What artificial intelligence means for higher education – News and Events

Bonnie Stewart, associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, is this year’s keynote speaker. Her presentation aims to create conversation around the nuances and ethical implications of integrating GAI into educational practices, and how it shapes the pedagogical approaches of educators.

“The trend that we’re experiencing right now goes by the name of generative AI, but it’s part of a larger trend of digital technology corporations trying to capture the market of educational, societal and governmental systems,” says Stewart. “While these technologies claim incredible potential to optimize the way we work, we must also be cautious and aware of any ‘fine print’ that exists with a platform or software we plan to integrate into our teaching practices.”

Stewart is interested in the question of how to critically examine and develop ethical guidelines that will help educators wield GAI – or not – in alignment with their educational values and objectives.

“We must also remind ourselves of the capabilities and limitations of GAI,” says Stewart. “It operates like a fishing trawler – it scours the web for information and presents already existing knowledge. It does not have the ability to generate new or innovative ideas.”

To complement Stewart’s keynote presentation, there will be a special panel on how institutions across the province are responding to GAI in learning and teaching. The panel, moderated by Sean Kheraj, vice-provost, academic, will feature senior leaders from McMaster University, the University of Toronto and York University.

The panel will provide insight into the approaches that TMU and neighbouring universities have taken to develop guidelines, best practices and policies for confronting the impacts of GAI on programs.

In addition to the keynote and panel presentations, participants will be able to create their own conference experience based on the priorities that are most relevant to their teaching interests. Curtis Maloley, director, teaching development and digital learning, says the Learning and Teaching conference helps build community by bringing together TMU educators who care deeply about their teaching practices and are eager to learn from their peers.

“While other universities host similar conferences of this nature, ours is unique because it focuses specifically on the real-world practices, strategies and teaching interventions of faculty and contract lecturers at TMU,” says Maloley. “I hope participants leave the conference with a sense of inspiration and new ideas on how to continue to enhance our students’ learning experience.” 

Registration for the conference closes Friday, May 10 at 5 p.m. To view the full conference program, visit the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching website.