AI-Based Tools in Education: Challenges, Possibilities, and Reflected Implementation (AI-Edu)

About AI-Edu


The rapid development of new technologies and their implementation in the educational sector pose increasing challenges to a traditional understanding of learning in general and university learning in particular, across all disciplines (Williamson 2022, Selwin 2022, Pötzsch 2019, 2021). One recent example for this is the introduction of ChatGPT and similar AI-based technologies that cause uncertainties at universities and schools alike. These technologies have the capability to simulate and process human communication, are notoriously unreliable and increasingly blur the lines between learners’ intellectual activities and AI-generated products. This poses a series of challenges but also opportunities for education. Therefore, it is important to develop sets of best practices regarding how to use and handle them in teaching and learning in a responsible and ethical manner.

The present project aims at conveying critical digital literacies and competences with relevance for an increasingly digitalized world. More specifically, the project will (1) develop an online in-service teacher training course (etterutdanning, 10 credits) offered at HSL-faculty that will prepare in-service teachers to productively, critically, and ethically use a variety of AI-based tools such as chatbots or automated grading and feedback systems at school. (2) The project will further design two university seminar modules of approx. 3 hours each that will focus on sustainable and ethical uses of chatbots and similar AI-based tools in teaching and learning and that can be flexibly integrated in existing courses and modules offered at UiT, in particular pre-service teacher training courses at HSL.

We base our advances on the ideas of transformational and empowering education (Koller 2017, Freire 1970) and aim at creating the conditions for critical and reflected uses of new technologies that go beyond the teaching of mere technical skills. This will be done by implementing design-based teaching that is particularly suitable for tackling wicked problems in educational settings (Ramalay 2014).

We believe that the challenges and opportunities of new technologies need to be weighed against one another in a balanced and cautious manner. Teachers and teacher educators have a peculiar responsibility for preparing future generations for their engagements with these technologies. Therefore, the development of viable and efficient teaching methods and courses with and about AI-based digital technologies are of greatest importance where universities should take a leading role.

The present project will make one contribution to such efforts in that it designs, tests, and evaluates 1) an in-service teacher training course as well as 2) two teaching modules that can be flexibly integrated in existing pre-service teacher training programs. The developed courses, materials, techniques, and modules will be made freely available via HSL/UiT and remain open for further use and development after the project period has ended