From Confusion to Clarity: Cultivating GenAI-Ready Students

As the integration of generative artificial intelligence (genAI) and advanced technologies becomes increasingly prevalent in higher education, it is crucial to prepare students to effectively navigate and harness these tools for their academic and future professional endeavours. At the start of 2023, most ECU students had little experience or understanding of genAI and lacked confidence using it at university (Kelly et al., 2023).

In order to address this skills gap, ECU Library and Learning Advisers created and delivered a workshop called “ChatGPT & Generative AI Tools” at the start of semester two. The workshop introduced students to how genAI works, how they can apply it throughout the assignment process, and how they can maintain their academic integrity when using genAI. Participants engaged in interactive activities and discussions, while also completing Menti surveys to track changes in their perceptions and understanding.

The analysis of the Menti survey data revealed significant positive shifts in students’ confidence levels and understanding of ECU’s approach. At the outset, students clearly distinguished between conventional academic practices and plagiarism. However, they were confused regarding the appropriateness of employing AI tools like ChatGPT for other behaviours.

By the end of the workshop, they showed more acceptance for using genAI as a ‘study buddy’. The project’s findings underscore the efficacy of targeted workshops in enhancing students’ comprehension of AI and their ability to navigate its applications within academia.

Reference Kelly, A., Sullivan, M., & Strampel, K. (2023). Generative artificial intelligence: University student awareness, experience, and confidence in use across disciplines. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 20(6), 12.

Danielle Degiorgio

Digital and Information Literacy Adviser, Edith Cowan University

Author Bio

As a Digital and Information Literacy Adviser, Danielle Degiorgio, currently explores modern digital learning and teaching initiatives for the Library at Edith Cowan University. Before joining the library sector, Danielle spent six years as an ESL teacher and VET educator at an independent secondary school. After a career helping young adults enter university, Danielle now helps them navigate the digital learning environment in higher education, promoting responsible use of generative AI while maintaining rigorous standards of academic integrity, and equipping students with the skills they need to thrive in their home, social and work life.

Miriam Sullivan

Team Leader, Learning Advisers, Edith Cowan University

Author Bio

Miriam is Manager, Educational Integrity in the Centre for Learning and Teaching at Edith Cowan University. Her research focuses on the evaluation of university teaching and outreach programs.

Michael Mcauley

Learning Adviser, Edith Cowan University

Author Bio

Michael McAuley is a Learning Adviser in the Centre for Learning and Teaching at Edith Cowan University. He has been an educator for more than 20 years, including ten years in Wuxi, China.

Paul McLaughlan

Librarian, Edith Cowan University

Author Bio

Paul is a researcher in digital publishing, a music librarian at ECU, and a greyhound aficionado — when he is not cataloguing his dog, he writes literary-leaning SpecFic where gun-totting librarians explore the future of copyright.