Upcoming Generative AI Programs

As we approach the end of the semester, a time when our students start turning in final projects and we begin to plan for the spring, I’d like to share a few opportunities for you to learn more about generative AI tools like ChatGPT and how they might affect your teaching and scholarship. I invite you to make an appointment with me to chat about your immediate needs and concerns relating to generative AI.

We are also offering several programs on December 14 and January 10. The programs are designed to provide flexibility for your schedule. Attend the half-day professional development opportunity or come to one or two events. Hopefully, you’ll find something that will help you navigate this new generative AI wave. To register for the events below visit this site and let us know which event(s) you’d like to attend. 

Introduction to Generative AI (Two Offerings)

This 90-minute workshop (December 14, 9 to 10:30 a.m. or January 10, 10 to 11:30 a.m.) is a dive into the world of generative AI designed for both beginners and those seeking a refresher. Understand the basics of AI tools (like ChatGPT) and their emerging role in the academic landscape.

Generative AI as a Tool for Scholarship (December 14) 

Finding a Role for Generative AI in Your Writing Workflow – December 14, 10:30 to 11:20 a.m.

Explore how generative AI can become a pivotal part of your writing process, enhancing creativity and efficiency. Learn to leverage AI for drafting, editing, and refining your academic manuscripts.

Supercharge Your Research with a Hundred Research Assistants (Lunch Provided) – December 14, 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Experience the efficiency of employing generative AI as if you had an army of research assistants at your disposal. This session, co-hosted with Social Science Librarian, Kyle Jenkins, will show you how to accelerate literature reviews and data analysis, complete with a lunch break to network and discuss insights.

Hands-On Workshop for Using Generative AI Tools (Scholarship Focus) – December 14, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Conclude the workshop with a practical hands-on workshop to help you identify the right AI tools that fit your unique research needs. Personalize your academic toolkit with AI technologies that can elevate your research productivity to new levels.

Pedagogy and Generative AI Faculty Exchange (January 10)  

Faculty Panel Lunch – January 10, 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Join fellow faculty members, Stephen Brauer, Visiting Associate Professor of English (A&S), Megan Driscoll, Assistant Professor of Art History (A&S), Sara Hanson, Associate Professor of Marketing (RSB), Saif Mehkari, Associate Professor of Economics (RSB) and Lionel Mew, Assistant Professor of Information Systems (SPCS), in this interactive panel discussion over lunch facilitated by Linda Boland, Associate Provost for Faculty and Professor of Biology. Hear firsthand experiences from colleagues who have been intentionally integrating generative AI tools into their curriculum. This is a great opportunity to gain insights into the challenges, success stories, and institutional policies surrounding generative AI in education. Plus, it’s a chance to network and share your thoughts in an open forum.

Hands-On Workshop for Using Generative AI Tools (Pedagogy Focus) – January 10, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

This session, co-hosted with Andrew Ilnicki, Director of Experiential Education & Emerging Technology, promises to be both enlightening and interactive. Attendees will get the opportunity to work directly with some of the most advanced generative AI tools available in the market. Under the guidance of expert trainers, explore the functionalities of ChatGPT (based on the GPT-4 architecture), the innovative capabilities of Claude.AI, and the design potential of Adobe’s Firefly. Whether you’re planning to integrate these tools into your teaching methods or just curious about their capabilities, this session is tailored to provide a rich, hands-on experience.

10 Things Worth Sharing This October


I’m Andrew Bell, the Technology Consultant at the Faculty Hub. I’m excited to kick off a new monthly series around digital tools. I’m going to share information, links, videos, papers… some related to pedagogy and scholarship, some might not be… All of it will be related to concepts, tools, and ideas that have helped me better understand the ever changing digital landscape. I hope you find it worth your time!

10 things worth sharing this October:

1. Someone something to talk to… You can now talk with chatGPT. ChatGPT can now see, hear, and speak

2. Ben Thompson on how the emergence of generative AI is redefining the meaning of ‘virtual reality’

3. Ezra Klein suggests the Internet both enhances and distracts the mind. In this NYTimes article, Erza speculates on the impact AI will have on the mind.

