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Andrea Migliorini
Five ways to engage learners with ChatGPT
Feb 10, 2023 .
5 Minutes
table of content

How will you know if this text was written by a human or AI? This is what educators are grappling with as the chatbot ChatGPT makes its debut in Education, and not without controversy. Lean in close if you’re willing to uncover 5 actionable examples of how educators can actually use ChatGPT with their learners.

1. Learner vs bot

You would not be the only one to have ever mistaken Siri’s response for a human. In fact, if a human confuses a computer’s response for that of a fellow human more than 70% of the time, the computer is said to have passed the long-standing Turing test. Given a similar task, what will a learner do?

Learning activity

The sneaky instructor can ask ChatGPT to respond to any question, from “What are the effects of global warming?” to “What’s the best Product Management Methodology for this use case?” and have the unsuspecting learners respond to the same prompt. Then, using the Challenge-based Learning framework, they can share all the answers anonymously with the class. Whoever can put a finger on the one written by ChatGPT wins!

Skills at stake

While certainly a motivation boost to write an essay, this is also a way learners can develop critical thinking strategies and start interacting with complex machines.

2. Reverse prompt engineering

What is the key point of this text? Let learners practice this skill using ChatGPT.

Learning activity

A talented instructor can ask ChatGPT any academic question like – “What is the best business strategy for this product?” or “Compare a suspension bridge with an arch bridge,” and voila! Out pops a detailed reply. The learners’ task, you may be wondering? Uncover the illusive prompt that the teacher snuck into ChatGPT.

Skills at stake

While navigating through information to identify the key point, learners are cracking down complex information into something easy to digest and practicing prompt-writing, without even knowing it.

Check that fact

With an estimated 1.145 trillion megabytes of data created per day, picking out facts from fiction is becoming increasingly more important and difficult. For example, schools in Finland, consistently at the top of world ratings for education, have an entire curriculum for spotting misinformation. With ChatGPT, learners can easily practice this skill too.

Learning activity

Using some examples of slightly incorrect or even wildly wrong answers from ChatGPT on topics ranging from the biggest country in Central America to species’ scientific names, students can be led down the inquisitive path of fact-checking – recognizing when information is suspicious and finding reliable sources to get the accurate take.

Skills at stake

Spotting misinformation, fake news, and propaganda is a skill that will help students navigate through the world they are living in and have an informed voice in the conversation.


Deemed guilty of destructing assessment integrity, ChatGPT can actually offer collaboration, gamification, and preparation for the future of work.

3. And the winner is...

What if instead of getting an essay evaluation from an instructor, we let ChatGPT decide who wrote it best?

Learning activity

What was that less-than-riveting topic learners had to write about? An instructor can collect and submit students’ responses to ChatGPT, and let it pick the best one, in its artificially intelligent view. Impressing a robot will not be an easy challenge, but one that learners will surely find thrilling.

Skills at stake

Spotting misinformation, fake news, and propaganda is a skill that will help students navigate through the world they are living in and have an informed voice in the conversation. 

4. The “Fix ChatGPT” challenge

Last but not least, ChatGPT has been caught at the center of attention for getting stuck in a loop trying to explain math concepts and theorems and refusing to solve math problems that can catch the most numbers-savvy students off guard.

Learning activity

Enter – the “fix” ChatGPT challenge! Learners go on a scavenger hunt of ChatGPT fails by being instructed to ask it questions and check its answers. When they find a “broken” one – work with a peer to provide a better explanation and “fix” ChatGPT. Learners can work in pairs or small groups and present their fantastic findings to the class at the end.

Skills at stake

Learning by teaching someone else what you know is a well-researched strategy to boost comprehension, deeper understanding, and long-term retention of information. Not to mention (well, now we have) the social and collaborative muscles that will get trained in the process. 

5. In a nutshell

Well, how about it? ChatGPT, deemed guilty of attempting the destruction of assessment integrity, has provided a defense worth considering. It is stretching out its artificial hand to offer collaboration, gamification, and preparation for the future of work, all within the four walls or remote adaptations of the traditional classroom. Is your vote for or against admitting ChatGPT in the classroom? 


✋Spoiler alert: This article was in fact written by a human.