← Back to News List

7 ChatGPT Strategies to Enhance Course Designs This Summer

Leverage AI to create new experiences for your students

During the summer break, educators might use this time to refine their course designs and explore innovative technologies. One such technology is ChatGPT, a powerful language model developed by OpenAI that can assist in creating engaging and effective learning experiences. As early as the 1960s, researchers have recognized the potential of AI to transform education (Carbonell, 1960; Suppes, 1966), and with the advancements in machine learning and natural language processing, AI's impact on the educational landscape has only grown more profound.

Let's explore seven strategies for using ChatGPT to enhance your course design over the summer break.

1. Align course and unit-level learning objectives:

Ensuring alignment between course and unit-level objectives is an essential part of effective course design. Use ChatGPT to perform consistency checks, identifying areas where unit-level objectives might be better aligned with broader course objectives (Abd-alrazaq et al., 2023; Alqahtani et al., 2023). ChatGPT can also suggest refinements or revisions to make objectives more specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). However, instructors should review learning objectives for clarity and alignment to ensure these foundational components of course design are effective and provide clear direction for students.

2. Develop engaging course materials with ChatGPT's content generation capabilities:

ChatGPT can help you generate course materials tailored to your learning objectives (Atlas, 2023). By providing the AI with elements from your course syllabus, desired learning outcomes, and course topics, ChatGPT might suggest outlines for your lectures or assist in creating discussion prompts that are aligned to your educational goals and help save time (Kasneci, et al., 2023; Jeon & Lee, 2023). Always crosscheck references provided by the AI since its language model can be limited to a particular scope and timeframe.

3. Create personalized feedback using ChatGPT:

Providing students with timely, personalized feedback is essential. ChatGPT can help you generate two types of feedback: templated feedback applicable to common errors and customized feedback based on submitted work, performance metrics, and learning preferences. By integrating ChatGPT into your assessment process, you can offer students detailed and tailored feedback on their assignments, promoting reflection and improvement (Atlas, 2023; Gimpel, et al., 2023). You should always review, edit, and customize the feedback to each student and assignment.

4. Generate test questions aligned to learning objectives:

By using ChatGPT, faculty can generate a large pool of relevant test questions quickly, freeing up time to focus on other aspects of course design and instruction (Atlas, 2023; Sok & Heng, 2023; Trust, Whalen, & Mouza, 2023). The AI can formulate a variety of question types (multiple-choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions) all designed to assess the objectives and reflective of Bloom's taxonomy. While AI can be a valuable tool for generating test questions, it's essential for educators to review and refine these questions to ensure they are appropriately challenging, fair, and properly aligned with the course's learning objectives. 

5. Foster collaboration and communication with ChatGPT-powered chatbots:

Effective communication and collaboration are critical components of a successful learning experience. Chatbots can answer students' questions, provide style guidance on assignments, and offer support outside of regular class hours (Atlas, 2023; Kasneci, et al., 2023). Some AI chatbots are packaged with platforms from licensed tools such as writing practice and language learning (Jeon & Lee, 2023).

6. Utilize ChatGPT for brainstorming and idea generation:

Encouraging students to think creatively and critically is a key aspect of the learning process. ChatGPT can help students generate ideas for projects, essays, and other assignments by providing them with relevant suggestions, perspectives, and examples (Atlas, 2023; Sok & Heng, 2023). By integrating ChatGPT into your course design and teaching practice, you can support students in their brainstorming efforts and spark their creativity. Students can share the link to the ChatGPT conversation to show their work as part of their assignment submission workflow.

7. Design inclusive course materials with ChatGPT's language capabilities:

Creating inclusive and accessible course materials is essential for ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed. ChatGPT can help you develop course materials that cater to diverse learning needs and preferences (Kasneci, et al., 2023). By providing the model with specific guidelines, such as using simple language or incorporating visual aids, ChatGPT can help generate content that is more accessible and inclusive to a wide range of learners. 

What's Next?

Incorporating ChatGPT into your course design over the summer break can transform the way you teach and create more engaging, personalized, and effective learning experiences for your students. These tools and resources can help students actively reflect on their learning processes and strategies, fostering metacognition and promoting deeper understanding of the course material (Gimpel, et al., 2023). By leveraging ChatGPT's content generation capabilities, personalized feedback, chatbot communication, brainstorming assistance, and inclusive language features, you can harness the power of this AI technology to enhance your educational practice and optimize student success.

Follow the Instructional Technology group to get updates about our exclusive webinar series, Empowering Educators: AI Tools for Teaching and Productivity, designed to help faculty harness the power of artificial intelligence to enhance their course preparation and teaching productivity. Coming in Fall 2023, this comprehensive five-part series will explore cutting-edge AI tools and technologies that can revolutionize the way you approach course development, student success and engagement, assessment and grading, course management, and personal productivity.


Abd-alrazaq, A., AlSaad, R., Alhuwail, D., Ahmed, A., Healy, P.M., Latifi, S., Aziz, S., Damseh, R., Alabed Alrazak, S., & Sheikh, J. (2023). Large language models in medical education: Opportunities, challenges, and future directions. JMIR Medical Education, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.2196/48291

Alqahtani, T., Badreldin, H. A., Alrashed, M., Alshaya, A. I., Alghamdi, S. S., bin Saleh, K., Alowais, S. A., Alshaya, O. A., Rahman, I., Al Yami, M. S., Albekairy, A. M. (2023). The emergent role of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and large language models in higher education and research. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy [pre-print]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2023.05.016

Atlas, Stephen. "ChatGPT for higher education and professional development: A guide to conversational AI." (2023). https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cba_facpubs/548

Carbonell, J. R. (1960). AI in CAI: An artificial intelligence approach to computer-assisted instruction. IEEE Transactions on Man-Machine Systems, 11(4), 190-202.

Gimpel, H., Hall, K., Decker, S., Eymann, T., Lammermann, L., Madche, A., Roglinger, M., Ruiner, C., Schoch, M., Schoop, M., Urback, N., & Vandirk, S. (2023). Unlocking the power of generative AI models and systems such as GPT-4 and ChatGPT for higher education: A guide for students and lecturers. Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences, No. 02-2023, Universitat Hohenheim, Fakultat Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Stuttgart. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10419/270970

Jeon, J., & Lee, S. (2023). Large language models in education: A focus on the complementary relationship between human teachers and ChatGPT. Education and Information Technologies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-023-11834-1

Kasneci, E., Sessler, K., Kuchemann, S., Bannert, M., Dementieva, D., Fischer, F., ... Kasneci, G. (2023). ChatGPT for good? On opportunities and challenges of large language models for education. https://doi.org/10.35542/osf.io/5er8f

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT-4 (Apr 18 version) [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com/chat

Sok, S., & Heng, K. (2023). ChatGPT for education and research: A review of benefits and risks. Social Science Research Network. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4378735

Suppes, P. (1966). The uses of computers in education. Scientific American, 215(3), 207-220.

Trust, T., Whalen, J., & Mouza, C. (2023). ChatGPT: Challenges, opportunities, and implications for teacher education [editorial]. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 23(1).


The text of this article was outlined and seeded by ChatGPT 4.0 and extensively revised by the Instructional Technology staff. Research cited in this article was identified and vetted by humans.

Posted: June 15, 2023, 9:34 AM