Thursday, February 8, 2024

Team Based Learning & AI

Professor Simon Buckingham Shum
Greetings from the University of Sydney where I am taking part in the Team-Based Learning Collaborative Asia Pacific Community Symposium. Most of the staff are from USyd medical schools, but I fell at home as we are talking about experiential learning. The keynote is Professor Simon Buckingham Shum, Director of the UTS  Connected Intelligence Centre, being provocative about AI. He suggested universities need to have their own generative AI tools, as it is not acceptable for staff and  students to have to enter their sensitive information into offshore commercial ones. One practical use is in debriefing students after they participate in a simulation. What is most useful about the Professor's analysis is that it treats AI as a tool, not a problem, and asks us how we might use it.

Professor Buckingham Shum pointed to a paper he wrote about how one such tool carried out a very good analysis of a complex policy paper (2024). There was one flaw in the Professor's analysis: he claimed the AI was in error by referring to an "Argument from ignorance" which did not exist. It turns out that this is known to philosophers such as John Locke, and politicians such as Donald Rumsfeld. When I asked about this the Professor suggested that students need to be gently introduced to the limitations of the AI, so they are not awed by it.

I am looking forward to workshops, and short talks later today and tomorrow, with people not only from Australia, but around the region.

ps: One area where TBL AI might be used is in helping students meet diffuse learning outcomes.


Buckingham Shum, S. (2024). Generative AI for Critical Analysis: Practical Tools, Cognitive Offloading and Human Agency. 1st International Workshop on Generative AI for Learning Analytics: 14th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference (LAK’24), March 18-22, 2024, Kyoto, Japan [PDF]

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