All of this considered, what next?

It is fair to say that AI could re-negotiate the landscape of teaching writing as well as the act and the practice of writing for college-level students. For our specific purposes as WAC Fellows, we suggest that this is perhaps a time of self-reflection for WAC. Based on what we have written here, there are a few questions that concern us. Is it necessary for WAC to reformulate its basic tenets and principles? Is it necessary to have these conversations about the use (or the barring of use) of AI in the college classroom? Answers to these questions extend beyond the scope of the suggestions that WAC Fellows can provide here and rest in the hands of legislators as well as administrators and trustees not only at CUNY but also at other universities. However, the need for resources is apparent and crucial at a time when these overarching final decisions about the use and efficacy of generative AI are being circumvented by those with decision-making power. As such, it is a community effort at CUNY to have these difficult conversations as well as to support one another by providing resources like those provided here by Louise, Andréa, Weiheng, and Dohyun. 

Beyond this post, perhaps you might be interested in learning more about generative AI and teaching more generally. We suggest contacting your university’s Center for Teaching & Learning if it has one available. These Centers are working to provide resources like those that we are providing here, confronting topics such as talking to students about AI, our fears about AI, and the questionable relationship between AI and academic labor. Baruch College’s Center for Teaching and Learning, for example, is holding monthly AI conversations through a program entitled “Baruch in the Age of AI,” which you can learn more about here:

However, for the purposes of WAC, the Fellows at City Tech have determined that there are particular WAC principles that remain relevant in the age of generative AI, such as those related to active learning and writing as a process. In addition to maintaining that these principles remain relevant, the Fellows have above provided resources that faculty can use in their classrooms. We suggest that, if you do choose to implement these exercises in your class, that you talk with your students openly about using AI in the classroom. What are the affordances of AI in the writing process for your students? What are their fears of using AI for writing-based assignments? Asking your students these questions might bring you some surprising answers, which might complicate your understanding, your fears, and your insights about the use of generative AI. 

Thank you for reading and engaging with our blog post, and please be in touch with us if you would like to comment, provide feedback, or have questions about any of our posts. 

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