This research project aims to investigate the use of Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, in education, and specifically in computing education in school. It is being led by the Raspberry Pi Computing Education Research Centre and the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge.
LLMs such as ChatGPT are becoming more widely available for use in schools by teachers, students, and academics. While many educators appreciate the potential benefits of LLMs for enhancing learning, there are also significant concerns about authorship, authenticity, plagiarism, ethics, biases, and the broader implications of their use in education. Unfortunately, the emerging field lacks a comprehensive framework for implementing and regulating LLMs in school education.
Given the rapid pace of technological change and the ease with which young people adopt new tools, computing teachers are reflecting on how best to use LLMs in education. There are several questions to consider, such as:
Using a design-based research approach, we would like to work collaboratively with teachers on the real-world needs of AI tools in school education. We are establishing a working group of teachers, researchers, and educational stakeholders to discuss the use of LLMs in computing education, and to put together guidance and criteria for schools to help them make informed decisions about the role of AI in education. The project will use qualitative research to investigate teachers’ perceptions of AI in education and the barriers and opportunities it presents.
We are looking for 8 computing teachers, as well as other stakeholders, who have been reflecting on, and potentially experimenting with, LLMs in computing education and across wider school activities. This may include using LLMs for administration, teaching preparation or also for the teaching of programming and other computing content; we are also interested if you support other professionals in your school.
Joining this project will give you the opportunity to share your experience and your own reflections and contribute to a document that will support other schools. You will also be contributing to a wider research project which we hope will follow on from this initial short project.
The working group will meet together on three occasions in the next few months, starting with a twilight face-to-face meeting on 7th December, followed by two online meetings in January and March. These meetings will be audio-recorded, but all contributions will be anonymised for analysis. We would like to also conduct individual online follow-up interviews with teachers.
If you are interested in taking part in the project please complete this form. In the form, you will be asked about your experience of LLMs in education, particularly in relation to computing teaching. We are looking for 8 teachers of computing for this project and a small number of other stakeholders. If more teachers are interested than spaces available, we will use your answers to ensure we have a balance of experiences from the group.
For further information about the project contact Sue Sentance or Steve Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org.