4. Will Generative AI make us more productive? This paper suggests it might (for some of us)…

5. “When the people at the New Yorker can’t concentrate long enough to listen to a song all the way through, how are books to survive?” Why can’t we read anymore?

6. Walking around campus, it’s hard not to wonder: what did we do before smartphones? Ian Bogost, a columnist for The Atlantic, explores leisure time, boredom, and what we used to do to pass time.

7. Remember, even the widely-used digital pedagogy tool, Powerpoint, hasn’t been around forever.  A (brief) History of Powerpoint from the MIT Technology Review.

8. Developing concept maps as an exam review is one of my favorite learning activities for students. They also have a long history in storytelling. Walt Disney was famous for distributing corporate strategy in the form a a concept map.

9. I once gave my UR job talk using the note-taking app, Evernote 😬, so this topic resonates with me. Why note-taking apps don’t make us smarter

10. While note taking apps may not make us smarter, notebooks can be a great tool for capturing ideas… The Notebooks of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Notebooks

Thanks for reading!





Support for Faculty in the Age of Generative AI

(Another) Digital Pedagogical Challenge 

The 2020 pandemic forced most of us educators to become literate in digital pedagogy tools that facilitated online and/or hybrid learning. That work was challenging and exhausting but our students greatly benefited from our efforts. The spring 2023 semester was the first semester where I felt like we were ‘returning to normal’ – the Huddlecam started to feel like a relic of the past. It also happened to be the first semester in which generative AI tools like ChatGPT began to greatly influence our work as educators. Once again, we educators are facing the task of modifying our pedagogy to a changing world.   

The Faculty Hub is here to support your journey to learn more about generative AI and the ways it affects your pedagogy. Below are a number of opportunities that we’ve created to support your AI literacy this coming semester but we are open to your ideas – we’d love to hear from you (find time on my calendar or shoot me an email).  

One-on-one consultations 

We are providing one-on-one consultations focused on understanding and implementing generative AI models in the academic realm. These sessions will offer individualized guidance tailored to your specific interests and needs, helping to demystify generative AI and assist in the integration of this technology into your teaching methods or research projects. 

Upcoming Workshops / Panels 

A Role for Generative AI in Teaching and Scholarship (hosted by Andrew Bell) (8/16 Virtual Session Registration and 8/24 Faculty Hub Session Registration). 

We are offering a comprehensive pre-semester workshop twice before the semester (one virtual the other in the Faculty Hub). The workshop aims to provide an overview of the current landscape of generative AI technologies. These workshops are designed to be approachable and engaging for anyone intrigued by AI, regardless of their prior knowledge or expertise. By focusing on the implications of these tools in an educational setting, we aim to equip participants with a foundational understanding of how AI can augment teaching methodologies, enhance student interaction, and catalyze innovation in curricular design. Not only will you get a thorough walkthrough of the current AI tools, but you will also gain insights into the potential future trends in AI and how they could transform the academic world.  


Conversation about the Implications of Generative AI on Composition-intensive courses (co-hosted by Joe Essid and Andrew Bell)  (8/23 Faculty Hub – Registration)

We will co-host a conversation with Writing Center Director, Joe Essid, on the impact of generative AI on composition-intensive courses. This conversation aims to shed light on how AI technologies, particularly generative models, can (potentially) revolutionize the way we approach writing and composition. Joe and I will share insights based on their extensive experience in their fields and explore potential benefits, challenges, and strategies to effectively integrate these advanced tools into writing courses. This dialogue offers a unique opportunity to explore the intersection of AI and composition, fostering a deeper understanding of how these innovative technologies can enhance writing pedagogy and student outcomes. 

Custom Departmental / Program Workshops  

In addition to our regular workshops, we also offer custom workshops designed to cater to the discipline-specific needs of various departments. Department chairs are encouraged to reach out to abell4@richmond.edu to request a tailored workshop for their team. To illustrate the potential applications of generative AI across various disciplines, a departmental workshop could consider the following examples: 

      1. Using generative AI to help students develop more complex and interesting ways to compare and contrast themes from a reading.  
      2. Using generative AI to quickly create multiple versions of product photos for a marketing course.  
      3. Using generative AI to create tutor bots to support student learning new programming languages.  

These are just a few examples of the potential applications of generative AI, and we look forward to exploring more possibilities in our custom workshops. 

