Faculty Hub May Days…Wrapping Up and Moving Forward.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
All of us here at the Faculty Hub are sending you our best wishes for this busy time of year. Please know that we’re here for one-on-one consultations if you’re looking for support with assessments, the last days of class, summer planning, and more. We’re also offering a series of events in early May–our Faculty Hub May Days–as a chance to reflect and take stock of the academic year and to think about what’s next.
Please note that the Faculty Hub staff will not be available the afternoon of May 2 so that we can attend Speaking Up in the Academic Workplace–details on the event below.
Celebrating Teaching, Finding Funding, and Finishing Strong
TOMORROW – A Celebration of Teaching
Our annual Celebration of Teaching is coming up this week on Tuesday, April 4 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Please feel free to stop by for any amount of time to share ideas and gain inspiration from your colleagues. The event will take place in the Faculty Hub (3rd Floor of Boatwright Library) and is open to faculty and instructional staff. At 3:45 p.m., President Hallock and Provost Legro will provide brief welcoming remarks. Please RSVP to let us know that you’re planning to join us!
Register for the Celebration of Teaching.
Find Your Funding with Pivot!
Tuesday, April 4, 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. (on Zoom)
In this thirty-minute session, Jeanine Larson from the FCGR will offer an introduction to the UR’s newly acquired Pivot Database, a great tool to help you find your next grant or fellowship. You’ll learn how to search for funding opportunities, save individual opportunities, share listings with colleagues and potential researchers, access curated lists for your specific research area, receive email updates and notifications about opportunities based on your saved searches, and more! You can connect to the session using the Morning Blend Zoom link. No registration required.
Faculty Hub Conversation: Last Days of Class
Wednesday, April 12, 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. (in the Faculty Hub or Zoom)
How do you approach the last few days of class? Join the Faculty Hub for a conversation about strategies and activities for wrapping up the semester. We’ll think together about how to structure the last few days of class so that we can capitalize on reflection, make student learning visible, and in doing so, teach our students how to provide useful feedback to us on our teaching. Join us for this opportunity to share ideas, ask questions, and gather feedback from colleagues. This conversation is open to faculty and instructional staff from any disciplinary background.
Register here for the last days of class conversation!
Ides of March Edition
One of our favorite events of the year is coming up in early April—our annual Celebration of Teaching. We hope that you’ll join us to share your teaching successes from the academic year and to get inspiration and insights from your colleagues. The event will take place in the Faculty Hub (3rd Floor of Boatwright Library) on Tuesday, April 4 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and is open to faculty and instructional staff. At 3:45 p.m., President Hallock and Provost Legro will provide welcoming remarks, and opportunities to visit and celebrate with colleagues will follow. Please RSVP to let us know that you’re planning to join us, and please indicate if you have teaching materials/outcomes you wish to share at the event.
Register for the Celebration of Teaching.
Faculty Accomplishments Reception TODAY, and March Faculty Hub Events
TODAY – Faculty Accomplishments Reception
Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
The Research and Collaborative Study Area on the First Floor in Boatwright Library
Please join us TODAY for the Faculty Accomplishments Reception hosted by the Office of the Provost in conjunction with Boatwright Memorial Library and the Faculty Hub. This is an opportunity to honor Richmond faculty members who have achieved successes in the form of research and scholarly publications, as well as creative achievements in the visual and performing arts between January 2022 and December 2022. Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Jeffrey W. Legro, will make remarks followed by a toast and reception. Learn more here. We hope you will join us!
Events and Resources for Your Research and Writing
Here at the Faculty Hub, we have several upcoming events to support you as teacher-scholars. We hope you can join us! If you have any additional suggestions for how we can support you, please send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thinking about the AI
AI Impacts on Teaching and Scholarship
Blog posts about artificial intelligence are everywhere you look. To help you make sense of all the noise, we are writing another one :). This one will focus on you, University of Richmond faculty, who are curious how artificial intelligence will impact your teaching and scholarship. We’ll be focused exclusively on language artificial intelligence, if you are interested in other kinds of AI feel free to reach out to our technology consultant Andrew Bell to chat!
Large language models (LLMs) are AI systems that are trained to generate human-like language. They are trained using massive datasets of text (imagine being able to read 9 million word books once a day for an entire lifetime / 80 years, that’s how much text these models are trained on). They learn to recognize and generate words and phrases in the same way that humans do. This allows them to understand generate new content based on specific inputs or prompts.
