2023 HILT Conference Logo
Breakout Session Details

Teaching in the Age of AI:
Nurturing Connections and Empowering Learners

Friday, September 22, 2023
2023 HILT conference
Harvard Business School

Concurrent Breakout Sessions (10:50 am – 12:00 pm) – Batten Hall
Leveraging Artificial Intelligence in Assessments: Opportunities and Challenges
Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies offer immense potential to enhance assessment processes, promote personalized learning, and provide deeper insights to instructors and students about ways of thinking and working that are specific to their discipline. However, alongside these opportunities, educators face unique challenges – including privacy concerns, bias detection and mitigation, algorithmic transparency, equity of access, and identifying the boundaries of responsible use of AI-powered tools – that need to be addressed to leverage AI effectively and ethically in their assessment strategies. In this session, we will grapple with:

  • how AI will reshape the work of our disciplines and professions and what that means for the knowledge and skills required of our students
  • what does this mean for what and how we teach and assess our students learning, and
  • how can we design AI-enhanced assessments that model realistic and ethical use of AI.

Louis Deslauriers, Director of Science Teaching and Learning and Senior Preceptor in Physics (FAS)
Dan Levy, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy (HKS)
John FitzGibbon, Associate Director, Digital Learning Innovation, Boston College

Erin Baumann, Senior Associate Director of Professional Pedagogy, (HKS-SLATE)
Xueying Prawat, Curriculum and Assessment Specialist (HGSE-TLL)

Nurturing Human Connection in AI-Enhanced Learning Environments

While AI can enhance learning experiences, it is the human touch that brings empathy, emotional support, and personalized guidance to students. Through group discussions centered around case studies, we examine the risks and rewards of specific AI enhancements to explore the following key themes:

  • How AI can complement and amplify student-educator relationships and peer-to-peer interactions
  • Strategies for integrating AI technologies while maintaining a healthy balance between technological advancements and the human element
  • Equity, inclusivity, and student agency in AI-driven educational settings
  • Leveraging AI as a tool to support educators in their interpersonal interactions and promote student engagement

Greg Kestin, Associate Director of Science Education; Lecturer on Physics (FAS)
Nicole Mills
, Senior Preceptor in Romance Languages and Literatures; Director of Language Programs for French, Italian and Portuguese (FAS)
Adrienne Phelps-Coco, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning (DCE)

Gabe Abrams,
Principal Software Engineer and EdTech Innovator (DCE)
Jascha Smilack,
Director of HarvardX Courses (VPAL)

Students’ Perspectives on Generative AI in Higher Education

This session puts the spotlight on students’ perspectives, providing a platform for undergraduate and graduate students to share their insights and concerns regarding the use of generative AI in their educational journeys. In this panel discussion, we will hear directly from students as they discuss their experiences, challenges, and viewpoints related to AI tools deployed in higher education, including:

  • how generative AI impacts students’ learning experiences, academic performance, and engagement
  • the advantages and limitations of generative AI, and the ways in which students navigate and interact with AI tools
  • students’ concerns regarding the ethical implications of generative AI, including bias, fairness, transparency, data privacy, and the potential for algorithmic decision-making to reinforce or perpetuate existing inequalities in higher education
  • the role of students in shaping the use and development of generative AI in higher education

Naomi Bashkansky, Harvard College Student
Rahul Bhambri, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Student
Anna Ivanov, Harvard Graduate Student
Siriana Lundgren, Harvard Graduate Student
Yusuf Mahmood, Harvard Law School Student
Colombe Obono Eyono
, Harvard College Student
Juan Luis Santana, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Student

Christine D’Auria, Assistant Director of the Learning Lab, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning (FAS)
Liz Rowell, Educational Programs Coordinator (HSPH)

Using Lessons from Past Innovations to Shape the Future of Education in the AI Era

This session aims to situate the current discourse around AI in education by drawing insights from previous innovations and disruptive educational technologies. We will encourage participants to consider the core principles and values of a higher education and explore how they can be upheld and enriched in the era of AI, focusing on the following themes:

  • challenges and opportunities posed by algorithmic tools on the fundamental principles of a liberal arts education, including critical thinking, creativity, interdisciplinary learning, and the cultivation of humanistic values
  • insights about the impact of technology on teaching and learning, including the balance between efficiency and depth, and the role of human interaction
  • envisioning the future of AI in education while upholding the core tenets of liberal arts, and how AI help augment those tenets

Sarah Newman, Director of Art & Education, metaLAB (FAS/HLS)
Justin Reich, Director Of Teaching Systems Lab & Associate Professor Of Comparative Media Studies/Writing (MIT); Author of Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education
Teddy Svoronos, Lecturer in Public Policy, SLATE Faculty Liaison for Pedagogy and Digital Learning (HKS)

Ellen Popko,
HarvardX Instructional Technologist (VPAL)
Nick Wilson, Director of Teaching Innovation (HILT)

Harvard Generative AI Tools: Demo and Discussion

HUIT, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning and colleagues across the University, has developed a Generative AI Sandbox tool to enable Harvard community members to access a variety of Large Language Models (LLM) through a single user interface. HUIT designed and developed the Sandbox with privacy and security protections that allow for safe experimentation with generative AI. During this session, we will demo the Sandbox and hear from faculty members who have used the tool for academic use. Additional topics to be discussed include:

  • The personalities and behaviors of different LLMs.
  • Prompt engineering and how to utilize temperature settings to your advantage.
  • The future roadmap for the product.

After the session, participants will have an opportunity to test-drive the tool.

Emily Bottis, Managing Director Academic Technology (HUIT)
Sebastian Schmidt Dalzon, Assistant Dean for Academic and Strategic Planning (GSD)
Mitchell B. Weiss
, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Management Practice (HBS)

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