This month in EDUCAUSE: XR in the clinical setting, ChatGPT, resilience and personal agility, faculty and student mentoring

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My name is Irene Knokh. I’m the EDUCAUSE ambassador for U-M and your advocate for EDUCAUSE. I will provide articles of interest and upcoming trends in each newsletter.  I took a brief hiatus in February and I’m back! Welcome to Spring 2023 (at least officially it’s Spring)!

Extended Reality (XR) in the clinical setting

Hail to the Victors Valiant! XR in Health Care: How Michigan Medicine Provides a Safe Space to Practice High-Stress Environments Case Study

Review the case study from Michigan Medicine: how do you train personnel on vital professional skills efficiently and with as high fidelity as possible? Cardiac arrest scenarios were selected-and the authors worked through thinking how VR and XR technologies could be used in this case. Is VR and XR approach correct for your scenario? Find the right vendor or developer for what you’re trying to achieve. It could be a single vendor or more than one. Timeline is longer than 90 days-there are just too many details and processes to iron out. 

The work involved extensive collaboration between different department including IT.  As you read through the article, think about the advocate. “Having an advocate or some kind of bridge role to help work with faculty, staff, and other educators or researchers is well worth the investment. “It takes resources to develop and dedicate this type of position,” said Cole, “but those resources will pay you back tenfold if your institution is serious about supporting XR technologies.”

ChatGPT, Microsoft Co-Pilot, New Bing? How do I know that the student wrote it??

This Was Written By a Human: A Real Educator’s Thoughts on Teaching in the Age of ChatGPT

Jered Borup, muses about  ChatGPT’s real use—the fun part, “Who doesn’t like being told, of course?” to anything you ask. “Of course,” is not a response he necessarily gets from his kids who are not keen on doing their chores. The author encourages everyone to look at ChatGPT (AI in general), holistically. There are negatives, such as using the tool to cheat and some “encouragement by the tool,” attributing incorrect author credit, or even ChatGPT stating, “I don’t know if it was generated by AI.” 

As any other tech disruptor, it’s HOW you work with it that matters. Jered encourages instructors to think about the possibilities of ChatGPT (or any other AI tool), which can help refine lesson plans, emails, and announcements. Good use of this tool allows for critically thinking about class assessments. Students can work with it to brainstorm their writing. For instance, everyone is using “two-page essays or bulletin board discussions.” Can students turn in podcasts or videos instead? Can professors look at the versions of edited documents in Word or Google? Consider the Universal Design for Learning principle of allowing learners to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of modalities. 

On that note, review the research done by George Veletsianos, Royce Kimmons, and Fanny Bondah, ChatGPT and Higher Education: Initial Prevalence and Areas of Interest; the authors did a review of U.S. and Canadian higher education websites; the sites “also provide a collective function in that they can help us see topics of interest across the higher education landscape.” Look at the tables and graphs of the top schools that mention ChatGPT. The authors reviewed instances of AI discussions (more excitement in the C-Suite for the possibilities of this tool), and how it can be used in class. Three types of ChatGPT mentions emerged during the research: opinions and articles, reports of experiments in the ’80s and ’90s, and grading policies. 

The universities and colleges do differ in how many times ChatGPT was mentioned (more at Mississippi institutions vs. the ones in Utah). 

The authors note that some sites were missing discussions about mining ChatGPT and that higher education institutions are uniquely positioned to share their showcases of use. It’s also important to remember that in some cases, such as rapid remote learning transition during the pandemic, higher education institutions moved quickly. They must be more cautious in other cases (which doesn’t necessarily mean that they are slow to adapt).

I would also encourage the authors to investigate whether community colleges are considering AI use—and if not—why not.  The authors conclude that writing about the adoption of proctoring tools in 2021, they noted that the higher education community needs to responsibly grapple with the implications of this use, reflect on how these shifts respond to actual needs, evaluate the costs of these shifts (in terms of money, privacy, and distrust toward students), and consider whether adopting such tools so quickly and broadly is the best solution to the problems we are trying to solve. They now make the same suggestion about AI.

Resilience and personal agility

Switching gears, let’s look into resilience and Improving Personal Agility. The view is from an accomplished IT professional and martial arts instructor. Think about what’s needed to do this—working professionals often don’t have an opportunity to try out this approach (unlike trainers/coaches and athletes). Improving your cognitive skills is possible-and it’s something that’s been discussed in the cognitive science discipline. 

The connection is between what Agile is in and outside of IT (frequent iteration, small and inclusive teams, and concrete outcomes), and how these approaches can be used in thinking about personal agility. The writer defines personal agility as “a method of structuring one’s thoughts in an iterative fashion with at least two parts in each iteration: (1) the mental creation of the thing proposed, and (2) the continual validation of the conceptualization. This personal iteration constantly visualizes the thing being constructed and put into use.” He describes three mental tools-progressive ideation, progressive concretization, and continual validation.” These tools also need the “right medium:”

  • The Mind
  • More than one mind (2-3 is even better)
  • Pencil and paper
  • Simple renderings in simple modeling tools
  • More elaborate renderings with more elaborate modeling tools
  • Development of a prototype of a solution 

Take a look at the article and think if you’re already engaged with any of these approaches. Are you reducing “IT work by using mental simulation?” 

Cyber Resilience: The Future for Higher Education

Review the paper from the “Salty Cloud” and the presented case studies. Cyber resilience is anticipating challenges in advance and going beyond the “checkbox of compliance.” Review the concerns with going the “compliance and checking the box” route vs. being proactive, working from a risk based security framework. 

Key points:

  • Implement an IT assets management program (can’t protect it if you don’t know you have it) 
  • Vendor risk management 
  • Control based assessment surveys (what are the units doing)?
  • Review and report consistent improvements 
  • Build a culture of information security

Faculty and student mentoring

Online Faculty and Student Mentoring: Building Community and Leveraging Resources

Read the case study from Lehman college on Student Peer and Faculty Mentoring online models for faculty and students. Peer mentoring is critical because “a peer is not a supervisor,” and the relationship is very supportive. The authors share best practices on having the programs established and supported by the leadership and discuss their experiences in running the programs at Lehman. 

Don’t forget to check out Horizon Data  Action Plan Showcase, and think about the data governance structures 5 to 10 years from now. How will they look?  

If you have any questions about the content, tidbits you’d like to share, or anything EDUCAUSE related, email Irina “Irene” Knokh, instructional design and technology consultant, Professional Development and Education for Nursing, or Chris Eagle, EDUCAUSE coordinator for U-M.