Using ChatGPT in Higher Education: Easy UNESCO Guide

How ChatGPT in higher education can take on 10 distinct roles. From a learning coach to an assessor, use artificial intelligence to simplify learning, research and administration.

We’re taking a look at the UNESCO “ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education Quick Start Guide” in this post.

The guide usefully and simply outlines the applications of ChatGPT in higher education.

Let’s dive into the section on teaching and learning in the UNESCO ChatGPT Guide.

Using ChatGPT in Higher Education

The UNESCO Quick Start Guide, published in April 2023, provides an overview of how ChatGPT works and how it can be used in Higher Education.

The Guide also raises some of the main challenges and ethical implications of using ChatGPT in Higher Education.

If using Artificial Intelligence (AI) such as ChatGPT in Higher Education seems difficult, you’ll love this short guide!

List of Contents: Applications of ChatGPT in Higher Education

  1. 10 Roles and Descriptions For ChatGPT in Higher Education
  2. Teaching and learning
    • Research
    • Administration
    • Community engagement

The UNESCO ChatGPT in Higher Education Webinar

Catch the UNESCO ChatGPT in Higher Education webinar here:

Hear how ChatGPT in higher education can transform teaching, learning, research, administration, and community engagement experiences.

Now let’s break down the section on teaching and learning in the UNESCO Guide:

10 Roles and Descriptions For ChatGPT in Higher Education

These roles and descriptions were created by Mike Sharples (Professor Emeritus of Educational Technology, Open University, UK).

The examples of implementation were devised by UNESCO IESALC and also drawn from suggestions by Ronald Knust Graichen (Education Consultant, the Netherlands).

Click the links to the citations at the end of the post to explore more detail!

Below is a list of the 10 roles extracted from the UNESCO Guide.

These roles help us understand the advantages and uses of artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT.

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1. The Possibility Engine for Alternative Solutions

Let the AI generate alternative ways of expressing an idea.

For example, students can write queries in ChatGPT and use the Regenerate response function to examine alternative responses.

Through this process, students can explore various ways of articulating their ideas, enhancing their understanding of different perspectives and linguistic nuances.

2. Going Against the Socratic Opponent

I’ve used Socratic techniques in many learning settings.

I’ll start a session by asking: What do we know about this topic?

Participants help create a mindmap containing concepts they already know of.

Basically, according to Socrates, even those who didn’t do the preparation can contribute based on their life journey.

Socrates said the best teacher is one who asks the right questions and then listens to the answers to keep posing fresh and possibly deeper, more immersive questions.

Using this technique, the AI acts as an opponent to develop an argument.

For instance, students can enter prompts into ChatGPT following the structure of a conversation or debate.

Teachers can therefore ask students to use ChatGPT to prepare for discussions.

This uses the platform for refining and strengthening their arguments.

3. Use ChatGPT in Higher Education as a Collaboration Coach

The AI helps groups to research and solve problems together.

Working in groups, students can use ChatGPT to find out information to complete tasks and assignments collaboratively.

By leveraging ChatGPT, students streamline their collaborative efforts, accessing information efficiently to achieve shared goals.

4. Let ChatGPT Be The Guide on the Side

The AI acts as a guide to navigate physical and conceptual spaces.

Teachers can use ChatGPT to generate content for classes/courses, such as discussion questions, and offer advice on how to support students in learning specific concepts.

By using ChatGPT as a guide, teachers can enrich the learning experience and provide tailored support to their students.

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5. Make ChatGPT a Personal Tutor

The AI tutors each student and gives immediate feedback on progress.

ChatGPT provides personalized feedback to students based on information provided by students or teachers, such as test scores.

By interacting with ChatGPT, students receive instant feedback, enabling them to track their progress and address areas needing improvement effectively.

6. Use ChatGPT in Higher Education as a Co-designer

The AI assists throughout the design process.

Teachers can ask ChatGPT for ideas about designing or updating a curriculum, such as rubrics for assessment.

They can also focus on specific goals, such as how to make the curriculum more accessible.

By collaborating with ChatGPT, teachers can enhance the design process, ensuring the curriculum meets the diverse needs of students.

7. The Chatgpt Higher Education Exploratorium

The AI provides tools to play with, explore, and interpret data.

