Teaching Innovation Case Studies

Creative Responses to Generative AI

Since the release of new generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, including ChatGPT, we’ve all been navigating both the landscape of AI in education and its implications for teaching. Over the past year, as we learned about these quickly evolving tools and observed how students are using them, many faculty have developed creative ways to respond to generative AI in a variety of learning environments.

In Spring 2024, with a goal of inspiring other instructors through the sharing of new ideas, methods, and strategies at Cornell, five faculty were recognized for their creative classroom experiences and teaching implementations using – or creatively precluding use of – generative AI.

The following case studies document their approaches and the results of their innovative work. They are downloadable and may be adapted for different courses and learning environments 

AI images from the tool Midjourney.

Exploring AI Image Generation for Landscape Architecture Designs Jennifer Birkeland, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Students used AI image generators to refine images through multiple assignments while discussing the efficacy of AI in creating these images.

Students working on an assignment on a paper and a laptop

AI Literacy Instruction in First-Year Writing Courses    Tracy Carrick, Senior Lecturer, John S. Knight Institute for Writing Disciplines, College of Arts and Sciences

First-year writing students engage in the creative, ethical, and pragmatic uses of generative AI as they learn critical academic literacy skills.

Collage of Student posters for the assignment

Building AI Literacy through Visualizing Innovative Textile Projects Juan Hinestroza, Professor, Fiber Science and Apparel Design, College of Human Ecology

Students explore the advantages and limitations of AI image generation to visually communicate fiber science projects.

Silhouette of two people talking with an American flag in the background.

Writing about Controversies in American Politics:  Using AI to Examine Counterarguments and Definitions            Peter Katzenstein, Professor, Government, College of Arts and Sciences

Students refine their writing and critical thinking about controversial political debates by prompting generative AI for counterarguments and definitions of key concepts. 

Color Coding image

Color-coding Strategy to Improve Student Written Argumentation Amie Patchen, Lecturer, Public and Ecosystem Health, College of Veterinary Medicine

Students color-coding written argumentation supports the development of writing skills while also limiting opportunities for using generative AI.