The Use of ChatGPT in English Literature Classroom: Teaching 'Waiting for Godot'
As technology continues to play a larger role in our daily lives, it's not surprising that it has also made its way into the classroom. At Department of English, M K Bhavnagar University, we decided to experiment with ChatGPT, a large language model developed by OpenAI, as a teaching tool in our English literature class in teaching 'Waiting for Godot'. While many educators might be concerned that using AI in the classroom could lead to students becoming overly reliant on technology and cheating, our approach was to use ChatGPT in a way that encouraged critical thinking and independent learning.
We designed worksheets that tested students' abilities to interpret and analyze works of literature. Rather than providing direct answers to questions, we asked students to respond to questions that even ChatGPT couldn't answer accurately. For example, students were asked to reflect on why a few leaves grow on a barren tree in a play, if European nations can be inferred from the names of characters, the significance of a conversation between two characters in different acts, and the meaning of certain terms used in a character's speech.
The goal of this exercise was to help students develop their own interpretations and opinions, rather than relying solely on the answers provided by ChatGPT. By cross-checking with original texts and coming up with their own answers, students were able to gain a deeper understanding of the literature and develop their critical thinking skills.
Of course, this approach wouldn't be suitable for all types of courses or learning environments, but in the context of a literature class, it can be an effective way to encourage independent learning and critical thinking. By using technology in a way that supports these goals, rather than replacing human understanding, we can help students become more engaged and confident learners.
In conclusion, our experiment with ChatGPT in the English department at M K Bhavnagar University has shown that technology can be a valuable tool in the classroom, as long as it's used in a way that supports students' critical thinking and independent learning. By asking students to respond to questions that even ChatGPT couldn't answer accurately, we were able to encourage them to think deeply about literature and develop their own interpretations and opinions.
The learning outcomes of this experiment with ChatGPT in the classroom could be aligned with various levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, including:
Remembering: Students were able to recall details and themes from the play, "Waiting for Godot."
Understanding: Students demonstrated understanding of the play by analyzing characters and their motivations, interpreting symbols and motifs, and making connections to historical and cultural contexts.
Applying: Students applied their knowledge by answering questions about the play, such as explaining the meaning of terms used in Lucky's speech.
Analyzing: Students analyzed the conversation between Vladimir and the Boy in both Acts, evaluating the significance of their interactions.
Evaluating: Students evaluated the suggestion that suicide is a better solution to the tramp's predicament than waiting.
Creating: Students engaged in creative thinking by offering their own interpretations of the play and connecting it to Sartre's concept of "Bad Faith."
Through this experiment, students were challenged to use higher-level thinking skills and engage with the material in a more meaningful and critical way. The design of the worksheets allowed students to rely on their own interpretations, encouraging independent thinking and intellectual growth.