2024 AI in Higher Education Symposium – Australia & New Zealand

Adobe Stock, used with permission

Over the last year, educators have been doing some amazing things with generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot, Midjourney, Cogniti, and others. At this half-day regional symposium, we invite educators from higher education institutions across Australia and New Zealand to meet and share their creative and authentic uses of generative AI to improve teaching, learning, assessment, and curriculum. By collaborating and sharing practice, we can respond and innovate more quickly to the challenges and opportunities presented by AI in higher education. 

We welcome all educators who work in higher education – lecturers, educational designers, professors, academic developers, tutors, educational technologists, and any other educators. After all, we can only address generative AI if we work together.



Date and time: Wednesday 7 February 2024 from 9:00 am (Australian Eastern Daylight Time) to lunchtime

Venue: The University of Sydney and online (hybrid) 

Cost: Free, but registration is essential and in-person spaces are limited 

Morning tea and lunch (after the symposium) will be provided. All participants are warmly invited to stay for the afternoon and attend the annual Sydney Education Unconference which will follow. 



Registration is open to all educators. 

Register to attend the symposium



This program is subject to change. All times are in Sydney time (Australian Eastern Daylight Time). Note that summaries for most presentations were written by the organisers (with assistance of GPT-4) and then checked by the authors.

Presenters with share how their work is adaptable by educators in other contexts, sharing candid and honest reflections on practice that will spur open discussions about generative AI use.

Time Track 1 Track 2 Track 3
9:15 am
9:30 am
[1A1] Curating engagements with AI in assessments
Ari Seligmann (Monash University)

In this presentation, we present a select range of curated examples of assessment at Monash that involves artificial intelligence technologies. Here the curation is as important as the examples themse... [more]
[2A1] Using ChatGPT to provide formative feedback in a large class collaborative learning experience.
Cory Dal Ponte (University of Melbourne)

Utilising ChatGPT for formative feedback during collaborative learning in a large class setting showed promising results. In a flipped classroom model, students received personalised feedback from Cha... [more]
[3A1] Bicycle for the mind: AI for Accessibility
Szymon Machajewski and Landen Dixon (University of Illinois Chicago)

Explore how AI enhances accessibility in education, offering alternative document formats and interaction methods. It ensures equitable access for students with disabilities, featuring tools like imag... [more]
9:45 am
[1A2] ChatGPT – students are using it, do they actually understand it?
Jane Kerr (University of Sydney)

A case-study of using a unique 'Lane 2 approach' assessment in a first year Business undergraduate unit, where 500 students compared their own macroenvironmental business analyses on an Aust... [more]
[2A2] ‘Mrs S’ – An AI primary school teacher helping occupational therapy students practice their skills
Joanne Hinitt (University of Sydney)

In a second-year occupational therapy course, generative AI was innovatively used to enhance student learning. Students employed AI to brainstorm and refine therapy strategies for a client case study.... [more]
[3A2] AI: Your Idea-Boosting, Time-Saving Co-Teacher
Olga Kozar (Macquarie University)

As educators, we always strive to make our classes engaging, but often we're short on time. ChatGPT has greatly streamlined my lesson planning, improved the quality of my explanations and example... [more]
10:00 am
[1A3] How Generative AI Can Enhance Grader’s Assessment Feedback At Scale
Minh Huynh and Fran Van Den Berg (University of Sydney)

Using the generative AI tool Cogniti, educators in a first-year biology unit provide enhanced feedback on scientific reports. Cogniti helps overcome challenges in grading large cohorts by expanding br... [more]
[2A3] Aristotle meets AI: an authentic approach to co-writing with text-generators
Susan Thomas (University of Sydney)

This presentation will report on a pilot use of AI text generators as collaborators in WRIT6000 Professional Writing. In collaboration with AI, students were asked to write a creative 1500-word pitch... [more]
[3A3] Towards inclusive learning environments: Using Cogniti to design for diversity
Ella Collins-White and Kria Coleman (University of Sydney)

We will show how educators can work towards creating diverse and inclusive learning environments with the help of an AI agent. This tool assists in designing material informed by the Universal Design ... [more]
10:15 am
Q&A – in tracks
10:25 am
Movement break
10:30 am
[1B1] AI and ancient art: Generating images to learn about text
Alina Kozlovski (University of New England)

In this talk I explore how AI image generators can be used to get students to engage with the close reading of historical texts. By combining text and image, this process can also instigate broader co... [more]
[2B1] What students do when allowed – but not required – to use AI
Tatjana Seizova-Cajic (University of Sydney)

In a research methods unit, students were introduced to AI and encouraged to use it for their research proposals. They found AI useful for exploring concepts and refining their work, despite initial ... [more]
[3B1] Talking to an Avatar
Martin Brown (University of Sydney)

An innovative approach employs AI-driven avatars for students to practice verbal interactions, such as delivering bad news or taking patient histories. These generative AI avatars offer unique, unscri... [more]
10:45 am
[1B2] Generative Language: Metaphor and Artificial Intelligence in the Shakespeare Classroom
Huw Griffiths (University of Sydney)

