ASU faculty meet in the Law School library

Over 1,000 Sun Devils enroll in ASU’s generative AI training course

What is one thing all new technology has in common? It comes with a learning curve — some steeper than others. As such, ensuring that communities have resources to navigate change and capitalize on new opportunities is paramount.

The introduction of generative artificial intelligence (AI) into the mainstream through tools like ChatGPT, Adobe Firefly and Bard has caused the needs for education and training. 

In order to help current Sun Devils – from faculty, staff, researchers and students – navigate such tools, Arizona State University (ASU) launched a new training course called Teaching and Learning with Generative AI

The self-paced course, available via Canvas, is designed by university experts to support ethical and responsible use of generative AI for teaching and learning. While the initial target audience for this course is faculty, future courses are in development to focus on daily work and the student experience. 

Current Sun Devils can enroll in the course now. 

“Embracing generative AI in higher education is in part about keeping up with advances in technology, but it’s also about imagining the unimaginable for our students’ futures,” said Gemma Garcia, executive director of Learning Technology at the Office of University Provost. “As we lean into emerging AI tech, we’re empowering new ways of learning and discovery.”

The training course, released in August 2023 has already hit a milestone with over 1,000 Sun Devils enrolled to date.  

The six-part course gets progressively more complex, moving through modules in knowledge (recommended for folks with no previous experience), skill (used one or more AI tools), and application (regularly use AI tools). The course is flexible so participants are able to move around the course to access the information that is most important to them. For example, if a user already knows about generative AI or is already using the tools, they can skip ahead to application.

See below for the overview, as provided by the course: 

As we navigate a world increasingly shaped by advanced computer technology, it's imperative that we prepare our students for careers deeply intertwined with Artificial Intelligence (AI). This is why we're inviting you to engage with generative AI in this course, which aims to be a foundational introduction to the technology. We've gathered some of the most informed minds and early adopters of generative AI at ASU to deliver a course suitable for all skill levels, ensuring that you gain an introductory knowledge of and experience with this transformative technology. The course takes an interactive, hands-on approach, so that you will not just learn about generative AI but also have opportunities to apply it in real-world scenarios through the "guided practice" and "create an artifact" exercises. What's more, as part of this learning journey, you'll become a member of a vibrant community of ASU faculty using generative AI and fostering an environment of shared learning, collaboration, and innovation. Join us as we embrace the power of generative AI and shape the future of education together.

“This course provides a variety of activities and exercises designed with experimentation in mind,” shared Allison Hall, director of Learning Experience at ASU Enterprise Technology. “Each module includes instruction, as well as ways to apply new knowledge through activities and guided practice.”

For faculty, the course provides resources and guidance to teach with generative AI, as well as train AI systems to enhance teaching practices and prepare students for the future.

“This course is a great resource for all faculty. If you are just starting out with genAI, you can learn all the basics from experts,” shared Whitney Hansen, associate professor and teaching professor. “Everyone can benefit from the vast repository of information and links that are included. It is a one stop shop that you can return to anytime you need a refresher on [generative AI] or want the latest information.”

Designed by experts from across the ASU Enterprise 

To cater to a variety of knowledge and skill levels, ASU gathered some of the most innovative minds and early adopters of generative AI from the Office of the Provost, EdPlus, Enterprise Technology and ASU’s Academic units to ensure participants gain a comprehensive understanding of the technology. 

In addition to the modules, the course gives access to the collaborative InScribe Community. From sharing resources to facilitating insightful discussions, this digital space promotes meaningful connections among faculty across the university to fuel academic exploration.

“This course is a testament to our commitment to never stop exploring at ASU,” Hall continued. “With generative AI, we’re on the cusp of a new educational landscape, one that has the potential to push our boundaries and unlock limitless potential.”

This course reflects ASU’s innovative ethos and will act as a guide, illuminating the nuances surrounding generative AI systems in academia. 

Experts from across the ASU Enterprise involved in designing the course curriculum include: