Jung to Research AI’s Impact on Student Learning

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) over the last several years has presented questions in the field of education. Of course, AI has proven to be effective in materializing prompted ideas through platforms like ChatGPT, but can students learn from AI instruction? This is what College of Education (COE) Assistant Professor Dr. Yeonji Jung looks to address starting this summer.

“There remains a gap in understanding how students construct their knowledge through engagement with AI through collaborative discourses,” Jung said. “This project aims to unravel the potential of learner-AI collaboration for knowledge construction by examining distinct patterns and relative contribution of engagement with AI in different phases of knowledge construction processes.”

Jung was recently awarded a summer research grant from COE for this project. Over the summer and fall, she plans to develop and implement AI-supported learning activities in which ChatGPT will be integrated into university courses. Dr. Jung is exploring the possibility of using AI as a learning partner for students, like classmates. The idea, she said, is to enable students to engage in meaningful conversations with their AI counterparts to co-develop their understanding of course topics and work together on projects. This engagement data will be collected and later evaluated.

Dr. Jung elaborated, “The synthesis of findings from both rounds will inform the development of a comprehensive model of learner-AI collaboration for knowledge construction and a set of scaffolded prompts, shedding light on distinct patterns and contributions of engagement with AI.”

It is Jung’s intentions that this project lays the groundwork for future research that align with national initiatives such as the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research on Innovative Technologies for Enhanced Learning (RITEL).