For instance, teachers can provide basic information to students who write different queries in ChatGPT to find out more.

ChatGPT can also be used to support language learning, allowing students to explore and engage with language in diverse contexts.

8. The ChatGPT Study Buddy

The AI helps the student reflect on learning material.

Students can explain their current level of understanding to ChatGPT and ask for ways to help them study the material.

ChatGPT could also be used to help students prepare for other tasks, such as job interviews, by providing guidance and support tailored to their learning needs.

9. ChatGPT in Higher Education as a Motivator

The AI offers games and challenges to extend learning.

Teachers or students can ask ChatGPT for ideas about how to extend students’ learning after providing a summary of the current level of knowledge, such as quizzes and exercises.

By incorporating ChatGPT, teachers can enhance motivation and engagement, making the learning experience more dynamic and enjoyable.

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10. ChatGPT as a Dynamic Assessor in Higher Education

The AI provides educators with a profile of each student’s current knowledge.

Students can interact with ChatGPT in a tutorial-type dialogue and then ask ChatGPT to produce a summary of their current state of knowledge to share with their teacher or for assessment.

By leveraging ChatGPT, educators can gain valuable insights into students’ understanding, facilitating personalized and effective learning experiences.

AI platforms can help students advance at their own pace, redirect them to additional reinforcement materials when needed and provide feedback to their teachers on their progress

Harnessing the Era of Artificial Intelligence in Higher EducationA Primer for Higher Education Stakeholders

Teaching and Learning With ChatGPT in Higher Education

Research and ChatGPT in Higher Education

Researchers can use ChatGPT at various stages of the research process.

Moreover, it has been tested in other processes related to research, such as completing the technical parts of research grant applications (e.g., communications plans).

An experimental use of ChatGPT to assess its ability to provide peer review of academic papers found that it may aid in predicting whether a paper will be accepted.

ChatGPT has even been used to generate entire academic journal articles, opening an ethical debate about whether a non-human author can be considered a contributor to the creation of knowledge.

As of the writing of thE Quick Start Guide, no consensus had been reached.

Some publishers have argued that ChatGPT cannot take responsibility for the content or integrity of articles and therefore cannot be an author, whereas others accept its role as a co-creator.

Administration and ChatGPT in Higher Education

ChatGPT’s primary role in supporting higher education institutions’ (HEI) administration has been to improve the efficiency of processes.

In this way, ChatGPT can reduce human administrative time spent on tasks such as:

  • Responding to queries from applicants (potential students)
  • Helping students to sign up for courses, complete course requirements, and check administrative information (e.g., exam timetables, location of classes)
  • Finding news, resources, and other information
  • Sending reminders or notifications
  • Translation of information for international students/staff

With the use of ChatGPT, administrative services can be available 24/7 and can be supported across different platforms.

Besides integration into websites, it can also be used with social media, messaging services, and learning management systems/virtual campuses.

When interacting with ChatGPT, the style is more conversational, creating a more personalized experience.

Community Engagement and ChatGPT in Higher Education

HEIs can also use ChatGPT to develop sound strategies for community engagement.

Considering their own specific characteristics (geography, location, community needs, local demographics), ChatGPT could be asked to develop targeted strategies to improve the well-being of the overall community.

Based on those strategies, they could develop communication campaigns geared to the community and with a specific call to action.

ChatGPT in Higher Education

This article explored ChatGPT’s transformative impact on teaching, learning, research, administration, and community engagement.

We looked at 10 distinct roles, such as teaching assistant and dynamic assessor, emphasizing ChatGPT’s versatility in higher education.

The examples highlight ChatGPT’s efficacy in facilitating various educational processes.

Overall, the application of ChatGPT in teaching and learning processes has the potential to significantly improve the learning experience for students in higher education.

By incorporating ChatGPT into various aspects of teaching and learning, institutions can streamline processes, provide additional support to students, and enhance the overall effectiveness of education.

How I Used ChatGPT Here

I asked ChatGPT to help me summarise the section of the report I wanted to work with.

I’ve edited the post but will add more information over time as I better understand my readers needs and the information they are looking for.


ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education: Quick Start Guide

ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education: Quick Start Guide



By Ronald Knust Graichen AERES University, Netherlands. VS 4.0 01/11/2023

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