These LLMs are applied in a number of different applications and services. The one that you might have heard about is chatGPT but there are countless others like Jenni.ai (specifically for helping the writing process) or explainpaper.com (a service for helping read dense academic papers). For this blog post we’ll focus primarily on chatGPT. chatGPT, created by openAI, is a conversational chatbot that is sensationally good a generating human-like text. This has raised concerns within the education domain about academic integrity and whether writing is something our students will offload to artificial intelligence.
Faculty Hub Recommendation #1: Develop a policy for AI use in your course and communicate it to your students
Article IV of the University of Richmond’s Honor code requires student’s pledge that they “have neither received nor given unauthorized assistance during the completion of [their] work”. Artificially intelligence generated text certainly could be considered unauthorized assistance but our recommendation is to determine a specific policy for AI generated text and then communicate that policy with your students. Whether it is a specific syllabi policy or a conversation in class, we recommend articulating a specific vision for what your expectations are.
- Sample AI Policy Statements from Faculty Hub (link)
- Ethan Mollick of Wharton Business School policy (link)
Faculty Hub Recommendation #2: Gain a better understanding of what LLMs can and can’t do for your discipline
Because these models are only as good as the text they are trained on, the impacts are dependent on what discipline you teach / research in. For instance, most court proceedings and scholarship is freely available and therefore likely part of the corpus that models like GPT-3 (backbone on chatGPT) are trained on. That’s in contrast to some humanities disciplines like modern literature whose primary literature and scholarship are copywrited and/or behind paywalls. This will primarily impact how ‘knowledge’ the models are (whether or not the resulting text is actually rooted an any sort of truth or just BS). We encourage you to investigate the abilities of chatGPT or if you aren’t interested in creating an account, schedule a consultation with the Faculty Hub and we can facilitate that investigate with you.
Faculty Hub Recommendation #3: Identify processes / tasks that might benefit from AI assistance
It is important to note that we are just at the beginning to understand the utility of these LLMs. There is still a lot of uncertainty about the impact they have. We have identified a few ways chatGPT can improve various processes that are a part of faculty workflows. Below are a few ideas but we encourage you to reach out to use to learn more about how it might impact your specific workflows:
- Brainstorming and workshopping essay prompts: tell chatGPT what topics you are covering and then ask it to propose essay prompts
- Summarizing articles, arguments and evidence: While chatGPT makes mistakes when producing new content, it excels at summarizing text.
- Develop ideas for future directions of projects
- Read primary literature more quickly – use explainpaper.com to read papers outside your field faster
- Avoid blank paper inertia
- Use chatGPT as a personal coding assistant for new coding projects
Those are our three specific recommendations for thinking about AI impacts on teaching and scholarship. Likely there will be more as the tools and service quickly evolve over the next few months. Please reach out to use at email@example.com if you have any questions!
We here at the Faculty Hub hope that your semester is off to a good start. It is hard to believe January flew by so fast!
Please read on to learn more about our February events which cover a number of topics–mid-semester feedback, ChatGPT, alternative grading, courageous conversations, reclaiming joy, and much more! To see all of the events at a glance, we invite you to consult our Events page. In addition, please free to schedule a one-on-one consultation with us at any point if you have any specific topics you’d like to discuss.
Opportunities for Faculty
We hope the semester is off to a good start for you. Now that classes are in full swing, we thought it might be a good time to revisit one of our Morning Blend videos from last semester: Healthy Boundaries with Students by Dr. Laura Knouse. Dr. Knouse shares some research and some pointers that might help you find some balance during a busy spring semester.
Below, we’ve shared information about some ongoing and upcoming programs designed to support you with your teaching and scholarship in the coming months. You can find a complete list of upcoming events on our Events Page. We also invite you to reach out for a one-on-one consultation with us at any point if you have any specific topics you’d like to discuss.
Greetings and Welcome Back!
We hope that you were able to find some time to rest and enjoy the company of friends and family over the break. As you ease yourself back into the pace of the semester, we invite you to join us for some events this week, all designed to get the spring semester off to a good start. And, if you have something specific to your teaching or scholarship that you’d like to explore in more depth, know that the Faculty Hub staff is always available to meet for one-on-one consultations anytime. Please feel free to send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we’ll find a time to meet at your convenience.
In addition to this week’s events, we invite you to our Welcome Back Breakfast next week on Wednesday, January 11 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. here in the Faculty Hub on the 3rd Floor of Boatwright Library. We’ll have a range of breakfast options, coffee, and beverages–sustenance to keep you going during that first busy week of classes. Feel free to stop in for any amount of time you can spare, or just grab a quick snack on your way to the office.