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Tag: Writing

Studiosity Partner Forum 2024

I attended my third Studiosity Partner Forum today, which kind of began last night with a dinner and discussion about generative artificial intelligence led by Henry Aider. Generative AI and Studiosity’s new GAI powered Writing Feedback+ service was of course the main topic of conversation throughout the event. Writing Feedback+ launched in February, and they have reported that uptake is around 40% of eligible students, which compares with 15-20% for the classic Writing Feedback service. The model has been built and trained internally, using only writing feedback provided by Studiosity’s subject specialists, no student data. The output of WF+ is being closely quality assured by those agents, and they estimate that quality is around 95-97% as good as human provided feedback.

David Pike, from the University of Bedfordshire presented on their experience with the service in the afternoon. They made it available to all of their students in February, around 20,000, and usage has already exceeded usage of the classic Writing Feedback service since September last year. The average return time from WF+ is around one and a half minutes, and student feedback on the service is very positive at 88.5%. However, he did also note that a number of students who have used both versions of the service stated that they preferred the human provided feedback.

On the flip side of AI, last year Studiosity were exploring a tool to detect submissions which had been written by generative AI. That’s gone. Nothing has come of it as they found that the reliability wasn’t good enough to roll out, especially so for students who have English as a second language. No surprises for me there, detection is a lie.

The keynote address was delivered by Nick Hillman from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), who talked about their most recent report on the benefits and costs associated with the graduate visa route. It’s overwhelmingly positive for us as a country, and it would be madness to limit this.

Other things which I picked up included learning more about Crossref, a service for checking the validity of academic references; a course on Generative AI in Higher Education from Future Learn was recommended; and Integrity Matters, a new course developed by the University of Greenwich and Bloom to teach new students about academic integrity.

Finally I was there presenting myself, doing my Studiosity talk about our implementation at Sunderland and the data we now have showing a strong positive correlation between engagement with Studiosity and student outcomes and continuation.

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UK HE’s Thoughtful Response to Robot Writing

Screenshot of three Borg drones from Star Trek
Am I implying an equivalence between The Borg and ChatGPT?

There’s no escaping the robots, resistance is futile. ChatGPT has been a gathering storm since the back end of last year, and Sunderland cannot escape the pull. However, we need to learn more about this and related technology in order to be able to be able to provide a thoughtful and measured response to it for our staff and students. To which end, I signed up for this session drawing together senior academics from across UK HE to share thoughts and experience. I have a few more such sessions coming in the next few weeks, so I’ll wait and share my thoughts in a dedicated post when I have the time and space to synthesis them.

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Jisc Digital Culture Forum

Headpats
Good Sonya ^_^

I wrote a thing, and someone else published it. Get me.

This specific thing was in response to a Jisc call for contributions to a collection of case studies on how teaching and working online has changed as a result of the pandemic, and I wrote up our experience at Sunderland of the rapid adoption of reVIEW (Panopto) and Microsoft Teams.

The full collection is available now at Jisc Digital Culture, and my contribution (including squished profile pic, grr): How a Pandemic Enabled a Culture Shift Towards Lecture Capture.

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Socrates on Writing

In The Phaedrus, Plato recounts a dialogue between his tutor, Socrates, and Phaedrus which contains possibly the earliest known denunciation of ‘newfangled’ technology, writing. I love it. It makes me smile whenever I encounter resistance to a new learning tool and it reminds me that all technology, no matter how humble, can be used to enhance learning.

“And in this instance, you who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own children have been led to attribute to them a quality which they cannot have; for this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.”

http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/plato-the-dialogues-of-plato-vol-1

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