and Designing Learning Experiences," will be held Oct. 13 and features faculty from the department of English.

3. CELT recently launched a professional development course to help faculty understand the pedagogical and ethical implications of AI in the classroom. "Teaching with AI" is an asynchronous course in Canvas that includes modules on:

  • How students are using AI tools.
  • How to design or redesign courses that may be disrupted by AI.
  • Adjustments to exams, papers and projects that reflect the availability of AI.

Registration is available online.

Sara Marcketti, assistant provost and CELT executive director, said faculty taking the Canvas course may participate either individually or in a cohort to be held twice during the academic year, in November and February.

"This learning community, much like those offered to our undergraduate students, will bring together faculty interested in AI to engage with the course content, share best practices and learn from each other," she said.

Wickert said multiple departments and interdisciplinary teams are considering new courses, programs, and initiatives in AI -- including in research, and extension and outreach. In addition, an "AI Across the Curriculum" initiative is under development this semester to support faculty who plan to create or refresh courses with AI in mind.