CITL Teaching and Learning News: March 26, 2024

Mar 28, 2024, 09:36 AM
CITL Teaching and Learning News March 26, 2024
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Instructor Voices

  TTLL podcast s2e4

Metacognition and the Learning Process 

Thinking about one's thinking is unintuitive and fraught, especially if we're in a learner/student context! Dive into metacognition analysis with Prof. Dan Simons' insights in our Season 2 Episode 4 podcast. Hope you enjoy some connections between scam artists, signal to noise, pattern bias, incentive structures, and a student's journey through higher education.

Did you enjoy this episode, or do you have a story to share about your teaching? Drop us a note at

This podcast was produced by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Illinois. Episodes can be found on our website, Teach Talk Listen Learn - A CITL Podcast and major podcast platforms. We hope you’ll find us there and join the conversation!


CITL Announcements


Your Illinois Online Teaching Community is Here!

Looking for a place where you can share online teaching strategies and experiences, make connections, or become inspired? Please join us on Microsoft Teams and be part of our vibrant online teaching community here at Illinois! You are welcome to join the conversation, post something interesting, or make a friend by asking a question.

CITL Teaching Certificate Deadline is April 15

If you are pursuing one of CITL's teaching certificates, the deadline for finishing the requirements this year is Monday, April 15. If you don't submit your application by April 15, all of your progress still counts, and you have until next April to finish the remainder of the requirements. Check out the FAQs for information that may answer some questions you currently have.

Anti-Oppressive: Addressing Power and Inequality through Syllabi Redesign (CITL Art of Teaching Seminar Series)

Join us for the Art of Teaching Lunchtime Seminar Series on Thursday, April 4 from 12-1 pm CDT via Zoom. Melissa Iverson (Social Work) helps participants explore the crucial role of anti-oppressive teaching in academia. Emphasizing the responsibility of educators, this presentation underscores the importance of revising course syllabi to combat oppressive practices, promote diversity, and foster a welcoming environment. Insights into the impact of language on syllabi demonstrate its power to enhance student perception, engagement, and achievement while also maintaining rigorous academic standards and fostering an environment that encourages students to strive for excellence. Registration is open now.


Workshops and Events


Canvas Open Office Hours
Recurring: every Thursday, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Host: CITL Instructional Support Team

Orchestrating Your Teaching Presence
Monday, April 1, 5 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Zoom (Registration Link)
Host: David Favre (CITL)

Anti-Oppressive: Addressing Power and Inequality through Syllabi Redesign - CITL Art of Teaching Lunchtime Seminar Series
Thursday, April 4, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Zoom (Registration Link)
Host: Jordan Leising (CITL)

How Motivation Works
Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Zoom (Registration Link)
Host: Lucas Anderson (CITL)

Stay tuned for this semester's events! Bookmark the CITL Event Calendar for all upcoming workshops and the Training Services (formerly FAST3) Calendar for additional training opportunities.


Teaching Tips


Human and AI Interaction: A Collaboration

We should consider the ways in which humans and AI interact, focusing on the ethical, logical, and emotional aspects of these interactions. As artificial intelligence becomes more integrated into various aspects of our lives, it is crucial to examine how these interactions shape our experiences, particularly in educational settings. To understand the practical implications, we provide examples from two faculty members on campus who have integrated AI into their course activities and pose some questions. Faculty experiences offer valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities presented by AI in educational settings.

Stephanie Ceman, a Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology, implemented an assignment in the field of Microbiology during Fall 2023 and is continuing this semester. The assignment asks students to prepare a short essay pitching an idea that explores a topic learned in class. Students may choose to use text-to-text generative AI to create the document and then use the tools learned in class to evaluate the AI-generated document. Reflection questions include: Do you believe using AI tools has helped in developing any skills? If so, which skills?

In general, we are still learning how interactions with AI will unfold and, as a result, developing best practices. One hypothesis is that when we don’t understand how an AI tool works, we ascribe different powers or values to it. Another aspect is learning about the capabilities and limitations of the main AI tools available, what the shortfalls are, and how this knowledge can help us gain confidence and use it to enhance the diversity of course activities by implementing AI.

Somi Lee, a Teaching Assistant Professor in the School of Art and Design, brought her Art Education students to the CITL Innovation Studio to attend a workshop on Generative AI tools for different tasks, such as analyzing websites, posing questions to a chatbot regarding a scholarly article, and text and image generation. One of the questions posed to the students was: What does creativity mean in the context of AI? Can AI truly be creative, or is it merely replicating human patterns of thought and artistic expression?

The answers vary as they relate to the students' perception and intention with the use of an AI tool, such as text-to-text models like ChatGPT, Perplexity, and Copilot, and text-to-image models like Adobe Firefly and Midjourney.

Best practices include understanding the limitations of various AI tools, none of which may be as good as what an informed human can provide, especially an expert in a field of study. However, as we continue to navigate this complex terrain, it's essential to foster a deeper understanding of AI's capabilities and limitations to enhance its role as a collaborator in the learning process.

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