Generative Artificial Intelligence in Programming Education

04 July 2023

Educational project

Generative Artificial Intelligence in Programming Education

In this article the ongoing project: “Generative Artificial Intelligence in Programming Education” will be discussed.

The aim of this project

The aim of this project is to explore the implications of generative AI tools, with emphasis on Copilot and ChatGPT, on programming education and to develop a web toolkit with resources and best practices to help teachers understand and successfully embed these tools into their teaching and assessment practices.

Project description

First, we will review the latest developments, practices, and use cases around using generative AI in programming education, providing the theoretical resources to understand the tools, and the future directions of their use. Then we will organise a series of workshops with stakeholders, including teachers, student-assistants, and students, to gather their perspectives and requirements on how to incorporate the tools into programming education. We will approach the different Schools at our Faculty and our Faculty’s taskforce AI & Data Science to involve stakeholders from different programs. We will accompany the workshops with a series of hands-on experiments in programming courses, where the tools will be incorporated in different ways (AI as documentation co- creator, AI as pair programming buddy, etc.). Factors that we will evaluate may include student performance, learning, and well-being. Finally, we will integrate our findings into a web-based resource toolkit for teachers of programming courses and organise a series of teacher training meetings to raise awareness, familiarize them with the toolkit and gather propositions for future steps.

The project contributes to education innovation because these developments can have a major influence on how students learn programming, and alter the skills they need to create software. For this, we need to adapt our education, and at the same time seize the opportunities these tools offer to increase student learning and alleviate teachers.

Expected output

The main output is a web-based toolkit for teachers providing recommendations on dealing with generative AI tools in programming education, including guidelines, assignments, and assessment methods. Other supporting outcomes/products are:

  • A review of current practices.
  • Workshops with stakeholders.
  • Evaluation of experiments in programming courses.
  • Training meetings with teachers.
  • Other reporting and dissemination (see page 3).
    Teachers from within and outside the UU can use our toolkit to support them in their programming courses. Its effects will be evaluated in the courses selected for this project.




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