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Chaparral 2022-2023: 31.5 Adjunct Junction

Adjunct Junction

by Juli Wolfgram
2nd Vice President, Glendale College Guild


Hello, Part-Time Faculty!

AI? Oh no! How will it affect our teaching? Our ability to stop students from submitting AI written papers?

Machine learning, AISince ChatGPT made their software available to the public in November 2022, I have read and heard many doom-and-gloom scenarios about higher education. Personally, I was ecstatic over the news!

Yes, AI tools will be a game changer for higher education, not just for our students but for all faculty, and especially Part Time Faculty. Because we are the gig-workers of our industry, Part Time faculty must embrace all and every change at any district. Our versatility has enabled delivery of education in multiple modes. Part Time Faculty led the way in Distance Education, Zoom classes, and HyFlex instruction during the global pandemic.

I know, I know. Part Time Faculty were also the most vulnerable during the pandemic. Without healthcare, Part Time Faculty suffered greatly during COVID. We also lost many faculty who simply chose to leave the field of higher education. However, the plight of Part Time Faculty across the state of California gave rise to the unprecedented ongoing budget of $200 million to remedy this deplorable situation.

But, back to AI. AI tools have been available for quite some time, and I’m sure all of you have either used or considered using them—tools such as Turnitin. AI technology is not only here to stay, it is growing at an exponential rate. What we learn today may be outdated tomorrow! Isn’t it our responsibility to make sure that our students are not only equipped to use the technology but also use it wisely, critically, and ethically?

The global pandemic also highlighted the systemic racism too long neglected in our academic industry. At present, AI tools are vulnerable to discrimination because they can perpetuate existing biases in the data. We, as educators, are obligated to make our students aware of the positive and negative consequences in using such AI tools. To ensure social justice, we must make sure that our students can use AI and be critically discerning when doing so.

The point of writing is to get important ideas across to others. AI can help with the writing, but it cannot formulate that important idea. Gosh, if only I had AI tools to write all my cover letters for job applications! Think of how much time I would have saved! As developing technology continues to help humanity, educators need to focus on that which has already been identified as paramount—critical thinking skills.

Okay, enough said. What am I doing about AI? I have already instituted the required use of AI tools, including ChatGPT, for the writing assignments in one of my classes. The students are alternating between original text with AI peer reviews and AI text with human peer reviews. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Know Your Rights!

Please mark your calendars for the Part Time Faculty Guild information meeting to take place during Adjunct Lounge on Friday, May 5. Flex will be available, and a Zoom link will be sent out soon. The agenda will cover UI benefits, retirement and load, and parity!

In unity,
CFT Part Time Faculty Committee
2nd Vice President
Glendale College Guild AFT#2276
1500 North Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA 91208

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