Teachers are scrambling to find ways to deal with ChatGPT, and I believe that I may have a solution. “WisdomMaps” are not “maps” in the usual sense, but a new generation of “mind maps”, invented in the Near East 2,000 years ago and popularized more recently by Leonardo da Vinci as a way to unify knowledge. For when information is inter-related and knowledge is unified, it creates meaning. The maps unfold in a multimedia presentation of text, pictures, videos, websites, and more that shows how information fits together to create meaning. WisdomMaps work by emulating the thought processes of the human mind, and because of their non-linear design, they go where linear thinking, and ChatGPT, cannot.
My solution lies both in the way that the maps create learning, and in the learning dynamic of the class. As teachers know, the best way to learn something is to teach it (however badly at first). WisdomMaps enable students to teach each other (in their own words, however humble) under the teacher’s guidance. Each week, students are asked to post a journal (using PowerPoint or the equivalent) on their learning adventure in the maps assigned for the week; this journal assignment is designed for multimedia and subjective reflection rather than essays. For the journal assignment, a “mark-up copy” of each of the maps the students choose to work with is made available to the class. Here, students post their journals, review and comment upon the maps and their classmates’ work, and contribute other media: links to videos, websites, images, topical news, scholarly articles, audio, and other resources that add to the mix. The teacher reviews their journals and postings, guides the discussion, and posts his insights. When students are able to view each other’s work in this manner, a social competition arises to post and showcase the best journals, and the learning curve grows steeper as students progressively conform their own work to the best examples of their classmates.
There is little opportunity either in their journals or their reviews and discussion for students to make use of ChatGPT, and any plagiarism would be conspicuous to their classmates. For a student to post anything that is perceived as not being in their own words risks, at the very least, being marginalized, or worse, suffering the consequences in social media (which can be endless). The design of WisdomMaps courses presents a powerful deterrent to plagiarism and Generative AI that is possible only when students are accountable to each other, and not just to the teacher, for the provenance and quality of their work.
I invite you to have a look at the maps here at WisdomMaps.info. If you’re interested in considering how this patented and proven technology and course design could support your efforts to develop a learning experience that avoids plagiarism and circumvents ChatGPT, please get in touch.