Support Teaching Activities with AI

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Generative AI (genAI) is artificial intelligence that can create new content, such as text, images, videos, or code. Here is a concise introduction to using this technology to develop lessons and learning activities.

Generative AI for teaching activities

GenAI is a powerful tool for brainstorming, creating lesson outlines, generating discussion questions, providing relatable examples, and more. With a chatbot like Copilot, you can

  • Find web-based resources to complement lesson delivery.
  • Summarize information to save time and focus on key ideas.
  • Create analogies, explanations, and examples to clarify concepts.
  • Generate activities that provide fresh ideas and diverse strategies.
  • Develop step-by-step activity instructions to share expectations.
  • Format citations and references in APA 7 style.

Chatbots require instructions (known as prompts) to generate outputs. The more detail provided–such as a specific goal (e.g., “a lesson outline”), direct action (e.g., “generate,” “create”), and parameters (e.g., formatting, word count, etc.)–the better the output. See the Table below for examples of prompting genAI for various teaching activities. Learn more about prompting and using AI.

Table: Example teaching activities and prompts

UseTopic/AreaSample starter chatbot prompts
BrainstormingPSW (Personal Support Worker)“As a PSW specialist and college educator, you aim to engage your students in real-world scenarios to bring to life the lesson content. Generate a list of brief scenarios that illustrate ethical dilemmas in personal support work. Each scenario should briefly describe the key ethical issue involved, relevant legislation or policy that might be involved, and potential solutions. Place the information in a table format.”
Lesson OutliningMarketing“As a marketing expert and a college educator, you’re preparing a diploma-level lesson on social media’s impact on consumer behaviour. Create a detailed lesson outline following the BOPPPPS model on the impact of social media on consumer behaviour. Ensure that all aspects of the lesson support learning for the following learning outcome(s). Provide activities that can be delivered in Zoom, a virtual learning platform.”
Discussion QuestionsSupply Chain“As an expert in the global supply chain and a college educator, you are asked prepare discussion questions based on the three stages. Search for three possible introductory videos about the supply chain stages, then provide a list of 8 discussion-relevant questions for students to answer. Ensure that the videos are short and published after 2020.”
ExamplesInterior Design“As an interior design expert and college educator, you wish to demonstrate examples of interior design based on key principles that I will provide. Create 5 examples with corresponding images that reflect these principles in practice in Canadian business spaces. Explain the operating principles and their effects.”
RubricsTechnical Writing“As a technical writing expert and college educator, you wish to show students how they can use evaluation criteria to assess quality of online user manuals. Create a detailed rubric with 5 criteria and 5 levels for evaluating a user manual draft. The rubric should include criteria for quality user manuals as derived from the online reference that I will provide.”
Practice problems / Quiz questionsComputer Science“From the perspective of a computer science educator with expertise in Python data structures, generate a set of practice problems to provide an introductory-level comprehension check on the following data structures: lists, tuples, sets, and dictionaries. Provide 5 multiple choice questions and 5 fill-in-the-blank statements for each data structure. Make each question for each structure progressively difficult but still appropriate for a novice.”
Table 1: Teaching activities and sample starter prompts to begin preparing for those activities.

Depending on the situation, you may wish to describe and document your use of AI, modeling integrity and transparency.

This post was written with AI. Slides from the workshop EDV0183 were shared with Copilot, and a rough outline for the post was developed. Individual sections were developed through iterative conversations with AI. The final draft was thoroughly revised and proofed by a human.

Elan Paulson

Elan Paulson, PhD, has been an educator in Ontario's higher education system since 2004. Before joining Conestoga as a Teaching and Learning Consultant, Elan was on the executive team at eCampusOntario. She previously served as Program Director and as an instructor in professional education programs at Western University's Faculty of Education. With a Master's in Educational Technology, Elan specializes in technology-enabled and collaborative learning to support diverse learners. She has also conducted research on faculty participation in communities of practice for professional learning and self-care.

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