Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Spring Teaching Forum

2024 Spring Teaching Forum: “AI & Generative Learning: Not Whether, But How”

This year’s Spring Teaching Forum will be held on April 30th from 12 to 1:50 pm. Register here! Lunch will be provided.

Each year, the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning gathers together faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows into a conversation about a pressing topic related to teaching at Yale. In this year’s event, we seek to move beyond the panic and reactionary responses to AI in the classroom, and towards a proactive posture: Proceeding from the assumption that AI is going to be a part of the landscape of student learning, how can we imagine these tools as benefits rather than barriers?

Our speakers, each drawn from a different discipline with a different viewpoint on the AI advancements of the last few years, will each share their greatest hope for, and their biggest concern about, AI and the future of pedagogy. In particular, they will consider the degree to which AI might amplify existing inequities or serve to remediate them. We will transition into an extended Q&A with other faculty members, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students at Yale. We hope that participants will emerge with a better understanding of this technology, new ideas for how to use it in and around their classrooms, and goals for the path forward. Our speakers will include:

  • Seiji Isotani (Professor of Computer Science and Educational Technology, University of São Paulo)

  • [Withdrawn] Sarah Newman (Director of Art & Education, metaLAB and the AI Pedagogy Project, Harvard University)

  • Alexander Gil Fuentes (Lecturer, Spanish & Portuguese, Yale University)

  • Nicole Cosme (PhD Candidate, Music, Yale University)


2021 Spring Teaching Forum Abbreviated Summary

For more than 20 years, Yale University has hosted a Spring Teaching Forum. The event brings together members of the Yale community — faculty, staff, postdocs, and students — to consider a particular theme related to teaching and learning. The McDougal Graduate Teaching Fellows from the Poorvu Center planned this year’s forum to reflect on our shared experience with remote instruction. A group of multidisciplinary faculty served on a discussion panel, and then participants discussed the theme in breakout rooms.

“I’ve been working to foster an emotional connection, even though we’re still stuck behind computer frames and… thinking about more ways to give power to students,” said Dr. Mira Debs, Executive Director of the Education Studies Program and Lecturer in Sociology, during the panel.

Dr. Crystal Feimster, Dr. Howard Forman, and Dr. Reina Maruyama joined Debs on the panel. Together, they noted the need to reflect on their teaching to make critical decisions related to maintaining academic rigor and building community. Instructors relied on their course goals as a mechanism for prioritizing what to teach during class and what students could learn asynchronously. By recording lectures, instructors repurposed time during class to examine hard questions more closely, solve problems, and apply knowledge. In the coming year, instructors voiced a desire to keep communication open so that they can respond to students’ needs and understand how their lives outside of the classroom affect their learning.

“When I go back to the classroom, I will no longer think about myself creating safe intellectual spaces, but what I call now brave intellectual spaces … it takes courage for students to speak in the Zoom box, to speak from where they are in a given moment,” said Feimster, Associate Professor of African American Studies, of History, and of American Studies.

The Poorvu Center will publish a report from the Spring Teaching Forum in the coming weeks. Look for updates on our website this summer.

For more information, please contact AskPoorvuCenter@yale.edu.

Past Events in this Series

Title Event Topic Time
Spring Teaching Forum: Teaching in the Age of ChatGPT 17 Hillhouse, Room 101 (TEAL) Monday, May 1, 2023 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Spring Teaching Forum: Looking Back and Looking Forward: Reflecting on Yale’s Year of Online Learning Online via Zoom Friday, April 30, 2021 - 9:00am to 11:45am