The associate professor of strategic communications spoke with host Matt Wittstein about how artificial intelligence might change teaching practices and how students can embrace AI “as one of many tools in their toolboxes.”
Jessica Gisclair, associate professor of strategic communications, joined the “Limed: Teaching with a Twist” podcast as a featured guest in September to discuss how educators can leverage artificial intelligence as a tool to enhance learning outcomes.
Gisclair served as the podcast’s first guest of the fall 2023 semester, participating in a 15-minute conversation with host Matt Wittstein addressing the podcast’s theme, “Preparing Students to be Literate and Critical AI Users.” Produced monthly by the Center for Engaged Learning, “Limed: Teaching with a Twist” offers a platform for faculty, staff and students to discuss challenges and opportunities in their respective educational settings.
Gisclair said she was initially drawn to the topic of artificial intelligence and its use in the classroom as she learned of its “sudden uptick” in usage among college students. While AI’s use and governance are still emerging topics, the professor explained that she wanted to “look at AI as a positive teaching tool rather than a shortcut or cheating mechanism,” she said.
“I hope students will embrace AI as one of many tools in their toolboxes that can help them analyze topics efficiently and find new ways to think about issues or discover solutions to problems,” Gisclair added.
Following Gisclair’s appearance, the podcast shifted gears to a panel discussion featuring Derek Bruff, former executive director of the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching; Jill McSweeney, assistant director for the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Elon University; and Gianna Smurro ’24, a School of Communications student, who shared practical and philosophical insights regarding AI use in education. Joined by Wittstein, the trio delved into the importance of coordinating a plan for AI use, the ethical concerns of how AI and the information shared with it may be used, and other related topics.
“There were many valuable takeaways from the panel discussion, but what resonated with me was the confirmation that leaning into AI use in the classroom was the right approach,” Gisclair said. “Being flexible, transparent, and keeping the ethics of AI use in mind will help me develop assignments that reflect the power of AI along with the power of human independent thought through self-reflection and critical thinking.”
About the podcast
“Limed: Teaching with a Twist” is a podcast that plays with pedagogy. Each episode features the voices and ideas of diverse faculty, staff, and students who workshop our guest’s real challenges and opportunities for their classrooms. The show is produced in collaboration with the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University and was created and developed by Wittstein, an associate professor of exercise science. New episodes release on the third Monday of every month.