AI in Education Community

Exploring approaches to Generative AI with the FE Community  

This month’s AI in FE community sessions were all about sharing approaches to generative AI use in FE.  

Coleg Sir Gar’s Generative AI Journey

For the first part of the sessions, we were joined by Bryony Evett, from Coleg Sir Gar, who shared their institution’s evolving journey with generative AI. They have developed their approach over the past two years and champion an ‘enhancement not replacement’ approach to AI which focuses on AI as a supporting tool. With this, they have worked to establish a culture of transparency around AI use which enables open dialogue between staff and students around responsible AI use.  

The college has focused on four AI tools in particular: ChatGPT 3.5 and 4, Edpuzzle & Canva. Bryony demonstrated how these have been utilised effectively across the college by both academic and support staff. Staff are also supported with a comprehensive toolkit and access to regular learning opportunities around AI. Meanwhile, learners receive clear guidance around AI use and can engage with staff in conversations around AI. 

Bryony’s presentation emphasised the importance of collaboration, with an approach which looks to ‘de-techify’ the conversation around AI and empower staff to explore the technology confidently.  

Thank you very much to Bryony for sharing your experiences and expertise with the community.  

Discussions with the community

In the second part of our sessions, members then discussed their own institutions’ approaches and reflected on the similarities and differences.  

AI detection & assessment: 

Members also shared some of the challenges and solutions for detecting and assessing AI-generated work, especially for HE provisions, and highlighted the importance of knowing their learners, their research and their formative assessments.  

We’ve provided guidance around the use of AI detection tools before and are currently exploring the issues further with a working group of FE members to develop new guidance and recommendations.

Choosing and licensing AI tools:  

There was much discussion around processes for choosing and procuring AI tools. It was noted there are an increasing number of options available for licensing popular tools. For instance, some members are investigating the pricing structures for ChatGPT-4 and exploring providing individual and team licenses to staff. The cost of institutional licenses for tools like Microsoft 365 Copilot was raised and continues to be a significant barrier.  

Members discussed the merits of narrowing down a key list of tools to focus on and resisting the temptation to try and implement every tool. Though it was agreed the sheer quantity of AI tools available can still be overwhelming.  

Collaboration & Policy Development:

Different approaches to creating and developing AI policy were discussed, with members agreeing that this should involve collaboration across departments. To achieve this, some colleges have established cross-departmental groups to collaborate on guidance which is then reviewed at a senior level.  

If you are working on your own institutional AI policy or guidance these resources may help:

Next Session 

Our final AI in FE community session for this academic year will be held on Thursday 4th July 12.30-1.30.

Join us for a retrospective on this year in AI in FE, where we’ll share the lessons learned and discuss the questions we have ahead of the next academic year.

Sign up to be invited to future AI in FE community sessions.  

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