Updating a Dated OER Textbook With ChatGPT


I found this approach from Adam Croom, a long time friend and colleague, who amongst other things, teachers advertising at the University of Oklahoma.

He describes a situation adopting and needing to update a rather old open textbook, and some experiments in putting ChatGPT to use.

Each year that goes by has me contemplating if I should continue with the textbook or not knowing that it is not getting any younger. In class, I make sure that we hit all of the ways advertising has evolved since that time (of which there are no shortage!): mobile, social, influencers, programmatic advertising and other data-driven targeting strategies, branded entertainment, etc. More broadly, the textbook plays a secondary/tertiary role in the course. I don’t use any publisher slides or materials, so its value is really as an auxiliary that deepens their understanding of the course content and allows them to spend additional time with key concepts.

But my course evaluations continue to hit the same notes. First, they are extremely appreciative that they are not having to pay for the textbook, but that it’s also terribly dated.

Adam shares his experiments and where ChatGPT helps and where it comes short, but concludes it has power as one tool to speed up the rewriting process-- not as a one click magic button. I like his describing it as an “accelerant”?

Is anyone else trying this approach? I am hoping to talk Adam into maybe doing a demo for us in OEG Live. What’s the interest?

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So this? https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/7251

Well yes, David Wiley’s ideas were very much in mind in my comment to Adam’s post.

And I see the possibility of the shift from a textbook being a static published thing frozen in time. But is it the textbook that is generative or is it textbooks being augmented with generative type activities?

I think Adam was more looking at ways to streamline the update process, not as much change the form of a textbook.

Or as AI gets more integrated in every day tools (document editors, email) will we be having to explain thing how to write prompts? For writing do we have to provide precise steps to learners on how to use say Word or Docs? Do we have to explain step by step how to search?


And then there’s the whole process of getting students involved in the content and sources validation which would enhance learning and awareness of the limitations of AI (so improved digital literacy for the learners)…

A very belated response! I’m interested but haven’t tried this yet. I was just discussing this with James Glapa-Grossklag.