Teacher education & school improvement faculty Torrey Trust, professor, and Bob Maloy, senior lecturer II, published a new article in the September 2023 issue of Teaching History.

Titled "AI in the History Classroom: Rethinking Teaching and Learning”, the article focuses on the challenges presented by artificial intelligence in the classroom and features ideas and strategies for teaching students the digital-age skills of historical inquiry, critical thinking, media analysis, and fake news detection. 

"Following the emergence of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools, the issues and complexities of online information and history learning have been moved to an entirely new, uncharted arena," write Trust and Maloy. "What history content do teachers teach when chatbots can provide information instantly to students?"

The authors outline four "action strategies" that educators can use to integrate AI chatbots such as ChatGPT into the history classroom:

  • Action strategy 1: Explore what AI chatbots can and cannot do in collaboration with students

  • Action strategy 2: Design student-centered explorations of AI for history learning

  • Action strategy 3: Give AI a role in researching hidden histories and untold stories

  • Action Strategy 4: Turn AI-generated text into historical sources to be analyzed

Trust and Maloy urge educators to ask their students to engage with chatbot-generated text in the same way they would a textbook or an article they find online: "students are not turning to ChatGPT to provide information that they then memorize. Instead, they investigate what ChatGPT writes and why."

The authors also note that this type of critical analysis is particularly useful for engaging with "hidden" or "untold" histories that are often left out of traditional textbooks and curricula. Using a one of their digital choice boards as a case study, Trust and Maloy highlight different activities that "[ask] students to critically interrogate what ChatGPT produces as well as expanding or revising its information rather than accepting AI’s presentation of historical materials uncritically."

"AI chatbots can serve as research partners who can quickly access hidden history and untold story information. Students then need to critically assess that information for historical accuracy and relevance, just as historians do with any sources they encounter in their research. "

Trust and Maloy conclude that, with the advent of AI chatbots, students have "new roles to play" and teachers "have new skills to teach."

The journal Teaching History is published by the History Teachers Association of New South Wales and is a leading education journal in Australia.

Read the article here.

Article posted in Academics