Who's Down with ChatGPT?

"As we continue to advance in technology, it is essential that we keep up with the latest innovations and tools available to us. One such tool that has gained a lot of attention in recent years is Chat GPT - a large language model trained by OpenAI, based on the GPT-3.5 architecture.

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that is capable of engaging in conversations with users in a human-like manner. It has been trained on a massive dataset of human language, making it capable of understanding and generating responses that are contextually relevant and accurate."

Ok, true confession, I didn't write that! That was ONLY the first two paragraphs Chat Gpt created for me within MOMENTS when I typed in, "create a discussion post for adult education about chatgpt". 

I know my initial thoughts about ChatGPT include it's a gamechanger, it has already saved me countless hours developing outlines for presentations, and overall it blows my mind! On the other hand, it's crazy scary, which is why I want to start a LINCS Chat GPT Discussion series!

  • Have you tried GPT? What are your initial thoughts?
  • Love it or hate it so far? WHY?

Let's get the Adult Ed world talking about "Who's Down with ChatGPT?"!



Dear  Ashly and All,

My knowledge of ChatGPT is limited. I've read articles about it, but I need more input and understanding.
It is certainly a new technological innovation and it can be useful in education if used properly. Like other innovations, it can also be practical outside classrooms. At the same, the concerns are understandable like depending on  ChatGPT fully to help with essay writing, encouraging plagiarism, doing less non-online reading, and so forth.

I'd say before teachers and educational institutions implement it or not, educators can explore it more. It will bring forth further answers to concerns. I will read more about it and hear what the field of education (from students, teachers, and others) is saying about it...Thank you, Ashly, for posting and sharing the link.

Best to all,
ESOL/Digital Literacy Instructor

I've been hearing quite a lot about ChatGPT lately and it is definitely worth looking at. I tested it to see what it would do for a few vocabulary exercises for me. I asked it to generate a story using words with certain suffixes. I gave it a setting and characters and it quickly generated a story for me. When asked for a list of words with 3 different prefixes it generated a list right away, but interestingly enough, one of the words on the list did not meet the criteria I gave it. It's good, but it does make errors!

I think it can be a very useful tool for teachers in planning lessons and developing activities. 

Hello Ashly and all, Like many of you, I've been playing around with ChatGPT. It's super easy and fun. I asked it to write a paragraph about Ida B. Wells in simple language. I thought the paragraph was good enough to share with learners. I can readily see this as a great time saver for teachers.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition Group 

As noted above, ChatGPT "...has been trained on a massive dataset of human language, making it capable of understanding and generating responses that are contextually relevant and accurate." This is not unlike Wikipedia - content that is "group generated" - except Wikipedia actually keeps a running record of which users made which changes and works to have users cite sources for all information. With most ChatGPT-generated *factual* text, there is zero citation or attribution. Not only is the accuracy of the text essentially "the average" of the internet, it may be stealing whole sentences or paragraphs from authors with no attribution. The likelihood for ChatGPT itself to plagiarize is very high - much less for students to claim ChatGPT's words as their own. The likelihood of ChatGPT content to be accurate is...as likely as the internet as a whole, biased by how you phrase your question. 

Here's an example:

A) I asked: "Discuss Dale's cone of experience in education" and Chat GPT stated, without any specific citations:

Dale's Cone of Experience, also known as the Cone of Experience, is a visual model that outlines various learning experiences based on their level of abstraction, or degree of real-world experience. The model was created by Edgar Dale in the 1940s and has since been used by educators and instructional designers to create more effective learning experiences.

The cone illustrates the idea that learners are more likely to retain information when they are actively engaged in the learning process, as opposed to simply hearing or reading about it. Dale's cone organizes learning experiences in a hierarchy, with the most concrete, hands-on experiences at the base of the cone and the most abstract, less tangible experiences at the top.

This is 100% what the average of an internet search will tell you...and is about 75% objectively wrong. 

