Georgetown Faculty Speak on Chat GPT & AI in Higher Ed

In the spring, we published a What We’re Learning About Learning podcast episode on the emergence of artificial intelligence tools like Chat GPT, and how they may impact teaching and learning. Listen to the episode to hear how faculty initially responded to the growing popularity of AI tools, and learn more about the episode on Chat GPT below. You can look forward to a part two to this conversation, coming soon—but before then, we invite you to familiarize yourself with some recent discussion about teaching with tools like Chat GPT:



Engelhard Professor Sylvia Önder’s Reflection on the “Care House” Concept

Engelhard Faculty Fellow Sylvia W. Önder, Teaching Professor in Anthropology, Head of the Turkish Program, and Core Faculty in the Disability Studies Program reflects on teaching with Care Houses in her courses.

Amidst the shock of having the Spring 2020 semester interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we entered a period in which everything seemed uncertain. My ANTH 256 Disability and Culture class (an Engelhard Project for Connecting Life and Learning course and core course in the Disability Studies Minor for undergraduates) has always been intentionally designed to increase learning access options for all students, but I knew that going completely online would raise new access issues—including from students who had never before thought about accommodations. On the other hand, for years, the disability community had been calling for more serious study of how online classrooms can include more types of learners: this was a chance to experiment with some of those access opportunities. 


CNDLS/Library Collaboration Supports Innovative Scholarship

This year, CNDLS worked with the Georgetown University Library to offer a pilot program for Digital Research and Innovation (DRI) at Georgetown. This program offers faculty an opportunity to enhance their research with digital tools and methodologies, as well as staff support in learning and implementing those technologies. 

In the Fall semester, we invited faculty from across the University to submit proposals for scholarly digital projects that engage in research, pedagogy, experiential learning, and innovation. As part of the new pilot program, the accepted proposals (all of which can be found in one of our previous posts) were supported by CNDLS and the Library through expert staff consultation, project planning and development, and other types of support, depending on the project.

Professor Nicoletta Pireddu (Department of Italian Studies)’s project, titled Migrating Minds, sought to decipher what it means to be a citizen of the world by tracking the ways humanities faculty critique and explore cosmopolitanism. With support from the DRI program, Dr. Pireddu took her research to the next level and compiled a book called Migrating Minds: Theories and Practices of Cultural Cosmopolitanism, a collection of 20 essays from global scholars.


Beyond Inclusion: The Tethering of the College Classroom to a Socially Just Society

Regardless of disciplinary expertise, how can we create a more just society in our capacities as educators? Dr. Bryan Dewsbury, scientist and innovative scholar focused on inclusive teaching, discussed a few responses to this question at the Learning, Equity, Access, and Pedagogy Initiative’s event this spring, “Beyond Inclusion: The Tethering of the College Classroom to a Socially Just Society.” 

Dr. Dewsbury is the principal investigator of the Science Education and Society Research Program at Florida International University, a fellow at the John N. Gardner Institute, and a co-PI of the Deep Teaching Residency at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research and work is focused on broader social and equity questions related to discipline-based education research. 


Supporting Undergraduate Research at Georgetown: New Podcast Episode

Opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in research can be profoundly impactful for learning and mentorship experiences, while also providing opportunities for institutions to further scholarship and research in various fields (Adebisi, 2022; Blanton, 2008; Knight et al, 2021). While there are several ways for students to get involved in undergraduate research at Georgetown, many students are not aware of the opportunities; or if they are, they may not know how to get started. A recent study described undergraduate research as “a treasure trove that has yet to be fully tapped” (Adebisi, 2022). 

In this episode of What We’re Learning About Learning, we spoke with Lauren Tuckley, Director for Georgetown’s Center for Research and Fellowships, who describes research experience as an undergraduate student “part of the hidden curriculum.” Faculty and students alike being aware of the research opportunities available at Georgetown can make this hidden curriculum more visible. We also spoke with Georgetown undergraduate students Zachariah John, Sarah Watson, and Dominic Pham who each share their takeaways from working in research positions. 


Multimodal and Multimedia Storytelling Using StoryMaps

Two examples of StoryMap home pages made by Georgetown students.

Two examples of StoryMap home pages made by Georgetown students.

On March 16, CNDLS hosted a Digital Learning Webinar on ways to incorporate StoryMaps in course design. ArcGis’ StoryMaps is an online digital storytelling platform which uses maps and multimedia to enable users to shape narratives about any topic, spanning any discipline. ArcGis’ blog post on DC’s famous cherry blossom trees serves as one example of the tool in practice, but we’ve listed other Georgetown-specific examples below.


Propose a Session for TLISI 2023

TLISI session from 2019.

There is exciting, innovative teaching happening all around us. Educators at Georgetown continue to craft new ways to engage with students, refine already-effective strategies, build inclusive spaces, and work to convey the knowledge and skills that will be relevant to them across different careers and in different aspects of their lives. We’re glad to announce Georgetown’s annual Teaching, Learning & Innovation Summer Institute (TLISI) will be held May 22-25, 2023, as a space to come together and share the good teaching happening at Georgetown. The Institute will follow the theme of Shifting Ground, Adapting Practice, and we highly encourage session proposals from Georgetown faculty, staff, and graduate student instructors from all campuses until EOD on Monday, March 20


Website Creation for Faculty and Students: Georgetown Domains

On February 16th, assistant director for digital learning, Lee Skallerup Bessette, and digital learning specialist Sarah Jane Grizi showed in during a Digital Learning Webinar how and why Georgetown Domains can be used by faculty, students, and staff to create websites for pedagogical purposes.

You can find a copy of the slides here and watch the recording below. There were some additional questions asked during the webinar that we will address in this blog post.


Gender in the Classroom: New Podcast Episode from What We’re Learning About Learning

Gender profoundly affects identity and power structures in the classroom, and many faculty who recognize this are working thoughtfully to promote gender inclusivity in their classrooms. In doing so, they are drawing from a wealth of good evidence-based practices. Indeed, recent scholarship has strived to move from understanding biases in the classroom to preparing effective practices to change that bias (Chin et al., 2020), examining how COVID has impacted classroom gender bias (Berheide et al, 2022) and identifying ways that we can make classrooms open and safe for all learners (Harbin, 2016).

In this episode of What We’re Learning About Learning, you’ll hear experiences and strategies from Amanda Phillips, Associate Professor in English, and affiliate faculty in American Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Women and Gender Studies; Sivagami Subbaramanthe, founding director of Georgetown’s LGBTQ Resource Center, and adjunct faculty in the Department of Performing Arts and Theater; Elizabeth Velez, adjunct faculty member in Women and Gender Studies; and heath pearson, Assistant Professor in Anthropology and affiliate faculty in Justice and Peace Studies.


Digital Research and Innovation Pilot Projects Launch

Nine projects have been selected for Digital Research and Innovation (DRI) at Georgetown, a pilot program offered by the Library and the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS). DRI offers Georgetown faculty the opportunity to enhance their research with digital tools and methodologies, experiment with emerging technologies, and develop new modes of inquiry, scholarship, and creative production.