 Other Opportunities  

Special generative AI call for applications to our Digital Pedagogy Grants 

We are excited to announce a special call for applications for our Digital Pedagogy Grants for any educators keen to explore and implement AI tools in their pedagogy. All Digital Pedagogy grants aim to support and encourage innovation in digital teaching and learning; for this coming academic year, we are looking specifically for innovations in the realm of artificial intelligence. This is a wonderful opportunity to receive funding and support for projects that enhance student learning experiences, promote active engagement, and push the boundaries of traditional teaching methods through AI. Whether you’re looking to develop AI-powered lesson plans, create interactive AI-based student assignments, or explore the implications of AI in your specific field, these grants can help you achieve your goals. For more information on grant details, application process, and deadlines, please visit our website

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 facultyhub@richmond.edu if you have any questions!

Fall 2022 Wrap Up

We hope your fall semester is wrapping up nicely. We’d like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the great things happening in the Faculty Hub that you might have missed this past semester.

The Faculty Hub space is seeing more and more activity this semester as a ‘return to campus’ trend continues. Looking for meeting space or just a quiet place to deliver a zoom conference talk? From faculty conferences to departmental meetings, the Faculty Hub space on the third floor of Boatwright Library has lots of great options for your next meeting. Reach out to Jane Bise to learn more about ways you can utilize the Faculty Hub space.

Our fourth semester of Morning Blend, a weekly opportunity to learn something new, welcomed a number of campus partners to the Faculty Hub. We were joined by Laura Knouse, Associate Professor of Psychology, for a session on Healthy Boundaries, and Samantha Guss, Social Sciences Librarian, spoke about citation management (yay for Zotero)! Director of Grant Support, Jeanine Larson, also helped us demystify the grant writing process. Faculty Hub staff led many other great sessions like “First Day of Class” and “How to Take Advantage of UR’s Digital Pedagogy Toolbox.” You can find the full archive of the fall 2022 Morning Blend sessions here.

We also started a new coaching program for faculty wishing to work one on one with a faculty colleague or Faculty Hub staff. This semester that program has engaged faculty on wide ranging topics from: building code for a data science project to getting feedback on a new book proposal. If you are interested in engaging with the coaching program next semester, reach out to Kitty Maynard to learn more.

Faculty Hub staff facilitated 17 courses assessments his fall (an all-time semester high for us – woot!). This service helps faculty better understand the student experience in their classes and promotes student metacognition. Interested in using this service in one of your spring 2023 courses? Schedule a facilitated course assessment here, or reach out to Kylie Korsnack to learn more.

This fall we offered a variety of opportunities for faculty to explore and deepen their knowledge of inclusive pedagogies. We hosted our colleague Carlos Hurtado initiative for a workshop on strategies to promote a sense of belonging in the classroom, and we co-sponsored a session on Understanding the Hidden Curriculum with guest speaker, Rachel Gable. New this semester, we launched the Inclusive Pedagogy Cohort 2.0: Students as Partners as an expansion to the Inclusive Pedagogy Cohort initiative that has existed in the Provost’s Office since 2018. This new group consists of six faculty members and five students (Student Inclusive Pedagogy Consultants employed by the Faculty Hub) who are working together to explore the possibility of creating a student-faculty partnership program focused on inclusive pedagogy. Please reach out to Kylie Korsnack if you would like more information about any of these workshops or programs.

Creating time and space to learn more about our faculty scholarship is one of the goals of our Faculty Hub Talk series. This semester over lunch we learned more about the scholarship of our colleagues: Matthew Oware and Julie McConnell. We also heard about the inspiring projects by last year’s Faculty Fellows David Brandenberger, Monti Datta, and Julietta Singh. In addition to hearing about the scholarly efforts of our own faculty, we also welcomed nationally-known Helen Sword for a session on Writing Productively – it can be viewed here.

In collaboration with our faculty partners on the Faculty Technology Committee, we awarded three Digital Pedagogy grants this past semester. 3D scanning (creating a digital three-dimensional model of a physical object) were central to two awards: Lizzie Baughan was awarded funds for iPads with 3D scanning ability, and Sandy Williams was awarded funds for an EinScan H scanner for large scale scanning projects. These applications were funded through a one-time funding opportunity for equipment. As part of our recurring software funding process we approved Lauren Henley’s exploration of an AI powered discussion board tool (Packback) that promotes student learning through deeper engagement. If interested in applying for a Digital Pedagogy grant, email Andrew Bell to learn more.

