AI in Education Community

FE Community Digifest Meet-Up

On Wednesday the 13th of March we ran our first face-to-face community session at Digifest at the community hub. This year’s Digifest included a large focus on AI and amongst the highlights was the unveiling of the AI Guiding Principles for FE Colleges in collaboration with AOC.

A Deep Dive into the AI Themes

The session centred around five key themes that represented the foundation of the AI principles for FE. These themes sparked lively discussions and thoughtful reflections among attendees. Here’s a recap of the core themes explored:

Supporting Student/Learner Skills for an AI-Enabled Workplace

Supporting Staff Skills to Enhance AI Benefits and Efficiency

Preserving Academic Integrity While Developing Student AI Skills

Committing to Safe, Ethical, and Responsible Use of AI

Providing Equitable AI Tools Access to All Students/Learners

Insights from the Community Hub

The community hub was full of activity as attendees engaged with each theme through an interactive setup. Participants shared their insights, experiences, and suggestions on post-its, surrounding each theme with a variety of ideas focusing on actionable steps and points to consider. Valuable discussions and collaborations took place between participants around each theme and hearing directly from institutions on work they have done around these themes or areas they may need additional support was invaluable.

Actions and Reflections

We have included a summary of the outcomes of the session and topics that were discussed around each theme. All the notes from the session have been transferred to a Padlet which you can view as a full digital version here.

  • Enhancing AI Skills for Students
    • Actions: Initiatives like incorporating AI education into existing workshop programs, creating comprehensive AI resources, holding consistent educational sessions on AI relevance, and conducting responsible AI usage training were proposed.
    • Points to consider: Considerations for implementing AI in education include the imperative of secure usage, the establishment of common AI understanding programs, tailoring AI education to meet job market needs, and increasing consciousness about AI-induced biases.
  •  Elevating Staff Proficiency in AI:
    • Actions: Proposed actions included organizing dedicated workshops for staff, creating a toolkit supplemented with expert guidance, showcasing the tangible benefits of AI in teaching, and promoting certified AI training programs for staff.
    •  Points to consider: Points raised for contemplation stressed on the role of IT departments in AI facilitation, the importance of comprehensive digital literacy, and the inclusion of administrative staff in AI initiatives.
  • Upholding Academic Integrity Amidst AI Adoption:
    • Actions: Suggestions for actions involved guiding AI-integrated assessment design, affirming the responsible use of AI in evaluations, revamping traditional assessment methods to incorporate AI, and demonstrating the correct use of AI to reinforce understanding.
    • Points to consider: Ensuring fair access to AI resources in academia, clarity on what AI resources are being utilized, and the risk of widening the digital divide with AI deployment.
  •  Committing to Ethical AI Use:
    • Actions: Ensure ethical AI deployment involves engaging students in ethics policy development, creating college-specific AI ethics guidelines, and finding ways to work within age restrictions applicable to AI tools.
    •  Points to consider: How to maintain compliance with data protection laws, ensuring that students have a say in AI design, and understanding both the safety features of AI and ways these might be circumvented.
  •  Ensuring Equal Access to AI Resources:
    •  Actions: To promote equitable AI tool access, the community recommended sharing effective practices around small and open-source AI systems, instituting a checklist for ethical AI procurement, and focusing on free AI resources with robust capabilities.
    •  Points to consider: Considerations included addressing challenges related to digital poverty, keeping up with rapid technology changes when subscribing to AI services, the potential for collective licensing through organizations like Jisc, and the importance of balancing financial resources when investing in AI tools

Moving Forward Together

As we move forward, the insights garnered from this session will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in guiding the FE sector’s approach to AI. Thank you to all who attended and engaged in the session. We will continue to host our online AI in FE sessions monthly, to sign up for these please fill in the form here.

Find out more by visiting our Artificial Intelligence page to view publications and resources, join us for events and discover what AI has to offer through our range of interactive online demos.

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