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Science of Learning Institute

A page within Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning (CATL)

Enhancing Student Learning with Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Learning can be hard

Have you noticed that students sometimes

  • hold misconceptions about the subject?
  • have a shallow understanding of core concepts?
  • struggle to focus while you are teaching?
  • seem disengaged, overwhelmed, or checked out?
  • find it difficult to apply ideas in new contexts?
  • study for exams or prepare for class ineffectively?
  • forget information from previous classes?

Such learning challenges are common and persistent in most college classrooms. Enter AI. As easily as students can do a Google search, they can now type any homework, quiz, exam, or essay question into an AI app such as ChatGPT and get instant answers. While academic misconduct is a great concern, so too is learning. Will AI compound the challenges students face when they try to learn our subjects? Will it short-circuit the learning process altogether, depriving students of the opportunity to build knowledge themselves?

To counter the potentially harmful effects of AI on learning, we will explore how AI can be used as a teaching and learning tool. What could you accomplish with a smart teaching assistant? How much more could your students learn if they each had an individualized learning coach? While current AI may not live up to the hype, it can unlock possibilities. Instructors can use AI to tackle learning challenges and to design learning resources and environments for students.

AI can help us answer questions such as the following:

  • How can I encourage a growth mindset as well as a sense of belonging and self-efficacy while reducing fear and mistrust?
  • How can I activate prior knowledge, counter misconceptions, support deeper processing, and make the transfer of learning more likely?
  • How can I focus students' attention, minimize multitasking, and design instruction that recognizes the limits of mental effort and working memory (a.k.a. cognitive load)?
  • How can I promote metacognition, self-regulation, and proven learning strategies such as retrieval practice, spaced practice, and explanation/elaboration?

The Science of Learning Institute provides support for faculty seeking to incorporate insights from the science of learning into their teaching.


Benefits of Participation  

  • Discover key findings from the science of learning
  • Learn strategies for using AI as a teaching and learning tool
  • Prepare materials/strategies for use in one of your fall 2024 classes
  • Connect with a community of colleagues who are interested in evidence-based and technology-enhanced teaching improvement
  • Create artifacts that can be added to Digital Measures as evidence of your teaching improvement
  • Receive ongoing support from CATL

Participation Requirements

  • Complete online modules (opening July 1) on the science of learning prior to August 13
  • Attend in-person sessions from 8:30am-noon August 13, 14, 15, and 22, 2024
  • Develop resources to address a learning challenge in a class you are teaching Fall 2024
  • Complete a survey reflecting on your experience in the Institute and submit a 1-page summary of your progress at the end of Fall 2024
  • Dr. Bryan Kopp, CATL Teaching & Learning Specialist
  • Dr. Bill Cerbin, Professor Emeritus of Psychology
  • Dr. Tesia Marshik, CATL Fellow, Assessing & Documenting Student Learning
Eligibility & Stipend

Although welcome, no background or prior experience with the science of learning is required. 

  • Eligibility: Tenure-track and IAS faculty with at least 50% FTE during the Fall 2024 semester are invited to apply.
  • Stipend: A $500 stipend will be awarded in recognition of successful completion of the Institute and delivery of final materials.

Please note that space is limited to approximately 10 participants total.

Application & Selection

To apply, please complete this application form by the end of the day on June 14, 2024.

Applications that demonstrate the following will be given priority in the review process:

  • Instructor availability (must be available to join in-person sessions August 13-15 and 22, 2024) 
  • Instructor interest in the Institute focus
  • Potential for impact on students
  • Instructor commitment to implement changes in a course they are teaching Fall 2024
  • Representation of diverse disciplines/programs

If you have questions, please contact Bryan Kopp, CATL Teaching & Learning Specialist.