B) Then I asked ChatGPT this question, "What is the Research basis for Dale's Cone of Experience?" It provided a very similar introductory paragraph, and then said (citing no sources): 

The research base for Dale's Cone of Experience is somewhat limited. While the model has been popularized and widely accepted in education and training, there is little empirical evidence to support its validity. In fact, some researchers have criticized the cone as being too simplistic and lacking in scientific rigor.

Despite these criticisms, some research has been conducted to explore the effectiveness of different types of learning experiences...

...and then goes on to in-line cite 2 sources (author and date only) on "types of learning experiences" qualifying after the fact that these two citations do not directly address Dale's Cone. This is a little closer to correct, but about 50% off topic.

C) Then I asked: "The Myth of Dale's Cone of Experience" and got a completely different take, AGAIN with no citations for follow up:

The "Dale's Cone of Experience" is a model that suggests that people remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, and so on, up to 90% of what they say and do. The model was first introduced by Edgar Dale in the 1940s, but it has since been criticized for its lack of empirical evidence and oversimplification of how people learn and retain information.

There are several reasons why the Dale's Cone of Experience is considered a myth:

  1. Lack of empirical evidence: There is no solid empirical evidence to support the notion that people remember information in the way that the Dale's Cone suggests. In fact, research has shown that the way people remember and retain information is far more complex and varied.

  2. Oversimplification of learning: The Dale's Cone of Experience presents a simplistic view of how people learn and retain information. In reality, the learning process is far more complex and involves factors such as motivation, attention, and individual differences.

  3. Misinterpretation of Dale's original work: Dale himself never intended for the Cone of Experience to be taken as a strict hierarchy of learning. He presented it as a general idea of the different modes of experience that people could use to learn, but never claimed that these experiences were mutually exclusive or that they had to be used in a particular order.

In conclusion, the Dale's Cone of Experience is a myth that has been debunked by research and misinterpretation of its original purpose. While it may still be useful as a general guide, it should not be taken as a strict hierarchy of learning or as a precise representation of how people remember and retain information.

This one is about 50% inaccurate. If you want to reach research-based, CITED work on this popular educational myth, visit this link - which also cites a number of 2014 Educational Technology articles for additional reading: https://www.worklearning.com/2015/01/05/mythical-retention-data-the-corrupted-cone/  .

To sum up, I think the ChatGPT presents really easy opportunities for students to gather incorrect information, inadvertently or intentionally plagiarize, and develop a habit of *not* citing or attributing other's work. At this time, as an instructor, I would focus on exercises highlighting ChatGPT's weaknesses and flaws - as a way of strengthening digital literacy skills relating to:

  • discussions of bias, propaganda, & groupthink;
  • lessons reinforcing the importance of citing sources - and searching for multiple points of view.
  • conversations on what constitutes plagiarism and the differences between public domain, Creative Commons, fair use, and copyright violation (prosecutable and non-prosecutable).
  • Appropriate citation habits for research (pick one - simple bibliography, Chicago, APA, etc.)

My examples above suggest at least one exercise instructors might try with ChatGPT: provide different students (or pairs or groups) different "biased" questions about a particular topic, and then have them compare Chat GPT's results. They could even try to "reverse research" the information it provides to see if they can find pages that confirm, conflict, or even match - even how much text is directly lifted/plagiarized.

I really feel ALL adults, but particularly our foundational adult learners need a high level of skepticism about information they find in social media and the internet. ChatGPT as currently programmed, is highly likely to distill the chaos of the internet into seemingly "acceptable" chunks for further possible corruption, dissemination, and reinforcement.

I leave you with a link to a visual and explanation of Dale's original "Cone of Experience" : https://pressbooks.pub/lidtfoundations/chapter/edgar-dale-and-the-cone-of-experience/ 

Hi Duren, Thank you for this informative post on the numerous challenges presented by ChatGPT and other large language models. Your suggestion to plan lessons to engage learners in digging into the issues is a fantastic idea. This approach to instruction is sure to offer a real opportunity to enhance digital literacy and critical thinking skills.

