My New Book!

My New Book!
My New Book!

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

September 6, 2023: Fall Semester Previews: First-Year Writing I

[This week marks the start of the Fall 2023 semester and my 19th year at Fitchburg State. So as ever, I’ll kick off the semester with preview posts, this time focused on ongoing challenges and leading up to an update on my current book project!]

I don’t imagine the First-Year Writing challenge I’m going to highlight here will come as a surprise to anyone who’s been connected to the news over the last year or so. Few if any subjects have dominated those current events conversations more than the rapid evolution of AI, and certainly few if any subjects have dominated higher ed debates more than ChatGPT and its ilk. For a long time, I said and meant that I wasn’t interested in those debates—I’ve never wanted to be a policeman in the classroom, and have always believed in giving students the benefit of the doubt and then responding if and when there are instances of plagiarism. All of that’s still unquestionably the case, but also unquestionable is the ready and attractive availability of such AI programs for student writers (and I know from my two high school-age sons how frequently students take advantage of those programs). So I do plan to talk briefly about ChatGPT on the first day, and mainly to say this: as with literally everything else, I hope students will talk to me about it, about when and how they might think about using it, about what it seems to offer as well as its limitations, about how we navigate this new layer to our moment. That’s about the only answer to this challenge that I’ve got, but I can’t imagine a better one.

Next preview post tomorrow,


PS. What do you think? Fall previews you’d share?


  1. Wondering what kinds of responses you've been getting from your students regarding AI tools and their educational experiences.

    1. Not too many yet, but I do think folks appreciate my foregrounding it as something to talk about and share, rather than just about plagiarism or the like.