Syllabus Refresh – Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT
The following are notes from OTL’s session for the AI in Action series.
Kim DeBacco and Kate Schaller worked with faculty to generate and regenerate a course syllabus. Together they investigated prompt engineering to iteratively refine their choices.
Ask Chat GPT to create a syllabus
Design a syllabus for an introductory, undergraduate-level university course about "The Psychology of Aging".
Sample refining prompt:
Regenerate this syllabus to include the following syllabus sections: Course title: “The Psychology of Aging” (PSY136) Instructor Information: Kim DeBacco, PhD; email@example.com TA Information: Qiwen Moore, David Christomakis. Contact Information: tba Course Prerequisites: PSY124 Course Description: Learning Outcomes for this Course: Course Materials: Technical Requirements (Bruin Learn, browsers etc.) How to Succeed in this Course (Expectations for Students, Study Advice & Tips) Creating an Inclusive Classroom Community (Instructor, TA, and Community Expectations) Course Schedule (Dates & Topics, Readings) Predictable Weekly Pattern (for Students) How Your Learning Will Be Assessed (Grading Policy) Information about the Course Assignments Link to the Quarter dates in the UCLA Academic calendar The class dates and times: Tuesday 10am - 12noon; Thursdays 10am - 12 noon Link to UCLA resources for Student Well-being Link to UCLA Policy on Academic Integrity
Model the prompt by inputting two or three past syllabi:
Integrate information, readings and topics from this syllabus. Do not include the dates.
NOTE: The example syllabi were freely provided, and previously downloaded from merlot.org
Additional Refining Steps
Provide a list of readings with links; link to a textbook, etc.
Add your lists of readings – Required/Essential, Recommended, etc.
Integrate these readings into the syllabus schedule: Park, D.C., K. Warner Schaie, K. Schaie, S. L. Willis, S. Willis. Handbook of the Psychology of Aging. 7th edition.
Provide a focused, scripted course description, to narrow and specify content.
Regenerate the syllabus to reflect this description: [your course description goes here]
Read closely and correct!
- Add your emphases, your voice and values, special sections, and more.
- Consider sharing your syllabus with a colleague for feedback.
Solicit student feedback
After the quarter is over, ask (some of) your students to give you annotated feedback on your syllabus. Ask them to add comments all over it:
- what worked well;
- what advice would they give future students;
- what would they change;
- which readings and media made sense;
- which readings were tough but worthwhile;
and so on…