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While the emergence of ChatGPT has created considerable consternation among faculty who fear students will use it to write their assignments, the positive side is that it provides a powerful tool for faculty to use in developing course content. ChatGPT can assist in all areas of course development, from overall course structure to assignments, resources, and rubrics. It can even focus on different instructional strategies, such as experiential learning, active learning, or blended learning. The trick is to ask it for the most structure first, then keep narrowing down the focus with follow-up questions that bore down into specific areas. Here is an example of that process.

Course design

Imagine you are tasked with developing a new educational psychology course. You can start with the simple prompt, “Provide curriculum examples for an educational psychology course.” As the screenshot below illustrates, the AI system provides a list of topics that fit the course. Althought the list is not exhaustive, it is a good start for course development, and you can ask further questions to broaden the list.

Provide curriculum examples for an educational psychology course. 
Here are some curriculum examples for an educational psychology course:
1. Introduction to Educational Psychology: This section will cover the history and evolution of educational psychology as a field. Students will learn about the fundamental principles, concepts, and theories that form the basis of educational psychology. 
2. Cognitive Development and Learning: This section will focus on the cognitive development of learners and how it affects their learning. Topics will include information processing, memory, attention, and motivation.
3. Social and Emotional Development: This section will examine how social and emotional factors impact learning. Topics will include socialization, identity development, and emotional regulation. 
4. Individual Differences: This section will focus on the ways in which individuals differ in their learning abilities, including intelligence, learning style, and creativity. 
5. Motivation and Learning: This section will explore the relationship between motivation and learning, including intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, and goal setting.
6. Instructional Strategies and Assessment: This section will cover the different instructional strategies that teachers can use to support learning, including direct instruction, collaborative learning, and inquiry-based learning. Students will also learn about the different types of assessment and how they can be used to monitor student progress. 
7. Classroom Management: This section will focus on creating a positive classroom environment that promotes learning. Topics will include managing student behavior, creating a safe place and inclusive classroom, and promoting student engagement. 
8. Technology and Learning: This section will explore the use of technology in education, including online learning, blended learning, and the use of educational apps and tools.
9. Special Education and Inclusive Practices: This section will cover the different approaches to special education, including individualized education plans (IEPs) and accommodations for students with disabilities. Students will also learn about inclusive practices that promote diversity and equity in the classroom. 
10. Professional Ethics and Development: This section will focus on the ethical considerations that educators must keep in mind when working with students. Students will learn about their professional responsibilities, including maintaining professional boundaries. They will also explore different avenues for professional development, including conferences, workshops, and continuing education courses.

Specific lesson development

Having developed the general course structure, you can then flesh out the particular topics. For example, educational psychology courses are often integrated into teacher education programs. One focus of these programs is student motivation, and thus we asked ChatGPT to “create an assignment focused on how educators can motivate students.” As illustrated below, the output included a lesson title, an objective, assignment directions, and an assessment.

Create an assignment focused on how educators can motivate students
Title: Strategies for Motivating Students: An Educator’s Guide
Objective: The goal of this assignment is to help educators understand the various strategies they can employ to motivate their students and create a positive learning environment. Students will learn about the importance of motivation, different types of motivation, and stratagies for promoting intrinsic motivation. 
Assignment:
Part 1: Introduction to Motivation
• Define what motivation is and why it is important in education
• Discuss the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation 
• Explain the benefits of intrinsic motivation
Part 2: Types of Motivation
• Describe the different types of motivation, such as achievement, affiliation, power, and autonomy
• Explain how educators can identify the motivational needs of their students
Part 3: Strategies for Promoting Intrinsic Motivation
• Discuss the importance of autonomy and choice in promoting intrinsic motivation
• Describe the role of feedback in motivating students
• Explain the concept of mastery and how it can be used to promote intrinsic motivation
• Discuss the role of social interaction and collaboration in promoting intrinsic motivation 
Part 4: Strategies for Promoting Extrinsic Motivation
• Describe the use of rewards and incentives in promoting extrinsic motivation
• Explain the role of competition in motivating students
• Discuss the importance of clear expectations and guidelines in promoting extrinsic motivation
Part 5: Case Studies
• Provide examples of how educators have successfully motivated their students
• Encourage students to reflect on their own experiences with motivation and share their own strategies for promoting motivation in the classroom
Part 6: Conclusion
• Summarize the key takeaways from the assignment
• Encourage students to continue exploring strategies for promoting motivation in the classroom 
Assessment:
Students will be assessed on their understanding of motivation, their ability to identify different types of motivation, and their ability to apply strategies for promoting intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the classroom. They will be evaluated on their case studies and their ability to reflect on their own experiences with motivation.