Getting Formative Feedback on Student Learning

Now that we’re all settling into the rhythms of the semester, it might be a good moment to schedule a Facilitated Course Assessment (FAC). An FAC is a great way to gather some informal, formative feedback from your students about how your course is going.

This Faculty Hub service is facilitated as a dialogue between students and a Faculty Hub consultant. FACs are designed to provide instructors with specific, extensive feedback about student learning in their course. A 25-35 minute conversation takes place without the instructor present, which ensures student anonymity, creating an opportunity for open, honest dialogue about the learning experience. Read the Faculty Hub’s overview of facilitated course assessments for more information.

Read the Full Mid-September Update

Supporting Teachers & Scholars

Greetings from the team here at the Faculty Hub! We hope that the first weeks of classes have been going smoothly for you. We’ve enjoyed connecting and re-connecting with you as you’ve returned to campus, and we look forward to supporting you as teacher-scholars as the academic year progresses. Because we recognize both the joys and challenges that come with being a teacher-scholar, this newsletter highlights two teaching-related resources (support for challenging moments in the classroom and teaching squares) and a new service for your scholarship (academic writing coaching).

Read the September Faculty Hub Newsletter

A New Semester

We at the Faculty Hub are sending you best wishes for a smooth and successful first week of classes. As you return to the rhythm of the academic year, we thought we’d share a few options, ideas, and programs to help start the academic year with your well-being in mind.

The Faculty Hub Welcome Back Breakfast 

On Wednesday, August 24, please join us for our Welcome Back Breakfast for a bit of back-to-school sustenance. We’ll have goodies from Sub Rosa Bakery and fancy coffee to keep you going during the first week of classes. Feel free to drop by the Faculty Hub anytime between 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. (and if you can, join us for Morning Blend from 9:30-10:00 a.m.). This is a great chance to reconnect with or meet your colleagues as well as the members of Faculty Hub team–Andrew Bell, Kylie Korsnack, Jane Bise, and incoming director Kitty Maynard.

Teaching That Takes Your Well-Being Into Account

We recognize that the past few years have brought many challenges and changes in our teaching. Through these challenges, we have also learned some ways to design our courses to make them more manageable in the long term. This document offers some of the most useful tips that we’ve found thus far.

Many of the Faculty Hub programs (including the Morning Blend programs below) are intended to help you make the most of your valuable time and align your time with your priorities. Check out Time-Saving Effective Grading Workflow Strategies on August 23-24, Citation Management on September 13-14, and Boundary Setting on September 21.

Read the rest of this Back to School newsletter

Fall ’22 Preview Newsletter

I am honored to be writing the introduction for this first newsletter of the academic year, just a few weeks after I began my new position as the Director of the Faculty Hub. Since my arrival on campus, it’s become clear that the progress and accomplishments of the Faculty Hub under the leadership of Linda Boland with her dedicated and talented team of faculty developers—Kylie Korsnack, Andrew Bell, and Libby Gruner—and our coordinator—Jane Bise—have been nothing short of remarkable. Just as remarkable is the fact that the Faculty Hub was created through the efforts and engagement of University of Richmond faculty and the support of the University’s leadership.

The 2019 Teaching and Scholarship Initiative (TSI) committee report offered a vision for the Faculty Hub as “a focal point for campus-wide efforts to support student learning and scholarly and creative work through faculty development.” The visual metaphor put forward in the TSI report, that of a focal point, implies that the Faculty Hub is a place to look to for support, which it very much is. But it’s also a real place, a real point on the campus map. The Faculty Hub is your space, and we hope you’ll come here to take part in our programming, have a consultation with our staff about your scholarship or teaching, and utilize our workstations and teleconferencing spaces. The Faculty Hub is also a great place to gather with colleagues, hold committee meetings, find a quiet corner for writing or grading, or pick up a book from our lending library.

