How can ChatGPT help instructors?

April 27, 2023

If you are feeling stuck, or uninspired to write your next lesson, ChatGP may be able to help. You can use ChatGPT as a brainstorming tool to get the ball rolling.

A UArizona instructor using ChatGPT

If you are feeling stuck or uninspired to write your next lesson, ChatGPT may be able to help. For example, you can use ChatGPT as a brainstorming tool to get the ball rolling.

An example of a one-week lesson plan on literary analysis is shown below. We started by asking ChatGPT to create a lesson plan on literary analysis. But with no concrete audience, the result was a basic plan. So we gave ChatGPT the additional information on the lesson plan for an online undergraduate course. This resulted in a ten-week structure of how to teach literary analysis. Looking for something simpler, the suggestion was narrowed to a one-week time frame, and the text you see below is the result. This process illustrates that being specific in your prompt is critical to having a successful outcome. 

Once you have something you feel comfortable working with, you can edit and revise from there. For instance, maybe you don't want to teach the concept of close reading so that Day 3 activity can be removed. Or perhaps you have an existing assignment you want to fit into the week, so you adjust the structure of what ChatGPT is suggesting. This may also feel like short or too much work for one week. Perhaps you don't want students to write and revise an entire essay in one week, but you want them to focus on writing thesis statements. For example, you could change the suggestion to ChatGPT to get something more refined or use this outline to build more depth for how you want students to meet the learning outcomes. Remember, ChatGPT doesn't know your learning outcomes unless you tell it.  

This outline also doesn't specify assignment prompts or tools for students to submit work or engage with peers. Instead, you can add, discuss with your instructional designer, and modify that as needed.  

But you get an idea for topics for lecture videos, a starting point to find resources for students to read and suggestions for different types of assignments and assessments. ChatGPT is a tool that can help you map out a course and get inspired with new ways to teach your content. 

Result from ChatGPT

Sure! Here's a one-week lesson plan for an online undergraduate course on literary analysis:

Week 1: Introduction to Literary Analysis

Day 1: Introduction to Literary Analysis

  • Introduce the course and the goals of the week.
  • Explain what literary analysis is and why it's important.
  • Provide an overview of the week's topics and assignments.

Day 2: Elements of Fiction

  • Define the elements of fiction (plot, character, setting, point of view, theme).
  • Provide examples of each element and explain how they contribute to a story.
  • Assign a short story for students to read and analyze using these elements.

Day 3: Close Reading

  • Introduce the concept of close reading.
  • Provide strategies for close reading, such as paying attention to language, imagery, and symbolism.
  • Have students practice close reading by analyzing a poem.

Day 4: Critical Approaches

  • Introduce different critical approaches to literary analysis, such as feminist, Marxist, and psychoanalytic.
  • Explain how each approach can provide unique insights into a text.
  • Assign an article or chapter for students to read that applies a critical approach to a literary work.

Day 5: Writing About Literature

  • Provide strategies for writing about literature, such as developing a thesis, organizing an essay, and incorporating textual evidence.
  • Have students write a short literary analysis essay using one of the critical approaches introduced earlier in the week.

Day 6-7: Peer Review and Revision

  • Have students exchange essays with a peer and provide feedback.
  • Provide guidance on how to incorporate feedback and revise their essays.
  • Have students submit their final essays.

This one-week lesson plan provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts and skills required for literary analysis, including the elements of fiction, close reading, critical approaches, and writing about literature. By the end of the week, students should have a solid foundation for analyzing and writing about literary texts.