26th Annual Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education Meeting

Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Anne H. Reilly, PhD. Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago. areilly@luc.edu

Opportunities and Challenges of AI Applications in Jesuit Business Education: Looking Forward

Innovative technologies have already generated many shifts in the educational environment, and this trend will continue into the next 25 years. Some experts argue that artificial intelligence (AI) teaching applications are inevitable, much like progressing from pencils to calculators. However, these new AI tools may affect academic integrity and rigor. One example is digital assessment. While using online exams saves time and paper, digital testing also makes cheating easier. Another illustration is generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT. These applications can write essays, solve math problems, and apply Excel formulas; many educators consider ChatGPT a sophisticated form of plagiarism. This interactive workshop draws on Jesuit values in exploring some opportunities and challenges of AI in an educational landscape fraught with AI-driven shortcuts. We use three elements of Ignatian pedagogy to guide the discussion. Participants will share their experience with AI; reflect on how AI has changed their teaching; and generate actions that may help to guide classroom practices and policies. Expanding accessibility. AI tools may level the playing field for students. Research suggests that AI can serve students with diverse learning challenges ranging from vision deficits to autism, thus exemplifying the Jesuit principle of women and men for others. These tools may also help college students from underfunded secondary school systems, who may need academic support to be successful. At this point, however, AI indiscriminately sources from a vast array of digital information, potentially reinforcing existing biases: garbage in, garbage out. What about student learning? While AI tools offer powerful ways to support learning, there are disadvantages as well. A student using ChatGPT to quickly generate a paper is not engaging in the write--edit--rewrite steps of the writing process. A key Jesuit value is Magis—striving for excellence—and prior research links skill mastery with repeated practice. If already-existing content is regurgitated, without critical analysis, how much learning has occurred? Maintaining standards of excellence is difficult when easy answers are readily available. Is academic integrity still important? Challenges to academic integrity are not new. Students have long plagiarized, and faculty have long grappled with prevention. Because Jesuit values endorse personal responsibility, we expect students to adhere to academic honor codes, whether explicit or implied. However, many AI techniques permit circumventing rules; for example, because ChatGPT generates a “new” assignment, Turnitin does not work. AI monitoring adds a difficult dimension to a teacher’s already broad job description. Seeking to adjust course design and delivery to meet AI challenges represents yet another responsibility. The next 25 years will include technology developments as yet unimagined. Like all changes, these trends will require different ways of approaching the academic endeavor. But we must move forward. As disruptive as these shifts are to educators, they are even more challenging to our students and their future employment opportunities.