Workshops explore AI in higher education

The North-West University’s (NWU’s) Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and Centre for Teaching and Learning recently hosted two workshops on artificial intelligence (AI) and podcasting in teaching and learning on the Vanderbijlpark Campus.

The workshops were led by international guests Donald and Callum Clark.

Donald is a learning technology entrepreneur, CEO, investor, author, podcaster, blogger, and speaker. He has more than 37 years of experience in online learning, video games, simulations, semantic, adaptive, chatbots, social media, mobile learning, virtual reality, AI, and metaverse projects. He is an evangelist for using technology in learning and has won many awards, including the first Outstanding Achievement in E-learning Award and Best AIM Stock Market Company.

Callum is the chief technology officer at Wildfire, an AI-driven learning content creation system. He has a background in natural language processing and has a degree in data science and knowledge engineering for Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

The first workshop focused on introducing podcasting and video for learning, discussing the research on their effectiveness, and exploring additional teaching strategies. Attendees were given ideas for podcast content based on their backgrounds and were taught the structure and scripting of short video podcasts.

The second workshop focused on introducing AI in higher education, showcasing AI tools and technologies, exploring case studies and success stories, and looking at ethical considerations.

The workshops helped attendees to understand the use of AI in higher education, generate ideas for integrating AI into teaching and learning, and to enhance their research techniques. They also gained an understanding of the content and use of podcasting and video for teaching and learning, and learned about additional teaching strategies. The workshops also exposed the vast differences in educational contexts between South Africa and other countries.

Robyn Bunt, one of the workshop organisers, says the event was a great success, and that lecturers left with new insights and ideas.

"Most attendees reported that they better understood how AI can be used in higher education. The workshops taught them how to use AI tools and models, and incorporate avatars in teaching and learning. TIt also provided valuable insight into how academics and students perceive these tools and how both parties can use them," she adds.

Submitted on Fri, 10/13/2023 - 13:45