Using AI to Teach Future Leaders

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Wednesday, January 24, 2024
By Sally Berry
Photo by iStock/Kudryavtsev Pavel
How one lecturer has integrated generative artificial intelligence into her teaching to streamline her preparation and enhance student learning.
  • Artificial intelligence enables educators to prepare exam questions, assignments, and model essay responses in minutes, freeing up our time and energy to help students refine their analyses and recommendations.
  • To use ChatGPT to design course content, we can refine its output by simply “speaking” to the platform as if in an informal conversation.
  • We can use ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms both to prepare students for technology-rich business environments and to adapt business education to the modern technological landscape.


We find ourselves in an age when artificial intelligence (AI) is not only revolutionizing industries, but also transforming business education. This development has many of us asking the same question: How can we effectively integrate AI into business education as we prepare students—and ourselves—for the future?

The changes that AI platforms have brought to the classroom have happened swiftly. Even so, I already have seen firsthand how we can use AI to enhance our teaching and foster future leaders. AI-supported pedagogy can help us in so many ways:

  • To design more dynamic and interactive learning experiences and enhance students’ practical problem-solving skills.
  • To create realistic business and legal scenarios that empower students to critically assess and interact with AI-generated content, improving learning outcomes in the process.
  • To foster adaptability and tech-savviness among students, so that they will be fully prepared to navigate the future business landscape.
  • To ensure, by using AI ourselves, that we are continuously evaluating and adapting AI tools to meet our students’ educational needs.

At the University of Dayton (UD) in Ohio, a segment of the faculty is actively exploring the educational potential of AI tools such as ChatGPT. Our exploration is about more than simply embracing new technology. It represents a significant shift in the way we teach and prepare students for a future intertwined with technology.

Below, I share four ways that I use ChatGPT in my courses—in each case, I refine the platform’s responses until I receive the most useful output. My experience can serve as a case study that highlights how we can use AI to significantly streamline our classroom preparation and enhance student learning.

1. Innovate Exam Preparation

As a lecturer and MBA Director at UD’s School of Business, I have utilized ChatGPT to revolutionize the way I prepare both undergraduate and graduate exams. I can input specific concepts into the AI platform, identify the education level of the students involved, and offer appropriate prompts. In response, the tool rapidly outputs detailed, context-rich situations that require students to apply business knowledge in ways that mirror real-world problem-solving. 

Below is just one example of how I recently used this tool to write an exam for a graduate-level business law course. As you can see, my prompts were not written as well-thought-out, grammatically correct sentences. Rather—and this is key—I simply “spoke” to the tool as if we were having a conversation. My initial request was as follows:

    “Please help me prepare an essay exam for graduate-level business law students that will be worth 150 points. The topics covered should be white-collar embezzlement (and the elements needed to prove it); business entities, including limited liability corporations [LLCs], C corporations, general partnerships, and limited partnerships, and which is best from a liability, autonomy, and tax standpoint; and Title VII discrimination. Create at least three complex factual scenarios that require analysis of these topics, including potential corporate legal liability and what to recommend to corporate leadership from a managerial perspective.”

In its first response, ChatGPT created three exam scenarios that encompassed the topics I had specified, all involving the fictional protagonists Sarah and Mike. Each scenario asked students to conduct legal analyses and come up with recommendations.

After reading these scenarios, I requested several changes. Here, it is important to note that I always begin my requests for revision by telling ChatGPT what to keep. Doing so saves time because it prevents the platform from iterating on the initial request.

So, first, I made the following request, asking that it keep all of its version of Scenario 1 with one adjustment: 

    “Reprint ALL OF THIS but change question No. 1 to display brief internal documents highlighting proof of embezzlement and ask the student, ‘If you were part of the management team facing an audit, what information might you identify as placing the organization at risk for liability exposure and what would you recommend to corporate leadership?’”

Next, I made a request for a revision of Scenario 2:

    “Reprint as is but, for No. 2, include details about Sarah and Mike's personal lives, business backgrounds, and factors that make their choices more complicated.”

The third scenario that ChatGPT created seemed too vague, so I asked for another modification:

    “Reprint all of this as is but beef up No. 3 to explain why XYZ has been accused.”

I then took another look at Scenario 1 and requested a perspective shift:

    “Reprint as is but change No. 1 so that the student is a consultant who conducted the audit and made findings that management cannot explain. Ask the student to discuss what, and to whom, he or she will report from a criminal standpoint, and what advice the student will give to the senior leadership of the company.”

And for the final touch, I asked the platform to change the nature of the questions in Scenarios 2 and 3:

    “Reprint as is but for most questions, where appropriate, ask the student which advisors should be consulted, what should be discussed, and why.”

Generating and refining these factual scenarios required only minutes. This freed up my time and energy to assist students with fine-tuning their analyses and formulating their recommendations, just as if they were advising corporate leaders in real-life business settings.

2. Expedite the Grading Process

After each exam, I use ChatGPT to assist in developing model answers to be used as a grading rubric. This involves inputting the scenario back into ChatGPT and requesting it to draft a comprehensive answer based on the criteria that I provide. I then refine the model answer to ensure it aligns with course teachings and provides a clear benchmark for grading.

