A man is giving a lecture to his class

Pinckney Benedict, English professor and SIU Center for Virtual Expression (CVeX) director, teaches a digital narrative class last fall, the first offering in a digital narrative specialization from the School of Literature, Writing, and Digital Humanities. Benedict is one of the presenters during SIU’s Teaching and Learning with AI Week. (Photo by Russell Bailey)

February 05, 2024

SIU’s Center for Teaching Excellence workshops to focus on AI in higher ed

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) in higher education is the core of a weeklong series of workshops and focus groups hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Center for Teaching Excellence, Feb. 12-16.

The series “SIU’s Teaching and Learning with AI Week” includes the formal launch of the SIU Center for Virtual Expression (CVeX) at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in Faner Hall, Room 1229. CVeX is already hosting classes, conducting creative research, supporting grants and more, and the grand opening is an opportunity to see the space and learn more about CVeX’s mission and goals from the Joddy Murray, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Pinckney Benedict, professor of English and CVeX director.

Many of the workshops, demonstrations and focus groups during the week are free and open to the public except where noted. Organizers also suggest regularly checking the schedule for any updates and changes.

sid-dobrin_2023_edited_44-sq.jpgSid Dobrin, chair of the English department at the University of Florida and one of the leading academic experts on generative AI like ChatGPT, will present the keynote lecture, “Higher Education and Artificial Intelligence,” at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public and will also be available virtually with a donation to the CTE Faculty Development Fund.

Media availability

Reporters, photographers and news crews interested in covering any of the week’s events should contact Craig Engstrom, director, Center for Teaching Excellence, at 618-453-2258 or craig.engstrom@siu.edu.

“We are excited to offer this much anticipated event to the wider SIU community,” Craig Engstrom, CTE director and associate professor in communication studies, said. “This event is an opportunity to spark meaningful conversations within our community, see demonstrations of how faculty are already using AI in the classroom, and bring students, faculty, staff and administrators into conversation about AI’s benefits and risks.”

Dobrin delivered more than 40 talks on generative AI worldwide in 2023. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles, including “Talking about Generative AI: A Guide for Educators, AI and Writing,” and “AI and Writing.” He is also founding director of the TRACE Innovation Initiative, a digital thought leader for Adobe, and member of the Florida Institute for National Security.

“CTE is grateful to the many co-sponsors of the event who made it possible to bring Sid Dobrin to campus,” Engstrom said.