Categories for Teaching and Learning

AI generated art using DallE 2

Let’s Talk About AI in Our Work in the Community College

It has really only been 3 months since ChatGPT was released and there has been an explosion of articles, conversations, policies, discussions, rules, and more that are emerging and multiplying exponentially. I think that this is reflective of the impact that AI is having on Higher Education. On the one hand, there are arguments and policies being drafted for how we “stop the cheating” and “ensure academic integrity;” and on the other side there are arguments for “embrace the technology” and “rethink the way you teach.” This reminds me, as I date myself and my career here, when we entered the era of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is when the internet went from static pages (users consumed information); to generative web pages – (users created content).

AI generated art using DallE 2
AI generated art using DallE 2 prompt: teaching and learning in space digital art

Bryan Alexander wrote an article published in Educause back in 2006, “Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning” and while it was very much about the innovation emerging in 2006 such as social bookmarking and RSS much of what he said about their impact on higher education is applicable to now with the emergence of generative AI. One quote he wrote, “Web 2.0’s lowered barrier to entry may influence a variety of cultural forms with powerful implications for education.” Replace Web 2.0 with Generative AI and we are considering the same implications for education. I think with most innovation there will emerge two opposing opinions and AI is no different. This document, started by an individual at College Unbound, has quickly generated a list of institutional policies that are quickly being created in response to ChatGPT and more are added daily. This document alone demonstrates through language the wide range of expectations when it comes to AI and teaching and learning. From strict “zero tolerance” policies to “this is important to learn how to use” policies, this document demonstrates the wide range of believes that come with generative AI. The Chronicle of Higher Education already has some 15 articles about ChatGPT also offering varying thoughts and ideas about how AI should be used in higher education.

In Maricopa we have departments discussing it at meetings, conversations (digital and in person) back and forth about the amazing things and the “horrifying” things it can do, and what it means to our traditional methods of teaching. We have communities of practice where faculty come together and share thoughts, ideas, resources, explore topics such as content policies, what does generative AI mean for Intellectual Property, copyright, what does it mean for the writing process, what does it mean to create art, and more. I find it all exciting. While the conversations vary from cheating, plagiarism, academic integrity, to emerging technology, leveraging innovation, new ways of thinking about writing, etc…it all, fundamentally, is a conversation about how we teach, why we teach, what our goals are for teaching, what is important to student learning, what is important for critical thinking, writing, communicating, expressing ones self, and so much more. Higher Education, especially in the Community College‘s, is about teaching and learning and should always be transformative. For students and for faculty. Our practice should always change, our students change, our culture changes, our communities change, our understanding of our discipline changes, new things are discovered in our disciplines, new ways of using innovation in our disciplines change…teaching should always change if we are to stay current in our fields and help students succeed.

In Maricopa one of our Excellence in Teaching and Learning Guiding Principles is: Creativity and Innovation. This principle says Maricopa faculty, “evoke a spirit of curiosity, wonder, and imagination in our students. Holding creativity and innovation in high regard, we stretch beyond what is established into what is possible.” I think now is such a time for considering “what is possible.”

I know there are many in the district already using AI in their courses. I want to share some of the creative ways faculty have shared with us in how they are using ChatGPT, Dall-E, MuseNet, Dall-E 2, Whisper, etc. While I am not saying there isn’t a time and place for the academic integrity and plagiarism conversation, because there definitely is, however, our work in in this space is to “lead and inspire innovative teaching” and one of the best ways is to learn from each other.

Here are a few examples, shared by faculty in the district, on ways they are using AI in their courses:

  • Asking students to use ChatGPT to write potential test questions, revise/correct as needed, and submit the original and the revised versions.
  • Use ChatGPT to do a case study and have the students evaluate if it is correct or incorrect
  • Use ChatGPT to research specific topics then have the students evaluate/correct the results. As an example, “explain what a torn ACL is and what the common treatment is” then have the students research to assess if it is correct, fix what is wrong, and add to it to include certain aspects of a case study like that.
  • Use ChatGPT to generate an essay, ask for its resources, then have the students research the resources used and have them find better ones and write up a summary about their opinion on the resources that ChatGPT used and why they choose to add the ones they did, etc.
  • Have students use ChatGPT to fact check something- then have the students fact check ChatGPT’s fact checking
  • Use ChatGPT to generate an initial writing prompt and then have the students write the next portion
  • Redesign essays that are intended to serve as a “summary” and instead have students write reflection essays on the content where they write about example of the concept in their own lives. Example: Instead of “summarizing Plato’s Republic” have students write about a concept in that book based on an experience in their own lives and how the book influenced their perception of that experience.
  • Use in-class experiences for assignment ideas…a speaker, a recorded video, an in class/lab experience, a discussion, etc. that they then complete an assignment about that experience. (because AI can’t be in class with them)
  • Provide students with a “conclusion” to an essay, argument, etc. and have them to build a reference list/citations for that conclusion. Have them reverse research the paper.

Here are additional, innovative ideas for using ChatGPT in the classroom presented by ASCD, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in a blog entitled, Leveraging ChatGPT: Practical Ideas for Educators. Other creative ideas can be heard from Maricopa’s own, Dr. Steven Crawford in a webinar he did recently with PackBack called “ChatGPT and AI’s Effect on Community Colleges.”

We look forward to continued conversations, sharing innovative ideas and practices, and exploring this dynamic, changing landscape that is teaching in higher ed.

Photo of MCC Faculty

Maricopa’s Adjunct Faculty Resources

Maricopa Community College District has, historically, provided professional development opportunities for adjunct faculty in a variety of ways. Recently new, incredible opportunities are available such as the new TIER program and the TEAM Fellowship. These expanding opportunities are designed to improve student outcomes and to empower our faculty to continue to grow in their professional practice that has profoundly impact on helping our students succeed in Maricopa. Please explore the newly revised website that provides you with information for the many programs and opportunities available. Be certain to explore the Tier tab, as well as, other useful tabs for resources, manuals, and more. Feel free to reach out to the CTL’s or MCLI for support with these new and exciting programs.

Webex Breakout Rooms stylized to appear as a Kit Kat wrapper.

Webex Breakout Room Training

Webex has introduced breakout rooms! This workshop will cover the basics of setting up breakout rooms, leveraging new features for hosting, and more! The first sessions will be held:

  • Tuesday, September 29, 1:30pm – 2:30pm
  • Wednesday, September 30, 1:30pm – 2:30pm

See the CTL Calendar for meeting details and future sessions!

“Brake me off a piece of that Breakout Room!”

It starts with you! Let's reach 100% completion.

Help Reach the 100% Completion Goal!

Current Completion

Are you teaching an online course this summer? Complete the eLearning at MCC Canvas course! This brief course will expose you to the MCC eLearning expectations, online syllabus requirements, communication strategies, and more! Apply new knowledge to your online teaching practice.

Help us reach our goal of 100% completion for summer instructors!

Summer 2020 Online Plan Banner. Masterpiece Canvas


Welcome to Masterpiece Canvas! In this episode we’ll be learning about how to use the Canvas SpeedGrader.

The SpeedGrader can benefit you in the following ways :

  • All student work remains in the course page. No more downloading all of your student’s assignments to your computer.
  • Student work is sorted by the student name and the name can be hidden for anonymous grading.
  • Grade from rubrics to quickly give students feedback based on their mastery of each criterion.
  • Give separate feedback to each student.
  • Annotate corrections directly on the students submitted paper.
  • Allow for mobile grading using the Canvas Teacher app on iOS and Android.
  • More!

Check out these handy Canvas Guides for accessing and how to use the SpeedGrader!

This video will also give you an additional overview of Canvas SpeedGrader.

Tips For Using The SpeedGrader

The following tips can help you get started with the SpeedGrader and improve your grading workflow.

You can learn more about the many things you can do with the Canvas SpeedGrader by visiting the Canvas Instructor Guides.

Masterpiece Canvas

Online Quizzes & Exams

Welcome to Masterpiece Canvas! In this episode we’ll be learning about the benefits of online quizzes and exams and how to implement them in Canvas.