Cheers, Susan 


Thanks for starting such a rich discussion on such a relevant topic!! I love reading everyone's questions, ideas, and examples. 

I wanted to chime in and mention that World Education is hosting a four-part webinar series on the topic of generative artificial intelligence (the category that ChatGPT and other tools fall into). Every Friday in May for just 30 minutes, we're exploring different angles of generative AI. This Friday, Jeff Goumas will talk about its implications for what we consider originality and how we develop open education resources (OER). Participants who attend all four webinars and complete a follow-up survey will receive a Credly badge. If you missed last week's session, you can watch the recording here

Register for the webinar series here and clear your schedule every Friday in May 1-1:30pm Eastern to attend the next three EdTech Bytes!


I know a fair amount about HyFlex models in adult (foundational) education; I have co-authored a guide about HyFlex for adult educators. I wondered if ChatGPT 3.5 had useful, accurate knowledge to add on the subject, especially since HyFlex is very new to our field and ChatGPT 3.5 data is only current up to September 2021. I was pleasantly surprised.  Although I   believe HyFlex has a great deal to offer our field, and it is being used now in adult education in many states, I am also interested in the challenges teachers face in using HyFlex, so I asked ChatGPT: "Can you tell me what challenges teachers have found who offer HyFlex instruction to their students?"

In seconds, ChatGPT Replied:

HyFlex instruction is a teaching approach that allows students to choose whether to attend class in person or online, or switch between the two modes. While HyFlex instruction has its benefits, it also presents several challenges for teachers. Some of the challenges that teachers have found when offering HyFlex instruction to their students include:

  1. Managing multiple modalities: Teachers need to plan and deliver instruction that works well in both the face-to-face and online modalities. This can be challenging, as the needs of students attending class in person may be different from those attending online.
  2. Maintaining student engagement: It can be challenging for teachers to keep all students engaged, regardless of the modality they choose. In particular, students who attend class online may be more prone to distractions and disengagement.
  3. Technical difficulties: HyFlex instruction requires the use of technology, which can be unpredictable and prone to glitches. Teachers need to be prepared to troubleshoot technical issues quickly and efficiently to minimize disruptions to instruction.
  4. Time management: Teachers need to manage their time effectively to ensure that they are giving equal attention to both face-to-face and online students. This can require extra planning and preparation time.
  5. Assessment and feedback: HyFlex instruction requires teachers to develop assessment and feedback strategies that work well in both modalities. This can be challenging, as some assessments may be more difficult to administer online than in person.

Overall, while HyFlex instruction has the potential to offer students increased flexibility and choice, it also presents several challenges for teachers. Effective implementation of HyFlex instruction requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a willingness to adapt to the needs of different students and modalities.

Although this ChatGPT response  was about two modes instead of three, later, when I added a “drill down” question, ChatGPT adjusted and named the third mode and included information about students who used it.

I drilled down and asked ChatGPT: "Can you explain how the challenges of students attending class in person are different from those attending synchronously online, or students attending asynchronously online?"

Again, in seconds ChatGPT replied:

Certainly! When students attend class in person, they benefit from face-to-face interaction with the teacher and their peers. However, they may also face challenges such as transportation issues, illness, or other scheduling conflicts that make it difficult for them to attend class in person. Additionally, students attending class in person may have different learning styles and preferences than those attending class online, which can require teachers to adapt their instruction to meet the needs of both groups.

When students attend class synchronously online, they are able to participate in real-time discussions and activities, which can help them feel more connected to their classmates and the teacher. However, they may also face challenges such as technical difficulties, distractions at home, or difficulties with time management. Additionally, students attending class online may have different levels of comfort with technology or different internet speeds, which can impact their ability to participate fully in class.

Finally, when students attend class asynchronously online, they have the flexibility to complete coursework on their own schedule. This can be particularly beneficial for students who have other commitments or who live in different time zones. However, asynchronous students may miss out on real-time discussions and activities, which can impact their sense of connection to the class and their classmates. Additionally, asynchronous students may have different needs for feedback and support, which can require teachers to develop different strategies for reaching out to and supporting these students.