For example, in a recent exchange with ChatGPT, I first input my essay question, which presented the scenario I described in the section above, in which Sarah and Mike, each with their unique financial situations and concerns, are planning to start a technology business. The question asked students to analyze the business partners’ situation, and then recommend which business structure would be most suitable. It also asked students to identify the people with whom Sarah and Mike should consult.

I always begin my requests for revision by telling ChatGPT what to keep. Doing so saves time because it prevents the platform from iterating on the initial request.
Then, I asked ChatGPT to draft a model answer to this question. Just as I did above, I continued to request revisions until I arrived at an answer that matched my specifications. I then shared that benchmark with ChatGPT along with the following prompt:

    “This is the model answer. Please use this to create a grading rubric where the question is worth 50 total points.”

The platform provided a comprehensive response that detailed the pros and cons of each business structure, before recommending that an LLC would be most suitable for Sarah and Mike’s business. It then recommended that Sarah and Mike consult with a business attorney, a CPA or tax advisor, and a financial advisor to make an informed decision.

I agreed that the students, based on our class discussion, should be able to identify all of these elements. So, I accepted the response and went through the following steps:

    I asked ChatGPT to evaluate one student’s response. ChatGPT’s evaluation covered the depth and accuracy of one student’s analysis, the relevance of the analysis to the scenario, the viability of the recommendations, and the response’s overall structure and clarity. The platform provided a detailed breakdown of scores in each category and overall feedback. I agreed with its analysis. However, it assigned an inaccurate point value. So, I went a step further.

    I requested a correction. I noted that a perfect score would equal 50 points and asked ChatGPT to adjust its scoring according to the requested scale, maintaining proportionality in each section.

    I input additional student responses for evaluation. I continued to present different student responses to the same question, asking ChatGPT to score each one. ChatGPT systematically assessed each response per the rubric and offered constructive feedback. I evaluated that feedback and responded with requests to tweak the output until I believed the rubric was ready for me to present to students.

As you can see from the above, my use of the AI platform to create a grading rubric was not a one-and-done interaction, but rather a give-and-take conversation. In each of my responses, I made clear what was acceptable and what required additional changes. I input several students’ responses to be sure that the rubric was correct and comprehensive. Using this approach, I was confident that I was being systematic and unbiased.

3. Create Course Assignments

For an undergraduate version of my business law course, I used ChatGPT to help me create a mock trial exercise that involved defendants accused of fraud and embezzlement. At my request, the platform first created six witness profiles—three for the petitioner and three for the respondent.

Next, it produced a detailed narrative, complete with potential evidence and witness profiles. Finally, it created an outline of the trial, indicating which witness should testify for each side (and when), what the purpose of that witness’s testimony would be, and which evidence supported that testimony.

Students used this outline to immerse themselves in their chosen personas. Those who chose to take on attorney roles asked the AI for help in drafting questions, which they then tweaked and delivered in our law school’s courtroom.

4. Support Diverse Learning Needs

Finally, I also regularly encourage my students to use ChatGPT to adapt the course to their individual learning styles and to personalize their own learning experiences.

For instance, I demonstrate in the classroom how they can utilize ChatGPT to create their own practice quizzes and test questions (including multiple-choice questions). After completing these quizzes, students can receive an AI-generated critique of each of their answers.

I demonstrate to students how they can utilize ChatGPT to create their own practice quizzes or ask the platform to guide them until they arrive at the correct conclusions on their own.

In addition, I show them how to use the platform as a study tool that, instead of giving them the right answers, guides them until they arrive at the correct conclusions on their own. Finally, I emphasize that AI is not always accurate, so that they must not rely on information that they have not validated.

That said, newer versions of the technology—which, at this writing, include ChatGPT 4.0 and GPT-4 Turbo—provide more in-depth analysis and handle complex questions more effectively than prior versions. Improvements are being made almost daily. That’s why we must encourage our students to interact with ChatGPT on an ongoing basis for a range of purposes. I firmly believe that business students who do not become robust users of AI tools will be woefully behind when they enter the business world.

Expanding the Impact of AI

The integration of AI into education is not limited to enhancing traditional learning methods; it also opens doors to new forms of engagement and interaction. ChatGPT, for example, allows both educators and students to create interactive learning modules that can simulate real-world business negotiations, strategic planning sessions, and even crisis management scenarios. This immersive approach provides students with a safe space to experiment, make decisions, and see the consequences of their actions in a controlled environment.

For my part, I view ChatGPT as a teaching tool that we can use strategically to prepare students for technology-rich business environments. Our journey in integrating this technology represents a significant step forward in adapting business education to the modern technological landscape.

As we embrace new technologies in our teaching, we will continue to enhance students’ learning experiences. More important, we will equip students with essential skills they will need not only to address today’s business challenges, but also to take advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities. 

Sally Berry
MBA Director and Lecturer, School of Business Administration, University of Dayton
The views expressed by contributors to AACSB Insights do not represent an official position of AACSB, unless clearly stated.
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