As the Faculty Hub builds on its strong foundation for faculty development on campus, we are committed to ensuring that we continue to support you effectively. I am most excited to get to know you, the faculty at University of Richmond, and to understand how the Faculty Hub can contribute to improving your professional life. I invite you to stop by the third floor of Boatwright Library at your convenience or to make an appointment to chat in person about anything that’s on your mind. We welcome your suggestions and involvement in our programs, and we’d love to find opportunities for you to come and share your expertise with your colleagues.

This newsletter provides a sneak peek of our fall programs. We’re starting the year with some offerings to support you as you return to campus, notably with upcoming Morning Blend sessions on aligning your time with your priorities. We’ve also bolstered our writing support this semester to help keep you on track with your goals. In addition, we’ll have two faculty cohorts that might be of interest—first a semester-long Inclusive Pedagogy Cohort, and next, the Digital Pedagogy Cohort, whose focus will be on experimenting on how to leverage an LMS (learning management system, i.e., Blackboard) in your classes.

For many of us, the beginning of the academic year, more than January 1 or the first day of spring, can represent a time for new beginnings. This year, in particular, the return to campus will be a time of coming together, reconnecting with colleagues and the campus community, and encountering a new generation of students—with all the promise and challenge that will bring. That being said, it’s important to acknowledge that the past few years have altered our annual rhythm dramatically and have brought change, stress, grief, and loss. Many of us are experiencing those mixed emotions as we prepare for this new academic year, and I hope that we will all tread lightly and gently as we return to campus with a renewed sense of the importance of connection and community support.

Kitty Maynard

Director of the Teaching and Scholarship Hub

Read the full newsletter here to catch up on upcoming events and check out some useful resources.

May Newsletter

From the digging up of tulip bulbs to the reduced density of yellow dust on everything outdoors, there are plenty of signs that spring term is ending. As we transition from the academic year to summer, I’m remembering the past few weeks of celebratory events, from inauguration activities to research symposia and retirement parties, with the accomplishments of students, faculty, and staff continually recognized and celebrated. Each event marked a transition and provided a necessary pause for reflection and the creation of new memories.

One of the most memorable events of my spring term also served as a timely reminder of why we do what we do as faculty. This year, I was honored to attend the end-of-year celebration of the Department of Theatre and Dance – a wonderfully entertaining and memorable evening that included a costumed coronavirus (Johann Stegmeir) chasing a classroom teacher dressed in full personal protective gear (Anne Van Gelder), accompanied by pursuit and escape music and lighting! Interspersed with departmental awards and costume changes with comedic skits (Johann and Anne), several graduating students gave memorable and heartwarming speeches about their experiences at UR, describing the guidance, education, sense of community, and developmental support they experienced along the way. It was a poignant reminder, as we find all across campus, of who we are when we chant “we are…UR” – we are a caring and committed group of talented artists and scholars who can, alone and together, have remarkable impact on students’ lives. Messaging like this about the positive experiences of our students occurs throughout the year, but it becomes more meaningful when we hear it from the students who are themselves in transition, and reflecting on their last four years—the students who will graduate next weekend.

Sometimes we don’t hear those messages clearly, though, as we are in the midst of our own transitions, or are too busy to reflect. It can be helpful, then, to remember that these transitions are part of the academic year cycle and to try to find the necessary time to reflect, to remember, and even, if necessary, to re-boot.

Unfortunately, re-booting isn’t as simple as selecting the “restart” button on your computer when it becomes stuck or frozen. Re-booting is going to be a series of actions over time to address pace, routines, and priorities. Some delays may occur until prior commitments are resolved but, when the time is right, re-booting allows greater intentionality and better integration of well-being into our lives. Re-booting is a necessary practice to avoid errors and malfunction when you finally re-start your computer. Likewise, a re-boot seems particularly important in the transition to summer 2022 and we encourage you to reach out to the Faculty Hub as part of your re-boot when the time is right for you. Some of the opportunities in this newsletter may speak to your interests and we always welcome your feedback about supporting teaching and scholarship when the time is right for you.

Best wishes for your transition to summer,

Linda Boland
Associate Provost for Faculty, Director of the Teaching and Scholarship Hub, and Professor of Biology

Read the full newsletter here to catch up on upcoming events and check out some useful resources.