Did you miss Derek Bruff’s take on how AI can improve assignment design?

At the top, it reads

“I like to say that tools like ChatGPT speak, but don’t think.”

Derek Bruff, Ph.D.
Strategic Advisor, UPCEA, and Visiting Associate Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of Mississippi

Bruff’s insights shed light on the nuanced relationship between AI tools and educational objectives. By sharing personal anecdotes and professional observations, Bruff underscores the importance of critical thinking and authentic assignments that prepare students for real-world challenges. He highlights AI’s limits and its potential to complement rather than replace human intellect, encouraging educators to rethink traditional assessment methods.

Don’t be sad if you missed it! We have Top Hat’s resources below:

The Generative AI Prompt Library That Every Educator and Student Needs!

The ability to engage effectively with AI models is becoming increasingly crucial. A new resource stands out in particular for its commitment to empowering instructors and students alike to have meaningful and productive interactions with AI models: More Useful Things.

At the heart of More Useful Things is its comprehensive Prompt Library. Prompts are divided into three categories: Instructor Aids (for use in classrooms to help instructors with preparation and teaching), Student Exercises , and Other Prompts (for other uses besides classrooms). 

Here’s a student exercise example, “Class Reflection Aid“:

“You are a helpful and friendly mentor who is an expert at helping students reflect on experience so that they can extract meaning from those experiences. You know that when students experience anything they are in the moment and that it takes active self-monitoring to create some distance from the experience and learn from it.

This is a dialogue. Always wait for the student to respond. Do not speak for the student. First, introduce yourself to the student as their AI mentor and ask the student what they would like to reflect on. Tell them that they may have received instructions from their teacher. Wait for the student to respond. Only ever ask the student one question at a time. Too many questions are overwhelming. Then explain to the student why reflection can help them learn, including that writing about an experience is key to extracting lessons. Then offer the student 3 choices of reflection exercises. Each should push students to reconsider the experience.

Once a student picks their choice, ask them to write 2-3 paragraphs. Do not offer to draft a reflection for them or show them what a reflection might look like.

Wait for the student to respond. If appropriate you can ask the student a question about their reflection. Then wrap up by explaining why reflection is important and that the student should keep writing about their experiences and that this helps them zoom out of the present moment and gain a broader perspective and insights. “

[Credit: “Class Reflection Aid” by Lilach Mollick and Ethan Mollick is licensed under CC BY 4.0]

Prompts are very helpfully labeled by the model for which they are intended for use, e.g. GPT4, Claude, Gemini Advanced, and Bing.

It’s important to note that all prompts are licensed under a Creative Commons License (Attribution 4.0 International), requiring users to credit the creators, Dr. Ethan Mollick and Dr. Lilach Mollick. This license allows users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format.

Many, many thanks to Drs. Mollick for a treasure trove of useful resources that elevate the quality of AI interactions!

Explore generative AI with Academic Technologies: Announcing our “All in for AI” workshop series!

Effective ChatGPT Prompts -Thursday, Jan 18, 2024
Ethics and Biases of ChatGPT - Thursday, Feb 01, 2024
Image Creation with Adobe Firefly and DALL-E -Thursday, Mar 07, 2024
In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, generative artificial intelligence stands out as a revolutionary force, reshaping how we interact, create, and think. 

Why Generative AI?

Generative AI, the technology behind tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E, is not just a buzzword; it’s a gateway to endless possibilities. From crafting detailed text responses to creating visually stunning graphics, generative AI is setting new benchmarks in creativity and efficiency.
This technology is becoming integral across various sectors, including education, business, and the arts. Thus, it’s crucial for faculty and staff to gain foundational knowledge and hands-on experience in this field so we also prepare our students.
  • Effective ChatGPT Prompts
    Thursday, Jan 18, 2024
  • Ethics and Biases of ChatGPT
    Thursday, Feb 01, 2024
  • Image Creation with Adobe Firefly and DALL-E
    Thursday, Mar 07, 2024
All sessions meet from 10-11 am and 2-3 pm in Leyburn 119. Sign up at go.wlu.edu/ai-workshops! Space is limited.

AI Online Training Courses through LinkedIn Learning

 The image features two characters engaged with technology on opposite sides of the image. On the left, a man with shoulder-length hair and a beard is sitting cross-legged on the floor, focused on a laptop in front of him. Above him is a graphic of a dark blue analytics dashboard displaying pie charts and bar graphs. On the right, a woman with her hair in a bun is sitting cross-legged on the floor, holding a smartphone. She appears to be interacting with a chatbot, as indicated by a speech bubble with a robot icon and several symbols representing data, gears, and a chatbot head within a thought bubble.

Artificial Intelligence is quickly becoming the cornerstone of innovations. Improve your skills in machine learning; stay current with generative AI; broaden your knowledge in natural language processing, responsible AI, and neural networks.