This is good start, but imagine that we want to dig deeper to include the impact of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors as well as focus on serving preservice teachers. Thus, we can ask ChatGPT to “create a lesson for preservice teachers focused on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation that uses an experiential learning approach.”

In the below output, the objective of the lesson places more emphasis on intrinsic than extrinsic motivation. Additionally, the inclusion of experiential learning activities would benefit learners in providing direct experience and focused reflection to increase learners’ knowledge of this subject. By completing experiential learning activities, students engage in active learning that enhances their levels of understanding, broadens their perspectives, and helps them develop positive professional practices and skills.

Create a lesson for preservice teachers focused on intrinsic and motivation that uses an experiential learning approach
Sure, here’s a lesson plan for preservice teachers that focuses on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation using an experiential learning approach.
Title: Understanding Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Grade level: College level (Preservice Teachers)
Objectives:
1. To define intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
2. To understand the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
3. To reflect on personal experiences of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
4. To explore the implications of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for teaching and learning.
Materials:
1. Whiteboard and markers
2. Handouts on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
3. A variety of classroom supplies (e.g. stickers, candy, certifications, etc.)
4. Small group discussion prompts
Procedure:
1. Introduction (5-10 minutes)
• Begin the lesson by asking students what motivates them to do well in school or in their personal lives. Record their answers on the whiteboard.
• Ask students if they have heard of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. If so, ask them to briefly explain what they understand by these terms.
• Introduce the lesson objectives and explain that the lesson will be an experiential learning approach to understanding intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
2. Defining Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation (10-15 minutes)
2. Defining Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation (10-15 minutes)
• Distribute handouts on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and provide a brief overview of each concept. 
• On the whiteboard, create a T-chart with “Intrinsic Motivation” on one side and “Extrinsic Motivation” on the other. Ask students to help fill in the chart with characteristics of each type of motivation.
3. Reflecting on Personal Experiences (20-30 minutes)
• Divide students into small groups of 3-4.
• Instruct each group to share personal experiences of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Encourage students to think of specific examples from their own lives.
• After each group has had a chance to share, reconvene the class and ask for a few volunteers to share their experiences with the whole group.
4. Exploring Implications for Teaching and Learning (20-30 minutes)
• Return to the T-chart on the whiteboard and ask students to brainstorm ways that teachers can foster intrinsic motivation and minimize extrinsic motivation in the classroom.
• Distribute a variety of classroom supplies (e.g. stickers, candy, certificates, etc.) and ask students to discuss the pros and cons of using these types of rewards in the classroom.
• After the small group discussions, reconvene the class and ask for a few volunteers to share their thoughts and ideas.
5. Conclusion (5-10 minutes)
• Summarize the main points of the lesson and emphasize the importance of understanding intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for teaching and learning.
• Ask students to reflect on what they have learned and how they might apply these concepts in their own teaching practice.
Assessment:
To assess student learning, teachers can assign a short reflection paper in which students describe a specific teaching scenario and explain how they would apply what they have learned about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to create a positive learning environment for their students.

You can further question the AI platform to “provide essentail questions for this lesson.” These types of questions provide faculty overarching questions to guide their lessons to ensure students engage in critical thinking and engage with their existing knowledge base. Faculty can use these questions to set the stage for learning, engaging learners, and incorporating opportunities for real-world connections. Continuing with the motivation lesson plan, ChatGPT provided the below output for essential questions for the course.

Can you provide essential questions for this lesson
Yes, here are some essential questions that can guide this lesson on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation:
1. What is intrinsic motivation, and how does it differ from extrinsic motivation?
2. How can teachers foster intrinsic motivation in their students?
3. What are the benefits and drawbacks of using extrinsic rewards in the classroom?
4. How do personal experiences of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation share our understanding of motivation?
5. How can an understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation inform our teaching practice and help create a positive learning environment for our students?

Now you might want to generate some potential responses to these questions. For instance, you might ask it to “provide three possible ways for students to demonstrate understanding for question #2.” This level of detail informs you of potential ways to structure student reponses and how they can direct learning.

Can you provide three possible ways for students to demonstrate understanding for question #2
Yes, here are three possible ways for students to demonstrate understanding of how teachers can foster intrinsic motivation in their students:
1. Role-playing: Students can participate in a role-play activity where they take on the role of a teacher and come up with different strategies for fostering intrinsic motivation in their hypothetical students. They can then present their ideas to the class and receive feedback and suggestions from their peers.
2. Lesson planning: Students can plan a lesson or unit for a specific subject area and incorporate strategies for fostering intrinsic motivation in their students. They can include activities that tap into students’ interests, allow for choice and autonomy, and provide opportunities for mastery and challenge.
3. Reflective writing: Students can reflect on their own experiences as learners and identify instances where they were intrinsically motivated to learn. They can then analyze what factors contributed to their intrinsic motivation and how teachers can create similar conditions in the classroom. They can also reflect on any instances where they were extrinsically motivated and the impact that had on their learning.