Overall, the challenges that students face when attending class in person, synchronously online, or asynchronously online can vary depending on their individual circumstances and preferences. Teachers need to be aware of these differences and be prepared to adapt their instruction and support strategies to meet the needs of all students, regardless of their modality.

I continued and asked ChatGPT: "You wrote that 'asynchronous students may have different needs for feedback and support, which can require teachers to develop different strategies for reaching out to and supporting these students.' Can you describe some strategies for reaching out and supporting these students?"

ChatGPT immediately replied:

Certainly! When students attend class asynchronously online, they may have different needs for feedback and support than students attending synchronously or in person. Some strategies that teachers can use to reach out and support asynchronous students include:

  1. Providing clear and detailed instructions: Asynchronous students may not have the opportunity to ask questions in real-time, so it's important for teachers to provide clear and detailed instructions for assignments and activities. This can help students feel more confident in their ability to complete the work independently.
  2. Offering asynchronous office hours: Teachers can offer asynchronous office hours or virtual office hours via email or messaging platforms to provide support and answer questions outside of class time.
  3. Creating discussion forums: Discussion forums can provide a space for asynchronous students to ask questions, share ideas, and connect with their classmates and teacher. Teachers can monitor these forums and provide feedback and support as needed.
  4. Providing timely feedback: Asynchronous students may need more timely feedback on their work than students attending class synchronously or in person. Teachers can provide feedback via email, messaging platforms, or through the learning management system to ensure that students receive feedback in a timely manner.
  5. Using a variety of multimedia resources: Asynchronous students may benefit from a variety of multimedia resources, such as video lectures, audio recordings, or interactive simulations. Teachers can use these resources to provide additional support and engage students in different ways.

Overall, when supporting asynchronous students, it's important for teachers to be flexible and responsive to their needs. By providing clear instructions, offering office hours, creating discussion forums, providing timely feedback, and using a variety of multimedia resources, teachers can help ensure that asynchronous students are engaged and successful in their learning.

I again queried ChatGPT: "You wrote 'Teachers need to plan and deliver instruction that works well in both the face-to-face and online modalities. This can be challenging, as the needs of students attending class in person may be different from those attending online.' Can you suggest strategies that teachers can use to meet the challenges of developing lessons for multiple modalities?"

ChatGPT immediately replied with more detail:

 Certainly! Developing lessons for multiple modalities can be challenging for teachers, but there are several strategies that they can use to meet this challenge:

  1. Create a clear structure for each lesson: Teachers can create a clear structure for each lesson that works well for both face-to-face and online modalities. For example, they can start with a brief introduction of the topic, followed by a main activity, and then a summary of the key takeaways.
  2. Use a variety of instructional methods: Teachers can use a variety of instructional methods, such as lectures, discussions, group activities, and multimedia resources, to engage students in both modalities. This can help keep students interested and motivated, regardless of the modality they choose.
  3. Use technology effectively: Teachers can use technology effectively to enhance their instruction in both modalities. For example, they can use screen-sharing software, interactive whiteboards, and chat functions to facilitate real-time interactions between students attending in person and online.
  4. Provide multiple ways for students to participate: Teachers can provide multiple ways for students to participate in class activities, such as using breakout rooms for small-group discussions or polling software for quick assessments. This can help ensure that all students have an opportunity to engage with the material, regardless of their modality.
  5. Differentiate instruction: Teachers can differentiate their instruction to meet the needs of students in both modalities. For example, they can provide additional resources or support for students who are struggling with the material, or challenge students who are excelling in the class.

Overall, by creating a clear structure for each lesson, using a variety of instructional methods, using technology effectively, providing multiple ways for students to participate, and differentiating instruction, teachers can develop lessons that work well in both face-to-face and online modalities.

