Learning about, Learning from and Learning Together with Artificial Intelligence (AI): Using AI as an Active Learning Enabler in Workflows at the MarTech Laboratory.


AI Image Generator – 1st Image Created Using Command “Higher Education Students Using Artificial Intelligence collaboratively in a laboratory setting”

I’m sure unsurprisingly to most, we are integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into various aspects of our work at the MarTech Laboratory.   According to Kim et al. (2022, p.6069), “preparing students to collaborate with AI remains a challenging goal” and although we agree, it’s certainly important that we begin to trial. In this regard, we have been using AI to review key elements of the recent ‘Thinkathon’ and the summaries and insights from that day are encouraging future programme development. 

The recent #MarTechLaboratory ‘Thinkathon’ with our students and a smattering of members from our local network of “#6SCommunity” was an incredibly productive day!  Across each station and 2 sessions, and from approximately 300 ideas, students and stakeholders generated 151 specific detailed outcomes relating areas they felt the lab could focus on.  Each full answer was presented as a ‘what, why and how’ and related specifically to each of the pillars of the #6SCommunity (Students, Specialists, Start-ups, Social Enterprises, Sustainability focused and Social good projects) through the question ‘What could the MarTech Laboratory do for..’. 

We used ChatGPT to summarise the outputs from the section on ‘students’ as a pilot and it summarised the ‘what’s as follows:

The content describes a range of activities and opportunities related to networking, career development, and support for graduates. These include various types of training and certifications, practical experience, mentorship and coaching, workshops and competitions, and social events. The focus is on building skills and connections that lead to better job opportunities and career paths, with incentives and rewards offered for participating in various activities. The content also highlights the importance of peer support and socializing as part of the overall learning experience.

ChatGPT further summarises the outputs from ‘students’ on ‘why’s as follows:

The content describes a variety of benefits and goals related to building connections and improving employability, with a focus on gaining knowledge, skills, and industry connections. The use of martech and other interactive tools is emphasized as a way to increase engagement, test knowledge, and make learning more enjoyable. There is also a focus on providing support and reducing stress for students, with assistance offered for assignments and career exploration. The importance of role models and peer connections is emphasized, with the goal of strengthening relationships and building confidence. Overall, the content suggests a desire to create a more interactive, engaging, and supportive learning environment that prepares students for success in the working world.

ChatGPT finally summarises the outputs from ‘students’ on ‘how’s in the following paragraph:

The content describes a variety of resources and activities aimed at enhancing knowledge, skills, and career opportunities for students. These include attending events, completing certifications, and participating in workshops, seminars, and simulations. There is a focus on practical learning, with live case studies and 1-1 contact with businesses, and the use of online tools and apps like Nearpod. Industry professionals are invited to speak and offer classes, and students are encouraged to participate in competitions and Q&A events. The importance of networking and building relationships is emphasized, with former students and industry specialists providing support and mentoring. Communication through newsletters, social media, and signage is used to promote events and activities. Overall, the content suggests a desire to provide a wide range of resources and opportunities for students to learn, network, and build their skills and careers.

As we continue to develop our understanding and broader approach to the safe application of AI in marketing technology and in Higher Education, we at the MarTech Laboratory are cognisant to provide a learning scaffolding to develop AI collaboration via the three key stages highlighted by Kim et al., 2022 as follows:

  1. to learn about AI;
  2. to learn from AI, and;  
  3. to learn together


Kim, J., Lee, H. and Cho, Y.H. (2022) Learning design to support student-AI collaboration: Perspectives of leading teachers for AI in education. Education and Information Technologies27(5), pp.6069-6104.

Published by Dr John Bustard

I am currently a Lecturer in Digital Transformation within Ulster University Business School, specifically within the school's largest department: Management, Leadership and Marketing. Previously, as a researcher, lecturer and doctoral candidate I focused on digital events and delivered classes to MSc & BSc level. My duties have included coordinating and guest lecturing on Marketing Communications, Enterprise & New Venture Creation, e-Business Strategy, Research Methods. My particular passion is through exploring Digital Marketing approaches which enhance student awareness and appreciation of the impact of digital and an enquiring mind to understand future technology applications. *All views are my own*

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