Experiential Learning and ChatGPT3: Even AI Can’t Help Students Cheat This

by | Feb 15, 2023 | Written Posts

OpenAI Office

Educators are concerned about students’ use of AI and ChatGPT3 to complete coursework. Fortunately, there is one teaching and learning method that even the most sophisticated AI tools cannot solve: Experiential Project-based Learning. Every time a new technology comes out that offsets student work, they inevitably ask: “why do we have to do this? We don’t need this in the real world!”
Bring the real world to the classroom then. PBL is the real world and prepares students for a more dynamic future where AI is just another tool to be deployed by humans to solve challenges.

What is Project-Based Learning?

Project-based learning (PBL) is a teaching method that involves teams of students working on a project that has real-world applications. The problems are far too complex for ChatGPT3 let alone the unique challenges posed by working in a team. Can AI solve interpersonal conflicts? Can ChatGPT3 optimize a company’s supply chain or develop a new type of knee brace or any other of the endless possibilities for experiential projects? This kind of sophisticated problem solving represents the work of tomorrow so it should be the coursework of today. And if AI can help in anyway, all the better!

Experiential Learning and Chat GPT3

AI can write any essay you ask it to, solve math problems or logic puzzles and even write code snippets. It’s a fantastic resource to make employees more efficient but it also makes it easy to shortcut much of traditional college coursework. Experiential PBL, especially when it’s based on real problems faced by real businesses, is impossible to cheat. Any insight, guidance or solution help generated by ChatGPT3 is useful in delivering the project solution but it’s never sufficient. These open-ended, dynamic and very much current challenges require human and team-based thinking. These are the jobs of tomorrow, so we should be cultivating more of this PBL thinking in the college curriculum to prepare.

Project-based learning provides students with the opportunity to work on a real world project from start to finish. This process allows them to develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter and learn through trial and error and even involving human persuasion when it comes time to get buy-in from the client. When it comes to Experiential Learning and Chat GPT3, AI can play a role here in generating ideas and filling in gaps, but it cannot complete the project.

The Importance of Project-Based Learning Now

Given the fast (and getting faster) growth of AI and process automation, students need more than just knowledge to succeed in the workforce. They need adaptable skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Experiential PBL provides students with the opportunity to develop these skills in a practical and meaningful way. It also helps students become self-directed learners who can take ownership of their learning. If that learning includes leveraging AI resources, all the better.

So, What’s Next?

AI cannot help a student cheat in experiential project-based learning but it can serve as one of many resources to deliver a good project outcome for the client. Experiential PBL provides students with the opportunity to develop the critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity that will be needed in this changing workforce. As the demand for these skills increases, project-based learning is more valuable than ever. Many colleges and universities offer PBL, but, increasingly (per our annual benchmarking study), schools are growing these programs and supporting faculty with tools and resources like EduSourced. EduSourced is the leading software platform for PBL program management that helps manage PBL at scale, multidisciplinary PBL and serves as a private record for your school’s valuable experiential learning program. Schedule a demo for a one-on-one conversation to find out more or explore our product page here.

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