Questioning and Problem Posing with ChatGPT

ChatGPT is an incredible tool. It seems to be able to answer any question! So what does that do to our students’ ability to develop the habit of questioning - an essential part of a critical thinking and a Growth Mindset?

OK, so let’s take a step back. Our big complaint about Google has always been that students search inexpertly and then take the first thing they find as “the answer”, without questioning or interrogating it.

So ChatGPT is actually a step forward IF we emphasise that it is a CHAT.

The point is that students can ask a question and very easily ask follow up questions, for example:

  • can you express that in simpler English please?
  • I still don’t understand…
  • are there other views on this topic?
  • is there any evidence for this?
  • I found this article; can you simplify, summarise or critique it?

We need to ask our students questions to check if they actually understand what they have generated via ChatGPT. If they have done a once-off cut/paste without any reading or understanding (like with a website that seems to answer their question), they need to go back to their chat and ask for clarity etc.

There is an official, academic way to reference ChatGPT. But what might be more useful is for a student to share the URL of their conversation. That way one can check if they have used it as a tool to enhance their understanding through asking questions.

Official citation generated by Grammarly:
OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (August 3 Version) [Large language model]. 

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