Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

The main argument here is that "what large language models do with language - or with the digital textual traces of language - is far removed from what students do with language in purposeful, developmental assignments." Helen Beetham makes a good point when she argues that the purpose of writing assignments is to help students learn how to think and how to communicate. This article takes the easy way out, treating AI as a writing aid which should be used critically. But it needs to be, I think, clearer about what the AI is doing differently from the student. It's a good effort, especially in describing what the AI does when it composes. But it is less clear about what the human does, focusing on the purposes of the writing rather than the cognitive mechanism that produces it. Is it so different from the AI? Are we training students to be like the AI (but with more facts)? Does this inform how we should teach writing?

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

Copyright 2023
Last Updated: Dec 02, 2023 06:22 a.m.

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