ChatGPT and generative AI: 25 applications to support administrative tasks

In the third part of their series looking at 100 ways to use ChatGPT in higher education, Seb Dianati and Suman Laudari share 25 prompts for the AI tool to assist with administrative duties


Charles Darwin University
9 Oct 2023
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It is widely accepted that generative artificial intelligence (AI) such as ChatGPT has huge potential to support the work of academics and higher education professionals. But many are still unsure how to put this into practice. In our five-part series, we have set out to explore 100 applications of these AI tools in higher education. We have shared an introduction to prompting generative AI for teaching and learning followed by 25 prompts relating to teaching and assessment. Here, we turn to administrative work. Below you will find 25 examples of prompts that show how generative AI can help university staff with their administrative duties.

1. Student email correspondence: Write a welcome message to new students. Act as an academic for a first-year course in [subject details]. Outline the assessments mentioned here [insert relevant assessments]. Include the importance of the course to their degree [insert learning outcomes]. Include the need for social presence and collaboration within in-class activities. 

2. Respond directly to staff on public forums: Respond to this correspondence from my academic supervisor to all staff. Be polite, slightly funny and highly interested in supporting artificial intelligence and academic integrity. Suggest you are interested in the supervisor’s project and open to doing this. 

3. Write a letter of recommendation: Write a letter of recommendation as a senior university lecturer at an Australian university for a previous student called John Smith. Outline his exceptional social, academic and professional competence. Put it in dot points so I can do the rest. 

4. Assist with job interview preparation: Can you help me in preparing for an interview for a level A (assistant professor/associate lecturer) role at this university, for this role [insert job description]? Reference the university’s student body and nuances to teaching and learning, their values and strategic plan, and use this selection criterion.

Develop a cover letter for this role using this résumé [copy and paste the main parts of your résumé] and their job advertisement [copy and paste parts of the job advertisement]. Be quirky, engaging and funny in the last sentence. Now give me 10 common questions for this role. 

5. Feedback on a résumé or cover letter: Can you review a cover letter based on a specific role and offer feedback on whether I have addressed the main responsibilities of the job? 

6. Generate writing prompts: Provide students with a series of writing prompts on decolonising the curriculum. Offer some that are easy, medium and hard. 

7. Create reading lists: Develop a reading list on this issue of Indigenous education in Australia over the past 10 years. Get students to analyse the accuracy and validity of the reading lists provided by the chat. 

8. Provide YouTube summaries: Use this YouTube transcript to offer 10 dot points of the main points discussed at the conference on [insert details] issue. 

9. Develop diverse teams: Take this list of 20 students and their first score in the class and best develop groups from the course to offer teams with varied levels of academic performance in each group. 

10. Provide support for special needs students on student access plans: Use this students’ access and accommodation plan and provide guidance for how I can best support this student. Offer nuanced solutions. 

11. Develop email rules: Develop a list of email etiquette rules for students when emailing staff, including tone, formatting and appropriate language for communication. Now turn this into a post on the learning management system. 

12. Provide training for classroom peer assisted study support students (PASS): Provide a list of activities for students to work with other students. Give PASS students learning materials on universal design and strength-based pedagogical approaches to help other students. Develop a pre- and post-support plan for new PASS student tutors. 

13. Develop ways to incorporate technology: Provide a list of 10 proven evidence-based strategies that can support the implementation of technological tools to enhance my teaching and learning practices for my students. Now offer technological tools to help implement the above. 

14. Provide feedback on student assignments: If generative AI is implemented to your learning management system (LMS), provide feedback to students, whereby students are enrolled in a hypothetical computer science course and the AI receives their assignments and analyses the code and offers feedback. Explain how this could be made possible in other courses and in this example.

15. Develop strategies for classroom inclusivity: Act as an accessibility expert and identify areas of this rubric and this assessment that could be more inclusive. Now provide alternative assessments based on the results. Develop a hypothetical scenario of how generative AI can support the above. 

16. Collaborative learning ideas: Offer learning activities online and in class, instead of “think, pair and share” activities, to engage students and encourage them to talk to each other. 

17. For academic support: Provide a hypothetical case study of how generative AI could offer academic support to students. Develop a series of questions and answers that might support a student developing an essay. 

18. Provide strategies and resources for teaching staff: Act as a coordinator and offer new staff a series of teaching and learning strategies for their small classes. Offer a workbook of things to consider and summarise feedback from last year’s evaluation to improve their delivery. 

19. Proofread and edit copy: Review the following piece of writing and correct spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax errors. Provide five areas of improvement. 

20. Develop learning outcomes or learning objectives: List these learning objectives as learning outcomes. Now apply Bloom’s taxonomy to develop higher-order learning outcomes.

21. Unpack and make sense rubrics: Unpack the ratings and criteria of the following rubric. Suggest ideas and recommend steps so that I can achieve high distinction in this assessment item. Encourage students to use AI to unpack and understand the rubric and task requirements. This feature can be helpful for students who struggle to understand the language used in rubrics or for students who want to ensure that they are meeting all the criteria.

22. Support inductions with students as partners: Develop a strategy for students as partners to work collaboratively with staff within induction. Generative AI could offer strategies to decrease power between staff and students. A potential prompt could be developing a team charter for effective group work and allocation of time and work that all students sign.

23. Create a week-by-week study plan using assessment and learning objectives: You are an undergrad student at an Australian university, you have two part-time jobs [specify shifts], and you have classes on these days and times [specify the schedule]. Now generate a study plan for the semester, consisting of 12 weeks. Use this assessment and course material, and weekly learning outcomes, and plan out a week-by-week strategy of what I should be doing. 

24. Communicate with students on discussion forums: Assist me in writing correspondence to encourage students to complete or respond to discussion posts or get assistance in writing personalised feedback and reminders. Ensure the tone is encouraging and friendly.

25. Send reminders and notifications: Develop a research plan and project plan for these five projects. Plan and space them out in my calendar and set up reminders, noting not to put any in one specific week. 

In our next resource in this five-part series, we will share 25 uses of generative AI that can help to boost student engagement. Please note that prompts and applications of AI output should adhere to the fundamental values of the International Centre for Academic Integrity: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage.

Seb Dianati is an academic lead for digital learning initiatives, and Suman Laudari is a digital learning designer, both at Charles Darwin University.

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