Some of the advantages of creating online quizzes and exams include:

  • The ability to automatically randomize questions and possible answers.
  • The ability to set a time limit and give a specific number of attempts for the exam or quiz.
  • Instantaneous quiz or exam results for the students as well as the instructor providing rapid insight on opportunities for improvement.
  • Many different types of questions as well as types of quizzes (surveys, practice quizzes, and graded quizzes).
  • More!

Check out this handy Canvas Guide for creating an online quiz!

This video will also give you an additional overview of Canvas Quizzes.

Tips for online quizzes

The following tips can help you and your students be successful in completing and submitting online quizzes.

  • Create a low-stakes quiz to allow students to practice accessing quizzes and become familiar with the quiz interface. Check out the student guide for Taking an online quiz.
  • Setup a practice quiz to give your students an opportunity to check their knowledge on a topic. This type of quiz can be attempted multiple times. The practice quiz can show the correct answers after completion and guide students back to course content for additional learning.
  • Setup a graded quiz with a finite number of attempts for exams. You can also set a time limit for the exam to be completed.
  • Consider enabling the display one question at a time option for exams that build off previous questions.
  • Use a variety of question types (multiple choice, short answer, matching, etc.)
  • Be sure to check your questions for clarity, spelling, and grammar issues.
  • You can provide accommodations for students by using the Moderate this quiz button.

You can learn more about the many things you can do with online quizzes in Canvas by visiting the Canvas Instructor Guides.

Masterpiece Canvas

Accepting Assignments Online

Welcome to Masterpiece Canvas! In this episode we’ll be learning why accepting assignments online can be a valuable tool for us and how to setup your assignment in Canvas.

Accepting assignments online benefit us in the following ways:

  • Assignments are turned in to a single location.
  • The Learning Management System (LMS) manages due dates and flags late work.
  • The LMS automatically identifies the assignment author.
  • The LMS allows for online grading.
  • More!

Check out this handy Canvas Guide for Creating an assignment online and enabling online submission!

This video will also give you an additional overview of Canvas Assignments.

Tips for online assignments

The following tips can help you and your students be successful in completing and submitting online assignments.

  • Create a low-stakes assignment to allow students to practice submitting an assignment. Check out the student guide for submitting online assignments.
  • Be consistent with assignment naming and include academic language. For example Assignment 1: Informative Speech or Assignment 2: Persuasive Speech.
  • Be consistent with the assignment instructions. Include a description of the assignment and your expectations for full credit. A bulleted list is a very clear way to approach this.
  • Don’t put due dates in the assignment title nor the assignment instructions. Canvas has an additional field dedicated to the due date and will automatically notify students when assignments are approaching their due date.
  • Provide ample time for students to complete the assignment in a potentially new modality. This may be the first time your students are submitting an assignment online.
  • Consider permitting various forms of assignment submission like file uploads and video submission.

You can learn more about the many things you can do with online assignments in Canvas by visiting the Canvas Instructor Guides.

Road with stylized continuity of instruction. Group of sparrows facing each other.

Discussion Board Basics

By Lisa Young – Scottsdale Community College | 2012

Definition of discussion boards

Two quick videos that explains how discussion boards can be used to engage students:

Advantages of Using Discussion Boards in Hybrid Courses:

  • valuable feedback 
  • connections seeing other point of view 
  • perspective
  • validation
  • stimulating responses – less terrifying
  • not in real-time
  • come to some conclusions/summaries
  •  can see specific evidence from the text and can refer to in F2f class
  • can allow students to express themselves as needed

An article on building community with discussion boards.

Check out page 5 of this document for great discussion board resources.

Disadvantages of Using Discussion Boards in Hybrid Courses:

  • discipline
  • responses may be brief
  • time and effort on part of instructor

Writing Discussion Board Questions

Tips for writing discussion board questions:

An article that will help you to identify the characteristic elements of critical thought, describe the features of online discussion that support critical thought, and explore the role of the instructor in facilitating successful online discussions.

Discussion Board Rubrics

Rubrics for discussion boards are useful as they provide a basis for grading students on their discussion board posts. Criteria can include participation, content, grammar, etc.

Samples of discussion board rubrics located at Maricopa’s Blended Learning site.