ChatGPT and generative AI: 25 applications to support research – Times Higher Education

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In the fifth and final part of their series looking at 100 ways to use ChatGPT in higher education, Seb Dianati and Suman Laudari share 25 prompts for the AI tool to support research and the scholarship of teaching and learning
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To help academics and university staff get the most out of generative AI to support their work, we are presenting 100 applications of ChatGPT over a five-part series. We have shared an introduction to prompting generative AI for teaching and learning, followed by 25 prompts relating to teaching and assessment then 25 to support administrative tasks and a further 25 focused on boosting student engagement. We finish by focusing on how to use the AI tool to support research and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
1. Research writing assistance: Please assist me in authoring a research article on early assessment in higher education, intended for an academic audience in Australia. Tell me what I should do, where I should start, and provide a brief outline of each stage and a time frame. Now develop an eight-week schedule to complete. Output can be found here.
2. Research questions for research: Can you develop 10 research questions regarding the considerations needed for an LMS review? Now use the 10 research questions above and order them from the hardest to the easiest to complete, with what research methods and design each would require, and if ethics approval needs to be obtained, as well as data analysis techniques. Output can be found here.
3. Research trend analysis: I want to conduct research trend analysis in the field of artificial intelligence. Can you help me identify emerging trends, and potential areas of exploration? Include dates of importance, fields of thought, areas of contention and debate, and include prominent authors. Output can be found here.
4. Assistance with lab, government, NGO or NFP reports: Develop a 500-word report aimed at the Northern Territory government to increase community engagement at Charles Darwin University around its new campus in the city. Write in report style. Cite other universities and surrounding communities. Act as a senior leadership member of the university. Output can be found here.
5. Assistance with grant writing: Assist in writing a grant proposal for HEPPP [Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program] funding regarding developing a subject-agnostic cross-cultural competency online module that integrates into Blackboard. Develop an abstract, the importance, and the increasing need for greater competency. Develop for the Northern Territory context. Write as an academic from Charles Darwin University. Outline why Dr XYZ is competent to do the grant. Use this previous HEPPP grant for structure and context. Use these HEPPP criteria. Output can be found here.
6. Generate project ideas: Using the Horizon report, develop 10 research project ideas for my postgraduate education students regarding the 10 most important needs in the next 10 years – for example, artificial intelligence. Weigh each based on urgency, importance and governmental priorities in Australia. Develop an assessment where students need to use generative AI in their development. Now critique the ideas generated with other overlooked aspects within strategy documents. Output can be found here.
7. Provide support for PhD students: Can you provide feedback for this PhD student’s abstract and proposal? Highlight their strengths and weaknesses and use this rubric [copy and paste the rubric] as a reference. Outline how they could improve their writing. Do not focus on content. Act as a PhD supervisor. Now focus on their content with several follow-up questions for each paragraph so they can follow up. Put it in the context of the example above.  Output can be found here.
8. Generate research designs and hypothesis and null hypothesis: Can you generate hypotheses for scientific research on whether students who seek help are not always the ones who need support? The theme is “academic support and help-seeking behaviours”. Include a control group of students not seeking help. Include an experimental group of students who do receive support. Develop a research methodology that will suit and a research method to deploy and assess. Also, include a null hypothesis. Output can be found here.
9. Assistance with qualitative data analysis: Help me analyse research data from a spreadsheet of 10 participants, who were interviewed about using Microsoft Flip in university teaching. Extract two significant quotes per participant, summarise their use cases, and identify common themes. Present similar results together and consider all actions from the perspective of a researcher at an Australian university. Output can be found here.
10. Provide help for a presentation: Can you provide real-time feedback and dot points to include in my presentation on academic integrity in the age of artificial intelligence? Act as a senior researcher presenting on this subject. On one slide, place the implications, and on the next, future directions. The last slide should include recommendations. Include a reference list and evidence. Include the ethical implications. Offer 10 dot points on factors overlooked or underestimated in academic integrity and artificial intelligence. Output can be found here.
11. Provide real-time critique: Can you provide a list of 10 main critiques to professional development workshops for academics? Now develop workable solutions for these. Write for an academic audience. Output can be found here.