Check out these new LinkedIn Learning courses:

  • What Is Generative AI?
    In this course, generative AI expert Pinar Seyhan Demirdag covers the basics of generative AI, with topics including what it is, how it works, how to create your own content, different types of models, future predictions, and ethical implications.
  • How to Research and Write Using Generative AI Tools
    You’ve probably already heard about ChatGPT, but did you know it can make you better at your job? Join instructor Dave Birss for a crash course in generative AI and learn how to get started with prompt engineering for ChatGPT and other AI chatbots to upskill as a researcher and a writer.

AI Learning Paths

Dive even deeper and gain skills with curated LinkedIn Learning paths, compiled playlists of related video courses on specific topics. Learning paths include multiple courses by different expert instructors to teach a variety of skills and information.


See all AI Learning Paths

READ ME! “60+ Ideas for ChatGPT Assignments”


Authored by Kevin Yee, Kirby Whittington, Erin Doggette, and Laurie Uttich from the University of Central Florida, 60+ Ideas for ChatGPT Assignments (.PDF),  aims to explore the educational implications of ChatGPT and similar Large Language Models (LLMs) in the classroom setting. 

Here’s what you need to know.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a Large Language Model (LLM) that has taken the world by storm. While it can generate answers and assist in various tasks, it’s crucial to remember that it is not always accurate. The authors emphasizes that ChatGPT should not be blindly trusted, especially in academic settings.

Challenges and Opportunities

The advent of ChatGPT presents both ethical and practical challenges. For instance, the ease with which students can obtain answers to multiple-choice questions or even entire essays poses a significant challenge to academic integrity. However, the authors argue that instead of resisting this change, educators should adapt to the AI era.

A New Mindset for AI

Both students and instructors need to adopt a new mindset that acknowledges the availability and inevitability of AI in educational settings. This involves rethinking traditional assignments and tests in the context of readily available AI tools.

Components of AI Fluency

The document outlines seven key components for achieving AI fluency:

  1. Understanding how AI works: Know the capabilities and limitations of the AI tools you are using.
  2. Deciding when to use AI: Exercise judgment about the appropriateness of using AI in various contexts.
  3. Valuing AI: Appreciate the potential benefits and drawbacks of AI.
  4. Effective Prompt Engineering: Learn how to ask the AI the right questions to get the desired output.
  5. Evaluating AI Output: Critically assess the information provided by AI.
  6. Adding Human Value: Understand how to add value to AI-generated content.
  7. Digital Adaptability: Be prepared to adapt to new AI tools and technologies as they emerge.
Practical Assignments

The document also offers a variety of assignments that leverage ChatGPT for educational purposes. Here are just a few examples:

  • ChatGPT as a Thesaurus: Students are encouraged to use ChatGPT to find synonyms or antonyms for specific words. This assignment aims to familiarize students with ChatGPT’s capabilities in language enhancement.Sample Prompts:


  • “Define misanthrope.”
  • “Give me five sophisticated synonyms for foul-smelling.”
  • “What is the opposite of altruistic? Provide six examples.”

Writing: Improve Connections between Claims and Evidence: Students must state a claim, provide support, and then use ChatGPT to analyze the validity of their claim in terms of how universal their assumptions are.

Sample prompts:

  • “Analyze my argument about climate change for assumptions that may not be universal.”
  • “Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) seems to offer minute incremental increases in salaries and wages that don’t allow individuals to truly keep up with inflation, but the government continues to offer them as some sort of noteworthy contribution. Many citizens are still living below the poverty level, while the rich seem to keep getting richer. Analyze this claim for assumptions that not everyone may share.”


Elaboration and Expansion: Students are asked to use ChatGPT to elaborate on specific topics, such as the causes of macular degeneration or the pros and cons of offering free healthcare in the United States.

Sample Prompts:

    • “Please elaborate on the causes for macular degeneration.”/ “Elaborate again.” / Elaborate again.”
    • “Expand on the idea of offering free health care in the United States by offering pros and cons.” / “What are the pros and cons of offering free health care in the U.S.” / “Expand more.”
    • “Which is better, organizing my closet by color-coding or grouping my clothes by type? Use compare and contrast to answer.” / “Offer a different scenario via compare/contrast.”
Final Thoughts

60+ Ideas for ChatGPT Assignments (.PDF) serves as a roadmap for educators to integrate AI into their curriculum responsibly. It offers both theoretical insights and practical solutions, making it a must-read for all instructors.

Thinking about updating your syllabus for ChatGPT?

a series of yellow lightbulbs from the leftmost one being the most tangled in its cord to the lightbulb on the far right that shines brightly

Not so long ago, in a classroom not so far away …. generative AI tools like ChatGPT stood ready, waiting for their moment to shine.

But before they can rise to the challenge to assist, or maybe over-assist, our students, it might be prudent to edit our syllabi to ensure it offers clear guidance on how and when (if ever) the use of AI in your class assignments and projects is acceptable.

