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What to Teach in the ChatGPT Era?

Berk Orbay
Published in
3 min readApr 4, 2024


Teaching is not the same in the ChatGPT era. Hard things are easier and easy things are harder. Now, each student has great assistance, 7/24. It is also not always reliable. You cannot simply assign homework, because with 90% probability, ChatGPT will be doing that (with good skill).

We all have only limited experience with ChatGPT and similar LLMs as the technology is quite nascent. Though, we know it is transformative and we also know that education is not a fast-moving industry. Therefore, take this post as a first draft of forming a course powered by LLMs.

  • Design for scale. You can now minimize effort per student immensely (even without TAs). Design your course as if it will be a MOOC-style.
  • Stress the importance of ChatGPT in learning. Especially for many well established topics, LLMs have immense knowledge and proper articulation.
  • Classroom is still yours. But now, asynchronous learning is both possible and feasible. Not the exact equivalent but it will feel like having a video on Youtube and you are still going on concerts for live shows.
  • Ask ChatGPT about the topics you are going to talk about. It will help you to assess ChatGPT’s proficiency level and quality of assistance to students. You may also share your prompts with your students if they return good results.
  • Ask ChatGPT about the questions you would ask to the students. It will help you to formulate your evaluations better.
  • Teach students to be ready for LLM “hallucinations”. “Trust, but verify” is the key.
  • You should definitely have original written material for your course. Because you are the curator and students need proper guidance.
  • Be a curator. You should give students a body of external resources relevant to the context; freely accessible whenever possible. You should prioritize them (essential, advanced, extra etc.) so that they will know the first .
  • Books are still really important, though they are also expensive.

I cannot say with full confidence that, I embedded the practice in my course completely because that course’s progress plan was already well advanced in line with the above points. But, at the time I explicitly endorsed the usage of any LLM (ChatGPT, Copilot etc.) and I know students frequently used ChatGPT to do assignments.

I even asked some of the final questions which require comments and elaboration to ChatGPT and shared my opinion about the answers to students.

In my opinion, any instructor’s primary duty is to remove hurdles from students’ path as much as possible, through proper guidance and exposing them to high quality learning material.




Berk Orbay

Current main interests are #OR and #RL. You may reach me at Linkedin.