May 23, 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) has taken the world by storm. The internet and technology are essential parts of the average person’s life and AI is now a part of that.

Many platforms have an AI feature, and Blackboard is now included in that category. Blackboard’s new AI feature, called “Anthology,” allows professors to use AI to help build their courses. Some students
are hesitant the integration of AI into Blackboard, while professors are aware of AI’s challenges but are looking for positive applications.

Some students are concerned that their connection with their professors will change. When a professor creates courses independently, students can see aspects unique to each professor, and AI could
potentially minimize those distinctive elements.

“My biggest concern is that if professors get comfortable using AI for all their courses, there will be a massive disconnect between not only the professors and students but between people and their professions,” said Megan Romero, sophomore psychology major.

Some students are similarly concerned about professor and student connections. Dr. Ted Murcray, associate professor of education and director of the Teaching and Learning Center, is hopeful that by spending less time creating courses, professors will spend more time forming connections with their

“The goal, of course, is to increase productivity by off-loading certain types of work to an AI,” Murcray said. “If that creates more time and space for faculty members to engage more with students and develop even better content, then it will be a win for everyone.”

Blackboard released its own statement on the new feature.

“Our trustworthy AI approach has ‘human control’ as a core pillar,” the statement reads. “Instructors maintain full control over their courses.”

It is vital to see this issue with an open mind and let it play out before choosing a side. AI cannot capture human experience, but it can allow professors to invest more time into building their lectures. Students will never know the outcome of Blackboard’s new AI feature if they do not test it out, beginning in the classroom.

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