12. Generate strategies for scholarship: Can you generate a draft or literature review summary of indigenising the curriculum across Australia for an upcoming research paper? Target it for Commonwealth countries. Develop an extensive reference list of literature. The target is an academic audience. Act as a research academic. Develop a list of 10 different strategies to indigenise university teaching and learning in Australia. Output can be found here.
13. Create interactive databases: Act as a teacher or programmer and develop an interactive database using this prompt for research purposes. It is for a research project focused on analysing the population growth of different cities over the past decade. I would like to include the city name, population in 2010, population in 2020, and the percentage change in population. Display in tabular format. Output can be found here.
14. Methodology, sample size, theoretical framework and questionnaire suggestions: Can you help find the most suitable methodology, sample size, theoretical framework and questionnaire suggestions for research on the experiences of students in student as partners (SaP) programmes at an Australian university. Act as a researcher. Output can be found here.
15. Organising, chairing or posing conference questions: Develop some prompts for this conference on [insert details] and some great follow-up questions regarding this issue. Act as the chair of the session on [insert details]. Use their title to inform your response. Output can be found here.
16. Quantitative statistical support and analysis: I’m conducting a study to determine if there’s a relationship between a person’s age and their income. I have collected data from 100 participants, including their age and income. I’m not sure which statistical test to use and how to interpret the results. I have the data in an Excel spreadsheet. How can I calculate this using Excel? Output can be found here.
17. Improve student evaluations: Provide some alternative methods and strategies to increase student evaluations of my teaching. Use this qualitative feedback from last year’s teaching from students and make a list of recommendations that I can apply for this year. Now turn this into a research plan on using evaluations to increase student satisfaction. Output can be found here.
18. Ethics guidelines, consent forms and information sheets: Can you develop an example consent form and information sheet on my research that aims to interview 10 students for one hour online via Zoom. Write a list of things I need to consider before, during and after the interview. Output can be found here.
19. Identify biases: Identify potential biases in research outputs or the following information [copy and paste the relevant information]. Act as an academic at an Australian university. Be critical. Output can be found here.
20. Research recommendations and gap identification: Act as a research associate at an Australian university. List the seminal papers in this area, open education resources (OER). I’m interested in identifying research gaps in the field of OER. Can you help me find areas where further research is needed in the Australian context? Output can be found here.
21. Language translation and interpreting: Interpret the following paragraph into English from Chinese [specify your own language choice]. Outline the key ideas or arguments and counter-arguments of what is being said. Write suggestions for further exploration of those ideas and arguments. Now turn this back into simplified Chinese. Output can be found here.
(Note: Microsoft PowerPoint has a live Translator for your PowerPoint that provides real-time captioning in several different languages as well as English.)
22. Automated experimental design: I’m planning to conduct a series of experiments to study the effects of different factors on plant growth. Can you help me automate the experiment design process to maximise efficiency and effectiveness? How can I implement this in my own research? Output can be found here.
23. Generate ideas relating to PhD supervision: As an academic, generate ideas for in-class activities for a PhD research session on the pedagogy of supervision. Offer several suggestions on activities relating to the research design and its benefits and drawbacks. Draw me a session plan to deliver these. Offer 20 suggestions for effective supervision based on research. Output can be found here.
24. Automated citation check and improvement tool: Make a list of any 20 citations with APA errors in the reference list: then, use the automatic citation generation function to automate the process of generating citations and bibliographies, ensuring accuracy and consistency in academic writing. Now highlight 10 of my previous errors and ways to improve my citations. Output can be found here.
25. Organising a conference: Help me organise a conference on student as partners to be hosted at Darwin waterfront. Provide a detailed description of everything that needs to be organised, from room bookings, to inviting panellists, to after-event feedback evaluations and gifts for the panellists. Include a call for papers, a conference theme, and several sub-themes. Place this into a table. Output can be found here.
Please note that prompts and various applications of AI output should adhere to the fundamental values of the International Centre for Academic Integrity: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage.
Seb Dianati is an academic lead for digital learning initiatives, and Suman Laudari is a digital learning designer, both at Charles Darwin University.
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