An introduction to computer science course at Harvard University, known as CS50, is being updated for the ChatGPT era. Professor David J. Malan, who is renowned for his engaging teaching methods, is leading initiatives to include artificial intelligence into the course curriculum.
AI will be used to grade assignments, provide coding training, and give individualised learning advice. Numerous students attend CS50 on-campus, and more than 40,000 do so online.
Malan is credited with transforming dreary, introductory lectures on the fundamentals of web building and software programming into an enjoyable session consisting of interactive exercises. Malan acknowledged that engaging a varied student body with variable levels of knowledge and expertise across several time zones is a problem. Despite having more than a hundred teaching assistants, it has grown more difficult to offer specialised help to such a sizable and varied cohort.
Professor Malan and his team are carefully tuning an AI system to evaluate student assignments to address this issue. They are also trialling a virtual teaching assistant (TA) that does more than just spot mistakes. The virtual TA helps students learn by using rhetorical questions and making intelligent recommendations, enabling them to develop their coding abilities.
Additionally, this novel strategy is anticipated to give human TAs more time to hold face-to-face or online office hours, improving student-teacher connections.
Malan is aware of issues in education, but he thinks that CS50’s adoption of AI can raise the calibre and accessibility of online education, coinciding with industry predictions made by Grand View Research, which projects that the market for online education would triple in size to $348 billion by 2030.