Rubric creation

When further prompted, the system also created a rubric to align with the assignment. You can adjust the point values for each criterion or further expand on the recommended criteria to ensure alignment with the assignment components. Regardless of how you modify the rubric content, the ChatGPT output can reduce valuable time and effort required to locate rubrics or to create new rubric tools. Nevertheless, to ensure that appropriate rubrics are created by AI tools, be sure to review rubric content for accuracy and assignment alignment.

When creating course rubrics via AI, a first step is to define the learning outcomes and criteria for the assignment or assessment. This approach involves specifying what students should be able to do, know, or demonstrate and the criteria or standards for evaluating their work. Once you have defined the learning outcomes and criteria, you can input the data into an AI tool. The AI tool will generate a preliminary rubric based on the input data. As with all AI-generated content, you should review this rubric to ensure that it accurately reflects the learning outcomes and criteria. Copy the generated content into the assignment rubric and modify as appropriate for alignment.

Lesson Rubric:
Criteria: Understanding of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Poor: Student demonstrates little to no understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. 
Fair: Student demonstrates partial understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, but struggles to provide clear examples. 
Good: Student demonstrates a clear understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and is able to provide multiple examples for each type. 
Excellent: Student demonstrates a deep understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and is able to apply this understanding to real-world scenarios.
Criteria: Participation in Experiential Activity
Poor: Student does not participate in the experiential activity or contributes very little to the group.
Fair: Student participates somewhat in the experiential activity, but may not fully engage with the task.
Good: Student actively participates in the experiential activity, engaging with the task and contributing to the group.
Excellent: Student fully engages with the experiential activity, providing thoughtful contributions and working collaboratively with the group.
Criteria: Reflection
Poor: Student does not complete the reflection task or does not provide thoughtful reflections.
Fair: Student provides some reflections on their own experiences with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, but may not fully connect their experiences to the concepts discussed in class.
Good: Student provides thoughtful reflections on their own experiences with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, connecting their experiences to the concepts discussed in class.
Excellent: Student provides insightful reflections on their own experiences with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, connecting their experiences to the concepts discussed in class and drawing meaningful conclusions.
Criteria: Overall
Poor: Student does not demonstrate an understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, does not participate in the experiential activity, and does not complete the reflection task.
Fair: Student demonstrates some understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, participates in the experiential activity, and completes the reflection task, but with limited depth. 
Good: Student demonstrates a clear understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, actively participates in the experiential activity, provides thoughtful reflections on their own experiences.
Excellent: Student demonstrates a deep understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, actively engages with the experiential activity, provides insightful reflections on their own experiences, and demonstrates an ability to apply the concepts to real-world scenarios.

ChatGPT considerations

Faculty can use ChatGPT as a starting point for curriculum development by using its vast knowledge base and language generation capabilities. Even if you need to modify the output provided by the platform, you will most likely experience a reduction in your curriculum development efforts. You should, however, prudently review AI-generated language for accuracy and alignment of curriculum goals. For instance, AI platforms can share curriculum enhancements that include multimedia elements such as videos, images, interactive activities, and simulations. But when reviewing these suggestions, you should consider accessibility, usability, alignment to curriculum, and cost—important factors that the AI platform may not account for. Additional limitations include disciplinary blind spots that you should examine to ensure that curriculum reflects contextual knowledge and judgment in ways that are not yet possible for AI language models. Chatbots are also limited in their knowledge of current events and often cannot produce examples from recent years. Using current events in curriculum is valuable for creating student engagement and providing examples that connect learning to real-world issues and events.

ChatGPT can generate content quickly and efficiently, but it is important to add your own perspectives and insights to ensure that the curriculum reflects your teaching style and approach. It is also important to consider issues such as bias and accountability. Finally, make sure that the use of ChatGPT aligns with institutional policies and regulations and that it complies with the institution’s policies on intellectual property and academic dishonesty.

The tool is continuously learning and improving (Gleason, 2022), which leads to more detailed, accurate, and sophisticated results as time goes on. Embracing what AI offers can result in a more meaningful and engaging teaching and learning experience.

Reference

Gleason, N. (2022, December 9). ChatGPT and the rise of AI writers: How should higher education respond? Times Higher Education. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/chatgpt-and-rise-ai-writers-how-should-higher-education-respond


Kelly M. Torres, PhD, is the department chair and Aubrey Statti, EdD, is a core faculty member of the educational psychology and technology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.