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2024 Annual Faculty Meeting

Posted: February 16th, 2024

Nearly 40 faculty and administrative staff from across all the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium partner campuses gathered for the 8th Annual UW MBA Consortium Faculty Meeting, on Thursday and Friday, January 11-12, 2024. The primary focus of the two-day event was to learn more about and discuss the impacts of generative AI on teaching and learning, and more specifically how it relates to courses taught by the UW MBA Consortium.

On day one of the meeting, Bryan Engelhardt and Birgit Leisen Pollack began with a presentation that explored strategies for working generative AI options into assignments. Birgit noted the possibilities that generative AI has, but that people need to be aware of its limitations.

"The CMBA faculty meeting on generative AI (GenAI) was insightful and left me with a mix of excitement and caution," Birgit said. "As Bryan and I discussed in our presentation, GenAI can "supercharge" students in identifying and narrowing down new product ideas and shaping marketing messages and images for these ideas. However, biases embedded in the algorithms can amplify existing inequalities and stereotypes, AI-generated text can sometimes appear truthful even when it's not, students may over-rely on AI as a crutch, weakening their critical thinking skills, and ethical considerations raise complex questions. Therefore, the biggest takeaway from the meeting is that we must move forward responsibly, tapping into the power of AI while simultaneously fostering higher levels of learning. Let's leverage GenAI as a collaborative tool that complements the magic of human-led education."

Following the presentation from Englehardt and Leisen Pollack, Heather Moore, an instructional designer for the program, gave an overview of generative AI detection tools and their effectiveness. Paula Lentz, the program's academic director, closed the day by giving an overview of maintaining academic integrity and reporting misconduct.

The second day kicked off with some program updates, followed by a presentation from Lentz titled Moral Motivation as a Framework for Conversations on Plagiarism, Authorship, and Intellectual Property in an AI World. Everyone then broke into small groups to discuss generative AI use in courses, followed by a reporting their discussions to the entire groups of attendees.

The meeting concluded with recognition of outstanding faculty in the program. Jenni Cragun won the 2023 Outstanding Faculty award while Dr. Fred Kolb and Dr. Paula Lentz were recognized as finalists for the honor.

Prior to the live meeting, faculty also engaged in a Canvas course developed by the iDocs team of instructional designers and other administrative staff to provide some additional information on generative AI, as well as a place to network with colleagues.

Many of the faculty who attended appreciated enhancing their knowledge of generative AI. One of the attendees wrote the following, which was similar to how others felt about their time spent meeting: "The sessions triggered thoughts which will motivate some tweaks to my teaching approach."

The 9th Annual UW MBA Consortium Faculty Meeting will be held in January 2025.

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