University of South Florida


the InEd team records a professor in-studio, with large screens depicting a laboratory in the background

USF’s Innovative Education helping revolutionize courses through generative AI

By Donna Smith, University Communications and Marketing

With artificial intelligence technology rapidly advancing, USF students will soon see some changes in their courses and how they participate in assignments. USF’s Innovative Education has made generative AI part of its broader strategy as it seeks to help faculty integrate it into online courses – serving as a test case for broader course instruction. Offerings include a website loaded with tools and ideas, case studies of how USF faculty have integrated generative AI into their courses and resources on prompt engineering – all of which offer opportunities for USF faculty members eager to optimize their time while equipping their students with essential workforce-ready skills.

christine brown

Christine Brown

The Innovative Education team created the website  to serve as an upskilling resource focused on practical ways to use generative AI for teaching and learning. The site offers strategies for using generative AI to augment course design, as well as ideas for incorporating it into student assignments and projects. It also links to the university’s comprehensive GenAI website that contains guidance on ethical usage, syllabus and course policy recommendations, citations, AI events and more. 

 “The feedback we've been getting from faculty is that while they've started using generative AI, they're unsure how to integrate it effectively into their course design and teaching,” said Christine Brown, associate vice president of Innovative Education. “So, we’ve provided an easy way for instructors to get a glimpse into what others are doing. We want to inspire faculty to engage with the tech.” 

The self-paced workshop, Course Enhancement with Generative AI, provides faculty hands-on experience with generative AI through teaching and learning use cases. The workshop demonstrates how to use generative AI to augment communication, create assessments, rubrics and more. Faculty are asked to put what they learn into practice in their own courses and then share their experiences and insights with peers in the workshop. The course also illustrates how to work it into courses so that students are using it responsibly, not using AI to do the work for them, but to help students think more critically about generative AI so that they become adept with the technology. Through a partnership with the Office of Microcredentials, faculty who complete the workshop earn a badge.  

Jenifer Schneider

Jenifer Schneider

Jenifer Schneider, Faculty Senate president and literacy studies professor in USF’s College of Education, said Innovative Education, along with the USF Libraries, has been an invaluable source of information.

“Working with them on online course developments and digital learning projects, you learn about new tools and techniques,” Schneider said. “Every time I work with Innovative Education, I learn something new.”

Schneider says she integrates AI into her courses to show her students, who are all teachers seeking graduate degrees, tools to make them more efficient in their work. 

“I use it myself to construct modules and interpret data. I can also create discussion questions, summarize research and connect to sources in my research,” Schneider said. “So, I encourage them to use the technology in those same ways. Why would you not leverage a tool that can help you?”

John Licato, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, is also the founding director of the Advancing Machine and Human Reasoning Lab, a cross-disciplinary lab dedicated to studying ways to improve the human reasoning of AI. In collaboration with Innovative Education Studios, Licato recently started a podcast, the AI Bull Ring, which features USF experts, researchers, professors and graduate students who are doing work in the AI field. So far, Licato and his guests have tackled topics such as AI and creativity, AI in journalism and how AI is reshaping education. He says there are so many interesting things happening around AI, but there was a dearth of materials that were accessible for non-experts.

“On the higher end, there are experts in AI who are writing academic papers and talking in highly technical terms, and on the other extreme, there are people out there who are talking about AI, but in some cases, causing harm by spreading misinformation,” Licato said. “We wanted to feature experts in a really accessible discussion on AI.”

John Licato recording podcast

John Licato records a podcast.

Innovative Education’s support for faculty and generative AI is one piece of a broader USF strategy to provide generative AI opportunities to ethically and effectively advance USF’s mission. Experts from the USF colleges, Libraries, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, Information Technology, USF Health and Innovative Education are all working in concert to maximize the benefits of generative AI in ensuring student success.  

“There’s no going backwards – we have to move forward,” Brown said. We must ensure that both our faculty and students are proficient in using generative AI. Our objective at USF is to prepare students to be successful in the workforce and in life, and in order to do this, they have to know how to use this technology responsibly and ethically.”

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