CGHE Webinar

AI in higher education – a CGHE webinar series

Date: Tuesday, 5 September 2023 2:00 pm to Thursday, 21 September 2023 3:00 pm
Location: Zoom webinars, registration required (see individual sessions listed below)

Using computers and machines in higher education has long animated the imaginaries of educators, technologists, and the broader public of how learning can be improved. In particular, the key aim machines are sought to deliver is the personalisation of learning, and, consequently, increase in efficiency. For example, in her book ‘Teaching Machines: The History of Personalized Learning’, Audrey Watters analyses educational technology’s (Edtech) history over the past century, which predates ‘the digital’. Behaviourist orientation, breaking down content into smaller and smaller pieces, and individualised instruction are the component elements of educational technology development and dynamic over the past hundred years. She finds that the complex interplay between policy, media, science, and markets is an important aspect of that story.

Today, educational technology (Edtech) is a fast-growing industry valued at around $130 billion and expected to more than triple in the next decade. It includes a number of different providers offering products and services to support all university functions and needs. Edtech is providing digital services, such as reading e-books or holding meetings online, and accompanying analytics based on data that students and staff leave behind when they use these digital services for their studies and work. This user data has to potential to be used not only in simple feedback loops between the human and the particular digital product, but also for various artificial intelligence (AI) operations. AI needs large amounts of data to develop and deliver particular applications, which can be aggregated user data, large amounts of text, photos, and so on, depending on the type of product or service.
Although AI has been long in use in popular products and applications, such as in web searches (e.g. with Google search), recommendation systems (e.g. on YouTube videos or Amazon marketplace), or understanding human speech (e.g. Apple’s Siri), it has gained impetus after the release of ChatGPT to the public. People worldwide and in many sectors and industries were either amazed at its capabilities and potential benefits or scared of possible threats due to misuse or potential losses of jobs in the future. Higher education is no exception.

Yet ChatGPT is only part of AI. There is a myriad of other applications and services. AI includes different operations and methodologies; different ideas about what it should do; different actors developing, using, or leading it; different interests, such as economic, social, or environmental; and more. AI is indeed a complex arena of actors, imaginaries, strategies, materialities, and impacts. People believe AI will profoundly change higher education, but we are yet to see how.
This webinar series will critically examine AI in higher education from different perspectives. Speakers will present AI products in higher education, discuss the logics of AI operations in the sector, imaginaries of AI, decolonial aspirations of AI development, aspirations of the policy aims and expectations, implications for knowledge production and dissemination, AI business models, impact on academic labour, and regulating and governing AI. Our outstanding speakers will motivate the discussion on AI in higher education in a new light and will encompass various disciplines, approaches, and foci. Please join us.

Webinar 1: AI in higher education: Critical reflections

Tuesday, 5 September 2023, 14.00 – 15.00 (UK)
Speaker: Ben Williamson

Webinar 2: A decolonial approach to AI in higher education teaching and learning

Thursday, 7 September 2023, 14.00 – 15.00 (UK)
Speaker: Michalinos Zembylas, Open University of Cyprus & Nelson Mandela University, S. Africa

Webinar 3: Interrogating AI in education: when peeking inside the black box is not enough.

Tuesday, 12 September 2023, 14.00 – 15.00 (UK)
Speaker: Carlo Perrotta, Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne

Webinar 4: Navigating the opportunities and challenges of AI: A view from Jisc’s national centre for AI in tertiary education

Thursday, 14 September 2023, 14.00 – 15.00 (UK)
Speaker: Michael Webb, Director of Technology and Analytics, Jisc

Webinar 5: AI and academic labour

Tuesday, 19 September 2023, 14.00 – 15.00 (UK)
Speaker: Valerio De Stefano, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada
Respondent: Mariya Ivancheva, University of Strathclyde

Webinar 6: ChatGPT and generative AI in higher education

Thursday, 21 September 2023, 14.00 – 15.00 (UK)
Speaker: Christine O’Dea, University of Huddersfield

Booking

You need to register individually for each webinar in the series. To register for a webinar, visit its event page by clicking on its title above.

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