At the University of Sydney's Shakespeare course, students use ChatGPT and other AI platforms to analyze Shakespearean metaphors, comparing AI-derived insights with established sources like the O... [more]
[2B2] Bridging Theory and Practice: AI-Enhanced Crisis Management
Joel Moore (Monash University)

In this presentation, I will showcase my recent experience piloting a novel, AI-supported platform, designed to simulate professional scenarios and environments. This pilot focused on a four-week inte... [more]
[3B2] Personifying a coral reef
David Yeats, Lucian Sutevski, Elham Hafiz, and Renee Jones (University of Technology Sydney)

Interactive learning materials for coral identification were enhanced by personifying corals using AI. This approach involved creating coral personalities, converting them into first-person narratives... [more]
11:00 am
[1B3] Using ChatGPT and MidJourney to speculate architectural futures
Linus Tan (Swinburne University of Technology)

In a postgraduate Design and Architecture studio, students used ChatGPT to speculate on future trends and MidJourney to visualize them. This process included training ChatGPT as a futurist, creating f... [more]
[2B3] Re-imagined capstone learning: from long essay to creative design projects
Kellie Charles (University of Sydney)

PCOL3888, an interdisciplinary pharmacology capstone unit, integrated AI in its curriculum through a co-design approach with students. AI bots aided in brainstorming, knowledge summarisation, draft pl... [more]
[3B3] Practicing workplace conversations: OSCE practice tutor
Rebecca Roubin (University of Sydney)

An AI double is used for role-playing in OSCE practice, helping pharmacy students enhance communication and clinical reasoning skills. It offers interactive guidance, adapts to students' pace, an... [more]
11:15 am
Q&A – in tracks
11:30 am
Morning tea
12:00 pm
[1C1] Evaluating assessment for AI-resilience using critical thinking
Luke Zaphir (University of Queensland)

An innovative method evaluates assessments for AI resilience by testing their completion using generative AI with varying levels of prompting. This process, derived from the Critical Thinking Project ... [more]
[2C1] Veterinary students find ChatGPT practical and relevant but are not concerned about AI replacing veterinarians
Kate Worthing (University of Sydney)

Second-year veterinary students evaluated ChatGPT's utility in creating a 'Visual Learning Tool' (VLT) for a common veterinary pathogen. Through critical appraisal of ChatGPT's out... [more]
[3C1] Empowering Educators and Enriching Students: The Dual Benefits of GenAI in Tertiary Education
Chris Lawler (University of Sydney / Southern Cross University)

An academic course writer's systematic approach for utilising generative AI for online course material creation to for delivery via a Learning Management System will be shared. The approach signi... [more]
12:15 pm
[1C2] Incorporating generative AI in teacher education: Re-designing an existing assignment in EAL/D pedagogy
Simone Smala, Suijing Yang (University of Queensland)

EDUC2750 Multilingualism and Education at the University of Queensland integrates ChatGPT into EAL/D pedagogy for pre-service primary teachers. In one assessment item, students analyse and design prim... [more]
[2C2] Fostering critical AI literacy: a balanced response to generative AI in an information literacy unit
John Pike (University of South Australia)

At UniSA College, a 'critical AI literacy' approach was incorporated into an information literacy unit. It involved guiding students in appropriate genAI usage for tasks like refining resear... [more]
[3C2] Widening Participation in the Digital Age: Embracing AI and Equity-Centric Communications to enhance first-year tertiary students’ engagement and sense of belonging.
Nathalie Wierdak (University of Otago)

At the University of Otago, a novel approach uses AI, specifically ChatGPT, to enhance engagement and belonging among first-year tertiary students, focusing on those from underrepresented backgrounds.... [more]
12:30 pm
[1C3] AI in Written Assessment: Enhancing or Diminishing Learning?
Antonette Shibani (UTS)

Generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, when employed to support learners in assessment can lead to improvements in their writing and understanding of AI capabilities. However, concerns about academic i... [more]
[2C3] Student Empowerment in an AI-Enabled Classroom: Learning Portfolios and Acknowledgment Forms
James Bedford and William Scates Frances (UNSW)

In GENY0002, an Academic Skills course at the University of New South Wales, students are taught responsible and ethical use of AI for writing and research. The curriculum includes open discussions on... [more]
[3C3] From Generative AI to Computational Co-Creativity
Kaz Grace (University of Sydney)

In a design course, AI is used as both a teaching tool and subject matter. The instructor, with a background in AI research and computational creativity, encourages students to experiment with generat... [more]
12:45 pm
Q&A – in tracks
1:00 pm
1:45 pm
Join us for the 2024 Sydney Education Unconference
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Get in touch

This event is being organised by Danny Liu and Adam Bridgeman from the DVC (Education) Portfolio at the University of Sydney along with Michael Cowling from CQUniversity, Tim Fawns from Monash University, and Russell Butson from the University of Otago. Please get in touch with [email protected] if you have any questions about the event.