This was a surprisingly good response.  I continued drilling down and got more, useful and accurate information.  I suggest you sign up for (free Chat GPT) and try an initial question on a topic that you are familiar with, perhaps content that you regularly teach; then  continue to drill down. 

Then share your experience here.

David J. Rosen


Hello Integrating Technology Colleagues, 

I have just published a blog article about using ChatGPT 3.5, "ChatGPT for Adult Foundational Education Teachers and Tutors". 

Here's a brief summary, originally generated by ChatGPT in seconds, and then in minutes refined by me:

This article discusses the potential benefits and challenges of using ChatGPT 3.5 in the field of adult foundational education. It suggests that teachers and tutors can use ChatGPT to develop tailored curricula for students, customized to their reading levels, language needs, and industry-specific vocabulary. The article emphasizes the importance of understanding ChatGPT’s limitations and risks, as it is not 100% accurate or accountable.

Three steps are suggested to get started with ChatGPT: gaining background information about the tool, signing up for free on the OpenAI website, and practicing using ChatGPT to learn something. The author recommends asking clear, specific questions or giving instructions related to a chosen topic, evaluating ChatGPT’s responses for accuracy and bias, and reviewing and testing the knowledge acquired.

The author also mentions various ways to use ChatGPT, including seeking information, recommendations, explanations, comparisons, and language translations. He highlights the ability to customize ChatGPT’s responses, request more detailed or simplified explanations, and obtain shorter or longer versions of generated texts. The author concludes by mentioning the importance of understanding how to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of using AI chatbots like ChatGPT in adult foundational education.

At the end of the article I wrote, "If you haven’t yet used ChatGPT 3.5 I hope this article has made you curious enough to try it; If you have tried it, perhaps you have learned some other beneficial ways to use it as an adult foundational education teacher or tutor. I believe it could be helpful to have an online community of adult foundational education ChatGPT users or, perhaps more broadly, education users of a range of AI Chatbots, including ChatGPT. I am considering creating such a threaded discussion group where such users can share opportunities and challenges they have discovered, and what strategies they have found or created to overcome the challenges. Let me know if you would be interested in joining a free, asynchronous threaded discussion group such as this."

David J. Rosen                                                                                                      


Hello Integrating Technology Colleagues, 

Some people have had challenges in accessing my blog article on WordPress so I have just published it on a new blog site. You will find the article, "ChatGPT for Adult Foundational Education Teachers and Tutors" at https://sites.google.com/view/david-j-rosen-blog/home

David J. Rosen    



I have been encouraging people to try GenAI tools, especially the free version of ChatGPT (3.5), but I now believe that more caution is needed. 

This Washington Post article , "Chatbots are so gullible, they’ll take directions from hackers," lays out some possible (near) future risks to be aware of. 

David J. Rosen

Hey everyone, 

I wanted to circle back on this great conversation about ChatGPT. I'm circulating a survey to hear more about how adult educators are using ChatGPT (and other Generative AI tools) and I hope you'll share your ideas from this thread as well as anything else that you've been doing since you posted here. 

? World Education is also administering Foundations in AI for Adult Ed badges to anyone who has watched or attended the EdTech Bytes: Generative AI series. You can watch all the recordings and earn your badge here

? If you really want to go on a deep dive, all of our AI work is on this site

⛺ Want to experiment using these tools and talk to other educators about them? You should join us for CampGPT in July and August! We'll be sending out a registration link via our CrowdED Learning newsletter (subscribe here). Or if you miss that one it'll go out in the EdTech Center newsletter as well (subscribe here). And if you don't want to subscribe to anything just reply to my post here and I'll post the link (but you have to reply because I don't trust my memory). ? 

Over the last few months, I have been learning and dabbling with AI possibilities a great deal and have been very excited with some ideas that I wanted to try. Below are just a few of the attempts and levels of successes encountered. Each can be much more elaborated on should anyone want more details. 

