This Week for Faculty: Experiment with AI tools

by | Feb 27, 2024

Experiment with AI tools

Teaching Lab for AI Tools: Community Building
February 27, 3:00-4:00pm, online – Register

In this lab session, instructors will explore practical strategies for using AI tools to cultivate a sense of belonging, foster interaction, and stimulate intellectual curiosity amongst their students. Instructors who are interested in discussing AI tools in their courses, or embedding them into assignments, might find employing AI in community building a low-stakes and potentially fun way to begin the conversation about AI in their classes.

Unable to join the Faculty Lab for Teaching with AI Tools? Engage with the CTL on-demand resource: Teaching and Learning in the Age of AI: Considerations, Resources, and Opportunities. You can also schedule a consultation to chat with the CTL about generative AI in teaching and learning.

Register for DxD: AI Training for Facilitating Challenging Classroom Conversations

The Dialogue Across Difference (DxD) initiative is designed to foster a community of learners among students, faculty, and staff and to engage with diverse perspectives and navigate challenging conversations with a shared commitment to mutual understanding and respect.

Join the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and the CTL for the workshop:

AI Training for Facilitating Challenging Classroom Conversations
March 6, 2024; 12:30-2:00pm, online – Register

Every instructor knows that classroom conversations are becoming more complicated, and potentially volatile, as civil society becomes more polarized, and norms and expectations of education are contested. Every difficult conversation is different, and you cannot navigate them effectively with a script or a rigid set of principles. But, practice helps, as it allows you to develop a repertoire of techniques that you can deploy flexibly in the classroom.

In this session we will (1) present a repertoire of techniques that are useful for difficult conversations in the classroom and elsewhere, (2) introduce a custom-built AI-based coaching tool for advice and practice on deploying the techniques; (3) each participant will engage with the tool individually, simulating a challenging classroom conversation and getting feedback of their management of the challenge.

Intended takeaways are (a) development of practical skills that can be immediately applied in the classroom; (b) awareness of the potential for AI coaching as a pedagogical tool.

Three tips for meaningful classroom discussion

1. Be transparent about the expectations around class discussion. Establish class norms or community agreements with your students. Dedicate time to discuss the expectations for discussion. Articulate what respectful dialogue and active listening look like in your classroom. Share the learning purpose of the discussion and the desired outcome whether it’s to reach consensus, change opinions, or share perspectives.

2. Pause for reflection to help students actively learn from the discussion. Encourage students to actively listen and note what they are hearing. Engage students in reflective activities to help prepare them to discuss challenging topics. This provides students an opportunity to collect their thoughts and better prepare for active engagement.

3. Make time for a discussion debrief and be sure to collect student feedback. Consider asking students to summarize the day’s discussion for the class, or ask them to engage in discussion wrap-up activities that can support students in meaning-making, like a minute paper or short poll.

Looking for more? Check out the CTL’s Learning Through Discussion resource, or email to set up your 1-1 consultation!

Consult with us!

Office Hours 
Join us for office hours via Zoom (or phone) Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm to have your teaching with instructional technology questions answered, or schedule an in-person appointment any time by contacting

Schedule an in-person or virtual consultation to discuss any teaching and learning need by emailing or email the CTL Learning Designer assigned to your school or department