Artificial intelligence in education: uOttawa to make recommendations

outline of human head with letters AI in center on a glowing circuit board
The increased availability of artificial intelligence software that can generate content — essays, translations, images, music and more — is raising several issues in the university milieu. For example, is the content produced factually correct? Is it original? The questions are many and the education world agrees on one thing: they’re unavoidable.

Studying and teaching in the 21st century now requires understanding the possibilities and challenges of artificial intelligence.

The University of Ottawa has established a working group to study this type of software in a teaching and learning context.

AI working group

The uOttawa working group relies on experts in multiple areas. Made up of members of the administration and professors, its mandate is not only to understand various aspects of this phenomenon in teaching and learning, but also to make recommendations.  

The group’s mission includes

  • conducting research on the use of these technologies in other U15 institutions and elsewhere, including (but not limited to) in research, teaching and scholarly publishing  
  • summarizing the different initiatives at uOttawa involving use of this software  
  • assessing the potential ethical challenges posed by use of this software and the means to address them, including (but not limited to) in terms of equity, privacy and transparency in teaching and research, as well as academic integrity  
  • making recommendations on the ways to tackle the possibilities and challenges inherent in these technologies  

The group will present the initial results of its work this spring. Its report will provide the University community overall — professors, students and staff — with recommendations to control AI, adapt to its rapid evolution and adopt best practices in the area. 

Online resources on AI use 

While the working group’s report will establish guidelines concerning AI in education and future areas for study, the Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) already offers resources for professors and students. 

Members of the University of Ottawa Working Group on Artificial Intelligence in Teaching and Learning   

  • Richard Barwell, Dean, Faculty of Education  
  • Annick Bergeron, Secretary General  
  • Alison Flynn, Associate Vice-Provost Academic, and Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences  
  • Aline Germain-Rutherford, Vice-Provost, Academic Affairs (group chair) 
  • Rafal Kulik, Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Mathematics and Statistics  
  • Nomi Claire Lazar, Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs  
  • Michael Sawada, Professor, Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics  
  • Sophie Thériault, Vice-Dean (Academics), Faculty of Law, Civil Law Section  
  • Nafissatou Sall, Director, Student Rights Centre (University of Ottawa Student Union)