A glance at syllabi from various institutions reveals that instructors and administrators are diligently crafting policies to guide AI’s use in their classrooms. These statements can be broadly grouped into four main categories:

  1. Content-generating AI is NOT Allowed:
    • Under this category, the use of AI tools is strictly prohibited. These syllabi are clear that work produced by students must be entirely original, and the use of AI-generated content will be considered academic misconduct.
    • Statements falling into this category emphasize the core value of academic originality and stress the importance of mastering subjects without undue reliance on technological shortcuts.
  2. Content-generating AI is Allowed with Appropriate Attribution:
    • Policies in this grouping permit the use of AI for certain tasks or specific assignments, provided it is properly attributed. Students must clearly identify any writing, text, or media generated by AI when submitting work. They are also responsible for the accuracy of any generated content.
    • Syllabi in this group might specify, for instance, that if a student employs AI tools like ChatGPT to generate content, this fact must be clearly indicated in their submission. The emphasis is on transparency and understanding the origin of academic materials.
  3. Content-generating AI Use is Allowed in LIMITED Instances:
    • This grouping offers a middle ground. While AI is not entirely banned, its use is curtailed to very specific instances or types of assignments.
    • Syllabi in this category might allow AI tools for preliminary stages of research, brainstorming, or concept development, but not for final submissions. Here, AI is viewed as an assistant rather than a creator, helping students in the preparation and formulation, but not execution of their academic tasks.
  4. Content-generating AI Use is Encouraged Broadly:
    • The most progressive of the groupings, these policies embrace AI as a significant component of a rapidly evolving tech landscape.
    • These syllabi might encourage students to explore AI’s capabilities, suggesting that they employ these tools in various assignments to understand their potential and limitations. However, they still emphasize the importance of integrity, ensuring students do not misuse AI, but rather incorporate it as part of a holistic learning experience.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of links to sample syllabi statements/AI policies being employed at other institutions of higher education:

University of Iowa Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology – “What do I put in my syllabus about AI-generated and other externally generated content?

SFCC Library Faculty Help: ChatGPT Comprehensive Resource Guide: Syllabus Statements & Course Policies

Cleveland State University Center for Faculty Excellence – Example Policy Statements for AI in Higher Education

Classroom Policies for AI Generative Tools

Course Policies related to ChatGPT and other AI Tools

Montclair State University AI Course Policies and Assignment Guidelines

University of Minnesota’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost ChatGPT Syllabus Statements

Inside Higher Ed, “A Guide to Generative AI Policy Making” https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2023/03/22/ai-policy-advice-administrators-and-faculty-opinion

As you read through these syllabi statements and begin writing your own, consider these questions:

  1. What kind of relationship do you hope to foster with your students? Knowing this will help guide the tone and structure of your syllabus.
  2. What do you want students to know about your teaching philosophy? This can influence the rules you set regarding AI.
  3. How can you build trust with students regarding use of AI? Being transparent about your own views and experiences with AI can be a start.
  4. How much AI assistance crosses the line? Define clear boundaries for your students.
  5. Where and how should AI use be disclosed? This can influence how students approach assignments and how you grade them.

If there’s one thing Academic Technologies has come to appreciate deeply in the dynamic world of teaching and learning, it’s that there’s rarely a “one size fits all” solution. Our classrooms are diverse, our students multifaceted, and our approaches varied.

As you consider the role of AI in your syllabus, remember: it’s about finding what fits for you and your learners. 

Yes, AI Can Help with Syllabus Design!

AI robot typing on a laptop. Image generated by Adobe Firefly.


Figuring out how best to structure or restructure a course can be challenging. How do we organize all the salient information—topics, assignments, deadlines, learning objectives—into a specific number of sessions? How do we do it in a way that’s clear and digestible for our students? And how do we make it great?

Generative AI can help us do these jobs. Large language models like ChatGPT can help generate session topics, suggest materials or teaching objectives, and even draft a syllabus you can use as a jumping-off point.

While you should never rely solely on AI to do this work, Harvard Business School professor Mitchell Weiss shares some ways you can experiment with AI to help you elevate your courses.

(Remember: You are ultimately the one driving your course’s creation—so make sure to be thoughtful and creative as you query the AI and to thoroughly vet AI’s output.)

Read the full article, “If Your Syllabus Needs a Refresh, Generative AI Can Help“.

Save the Date! AI x Education Conference: Generating The Future of Education with AI

AI x Education Conference
Driven by Students, Dedicated to Educators
August 5-6. 2023
10 AM-4 PM (CDT)

There’s still time to register for a FREE online conference that aims to address pivotal topics surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) in education.

Scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6, 2023, from 10 am-4 pm (CDT), the AI x Education Conference: Generating the Future of Education with AI, invites participation from K-12 and Higher Ed educators, AI specialists, leaders in EdTech, students, and parents, with no admission cost.

The conference will discuss the impact of AI on education, address current challenges and potentials, share their perspectives and experiences, and explore innovative solutions. A special emphasis will be placed on including students’ voices in the conversation, highlighting their unique experiences and insights as the primary beneficiaries of these educational transformations.

Kristen DiCerbo, Chief Learning Officer at Khan Academy will give the keynote address, ”Building AI Applications at Scale.” And Christopher Dede, a senior research fellow and the Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies at Harvard Graduate School of Education for 22 years, will give the plenary talk, “If AI is the Answer, What is the Question: Thinking about Learning and Vice Versa.”

Learn more about the AI x Education Conference and register now!