1. I wanted to create a learning sequence to offer families in the community that would introduce computer science as a viable career field and offer some short successful applications in each of the aspects studied. I had the AI help me convert the entire MIT CS50 course (offered free on YouTube and elsewhere) into a year long study . I wanted the wonderful content translated down to a 6th-8th grade level and I wanted the learning to be paced out throughout a year of 4 hour a week sessions. For each unit of study I wanted at least two activities that learners could engage in to learn and assess with and for each activity I had the AI offer links to learning resources that might support learners engaging in any of the chosen projects. Best of all, I only needed 4-5 prompts and the entire experience was set up in less than 10 minutes (most of that just reading the responses). I simply need to spend an hour or so refining or adding (with the help of AI likely) extensions or clarifications I feel may not be as strongly supported after I really dig into the content that was offered. 

2. A teacher I work with started a Youtube channel based on educating people about fishing 3 years ago. He and I wondered what AI would offer a novice person wishing to get into fishing so we worked together to develop 3 prompts. The end result was not only a "Top 5 lures to use to catch Bass in Maine Ponds", we were also offered a series of experiments we could do to test each option validly in a short sampling. My friend followed these instructions out in the field and then used the AI to help trim and edit the content into the timeframe he wished and the AI even helped generate the splash screen to advertise the episode. With all this help, this episode has the fastest growing watch rate of any of the almost hundred videos he has done on his channel. Almost every other metric used to measure video streaming successes were also off the charts for this episode after only 3 days since it was posted!

3. Another teacher wanted help getting graphics that could be used for cover art as well as logos and illustrations for something she was looking to publish. We were able to use text to image AIs, Midjourney and BlueWillow, to create exactly the look and feel she wished to have. She was amazed that the more details she offered in her prompts, the more accurately she described what she mentally envisioned or wanted the image to feel like, the better the results were. Even those images offered that missed the mark were so easy to revise and alter into the perfect images for her. It all took about 30 minutes and most of that was trying to not get distracted by the other wonderful creations others were making all at the same time within these free services. 

4. Similar to the first experience above, I am designing a summer family offering that will be run at our public library. So very few agencies are helping people learn how to navigate the Internet to get information they wish and I wanted something most all ages could use to "level up" their searching. I used the AI to not only help develop a progressively more challenging search "scavenger hunt", I also used the AI to help gamify and break things into progressively more challenging levels. I am designing the experience to be a discovery learning series of events where small groups, 3-5 people, preferably family units, could work together to see what they could do in limited time slots. Then families could reflect on what they found with other families and the AI even helped me generate discussion questions that would help families glean major strategies from each challenge of the 20 scavenger hunt goals I generated. 

All of the tools I use are free and I am already feeling that their usefulness and efficiency in my work is invaluable! Many of the challenges people have expressed about AI all seem centered in how disruptive AI is to our status quo. I am exploring what might be possible in using these tools to educate differently and help us get work done in all work, and I am finding great successes with no threats or limitations thus far. I have at least a dozen more "experiments" I hope to have time to push through with AI and adult learning this summer and have great expectations of what my community may be able to do with these experiences!

We are hoping to make AI the theme for our keynote at the state conference in Connecticut next year.  Some of our staff is still at the "what is it?" phase, while others are already thinking about how it could be used in instruction and how it might impact the evaluation of student work.

This week, I've been using a paid Chat GPT to enhance curriculum development and incorporate digital literacy and distance learning materials into online GED classrooms. Additionally, I'm utilizing ChatGPT to refine my email communication for brevity and appropriate tone. Moreover, I sought its assistance in crafting a presentation. However, it's essential to possess substantial content knowledge to verify the accuracy of ChatGPT's responses, as they are not always accurate. As mentioned in earlier post, teaching adult learners critical thinking skills to evaluate ChatGPT's answers is crucial at this stage of development. It truly feels like I'm experiencing the "future" with this AI! 


- ChatGPT rewrote this response for brevity and professional tone. I had to touch up 2 sentences as it's brevity changed the meaning but otherwise it did a fantastic job of condensing my ideas.