• Cutting Edge

Finding the right place for generative AI in the classroom

On the Cutting EDge podcast, Nathan Urban, the provost of Lehigh University, explains how he worked to encourage a more positive approach to generative artificial intelligence at the university.

Earlier this year, Urban says he coordinated a contest at the private university in Southeastern Pennsylvania to submit a video or podcast that provides insights on how generative AI could enhance student learning. Entries could include ideas about how generative AI should be used to prepare students for the future, promote efficiency and drive research forward.

Anyone across the university could enter the contest, and the winning entries were awarded travel grants to attend a meeting or conference focused on innovation in edtech.

“I thought it was critical that in the classroom faculty have a conversation about their expectations about the use of generative AI,” Urban says on the podcast. “There are a wide range of things that are happening across campus, but I thought the thing that was really important was that there was a conversation about what would be an appropriate use and what would be an inappropriate use.”

Urban says faculty in the theater department won the contest.

“The faculty from the theater department who did this found some interesting creative ways in which students could be encouraged to make use of these tools,” Urban says. “[Their input aimed to] spur creativity and to look at the difference between what we normally think of as creative output and what was being generated by these algorithms.”

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Cutting Edge


Every two weeks, the Cutting EDge Podcast will bring you the latest in higher education technology news and analysis. The program will explore trending topics in depth and highlight news across the campus IT landscape. Each episode will feature conversations with top executives across higher education on things like hybrid learning, emerging technology, cybersecurity and modernization.

Hosted by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is the vice president of content and community for StateScoop & EdScoop at Scoop News Group. Williams has spent nearly a decade in the government IT market, covering the ins-and-outs of state and local government as well as higher education. Williams started his journalism career in regional journalism in his native Pennsylvania, and also worked as a reporter for Campaigns & Elections magazine.