Feb 01 2024

Students Speak: How We Use Artificial Intelligence

Two undergrads share their experiences in the year since AI became the hottest topic in higher education.

College students are the lifeblood of higher education. Everyone in university administration — including in the IT office — knows how valuable it is to truly understand how those students feel, what they want, what they appreciate and what they dislike about their college experience.

Our series of student-authored content, which began in 2020 as the pandemic upended our world, aims to help institutions get an unfiltered student perspective. The series began with a heavy focus on remote learning, and this time around we’re tackling the new hot topic of the day: artificial intelligence.

It’s not yet clear just how AI is going to impact colleges and universities, but it’s clear that some implementation is coming to upend how institutions measure and support student success, how research is done, how colleges communicate with current and prospective students, and so much more.

With that in mind, we asked two of our student contributors how AI is impacting them today and what they think could be beneficial in the future.

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Carianne Asberry | Louisiana State University

Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly integrated into our lives, and Louisiana State University is no exception. Students are interacting with AI in a variety of ways, including using chatbots to answer questions, receiving AI-generated instruction and learning how to work with AI in the workforce.

ChatGPT is available to students at LSU and can be used to answer questions about a variety of topics, including academics, campus life and student services. Students say that they find ChatGPT to be helpful and convenient. They appreciate that it is available at all times and that it can answer questions quickly and accurately.

DIG DEEPER: Get important security considerations for embracing AI.

LSU is also using AI to generate instruction for students. For example, the university has developed an AI-powered tutoring system that can provide students with personalized instruction on a variety of subjects. Students have say that the tutoring system is helpful and effective. They appreciate that it provides them with individualized instruction tailored to their specific needs.

In addition to using AI for tutoring, LSU is also teaching students how to work with AI in the workforce. The university offers a series of courses on AI, including classes on machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision. Students who take these courses will learn how to develop and use AI technologies. They will also learn about the ethical implications of AI and how to use it in a responsible way.

LSU is using AI to support students and prepare them for the workforce. Students are interacting with AI in a variety of ways and are finding it to be helpful and convenient. LSU is also teaching students how to work with AI in the workforce, which will give them the skills they need to succeed in the future.

Cayden McMillian | University of North Carolina Greensboro

Artificial intelligence is a technology on the rise. Almost every higher ed student has heard of it, and many of them use it on a daily basis. Students are now going to OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool to look up answers rather than going to Google. ChatGPT will give students faster, more detailed responses for exactly what they ask instead of having them click through 10 different links to find an answer. I have not used Google in months, knowing that ChatGPT will give me more better responses every time.

In 2020, my university launched an AI chatbot named Minnie. Chatbots are something that every university and even K–12 schools should consider implementing, as they have proved to serve students well.

READ MORE: What’s on the horizon for higher education IT in 2024?

College comes with tasks to accomplish, such as completing the application process, accessing financial aid information and getting class schedules. With chatbots, students can get questions answered faster and more efficiently, and you don’t have to worry about calling departments or waiting days for someone to respond to your email. I have asked my university chatbot multiple questions about classes, and I get my answers in under a minute.

We currently aren’t using AI for much more than chatbots at my institution. I believe my university would greatly benefit from AI-powered tutoring because there are often not enough tutors on campus to serve all of the students seeking them.

I believe that my university should be using AI far more than it is currently. AI could transform the school in so many ways, and it could even increase interest in the school overall.

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