Prompting Strategies for Educators Using ChatGPT and LLMs

As more educators and students begin to use Large Language Models (LLMs) such as, ChatGPT, Bard, Claude, and others, one of the key challenges is understanding how to use prompts effectively to refine and build upon responses. 

A prompt refers to a question, statement, query, or task that is entered into the text box of a Large Language Model (LLM) such as ChatGPT, Bard, or Claude. It assists the Large Language Model in understanding the intent of the person who is typing, whether it be a question, statement, or task, and then generating appropriate responses to address the question, statement, or task. Teachers can try various prompts in order to generate specific information or explore different subjects. When working with prompts, it is important to take the time to review the response and seek additional clarification, definition, or specificity through further prompts. The information can be at times incorrect, or inaccurate, hence double-checking is a key step in learning how to prompt. 

Using prompts can help both students and educators access more targeted and accurate information, facilitate deeper learning, and promote critical thinking skills. It is important to understand prompting requires patience and practice. To develop proficiency in prompting, there are several resources and strategies worth exploring shared below. One example of an effective approach is to start by writing thoughtful and targeted prompts that align with specific learning objectives. For example, if the objective is to learn more about a historical event, a prompt could be written to ask about the causes, consequences, and key players involved.

Another strategy is to provide students with examples of well-crafted prompts and encourage them to analyze and evaluate them. By examining successful prompts, students can develop a deeper understanding of what makes a prompt effective and apply these to their own work.

Educators can use technology tools such as chatbots and interactive dialogue models to help students practice and refine their prompting skills in a safe and controlled environment. 

In our respective school settings, it is important to ensure that our curriculums of digital literacy integrate Large Language Models (LLMs). This skill is becoming essential as these AI tools seamlessly integrate into the digital ecosystems we engage with, both in school and in our personal lives. Developing proficiency in prompting is important for educators and students alike, as it represents a new essential skill of digital literacy. Taking the time to learn the strategies, approaches, language, and questioning techniques for effective prompting is very much like the early days when we were learning how to use search engines and terms. Acquiring solid prompting skills not only supports the development of critical thinking but also equips us to navigate the complexities of the information age. Mastering the skill of digital and information literacy to harness the potential of natural language models provides students and educators with the necessary tools to be critical thinkers with all the information and data that surrounds us.

Here are a few resources every educator must have in their toolkit, check it out!

A Teacher’s Prompt Guide to ChatGPT
Short instructional teachers guide to using ChatGPT pdf download

50 ChatGPT Prompts for Teachers:
https://classtechtips.com/2023/03/15/chatgpt-prompts-for-teachers/

Seven Suggestions for Saving Time With ChatGPT by shiftingschools.com
https://www.shiftingschools.com/free-pdfs 

100 Prompts for Teachers to Ask ChatGPT
https://youtu.be/mxC6QA_KYX8?t=2

From @herfteducator A Teacher’s Prompt Guide to ChatGPT https://usergeneratededucation.files.wordpress.com/2023/01/a-teachers-prompt-guide-to-chatgpt-aligned-with-what-works-best.pdf

From Ted Pickett @Mr.Pickett
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viLLY1EyAx0&ab_channel=TedPickett

Dr. Phillipa Hardman from Cambridge University ChatGPT Edu-Mega-Prompts
https://drphilippahardman.substack.com/p/introducing-chatgpt-edu-mega-prompts?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

How to write an effective GPT-3 prompt  https://zapier.com/blog/gpt-3-prompt/

3 Principles for prompt engineering with ChatGPT
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-principles-prompt-engineering-gpt-3-ben-whately/

ChatGPT Guide: Six basic prompt strategies
https://the-decoder.com/chatgpt-guide-five-basic-prompt-strategies-for-better-results/

Advanced ChatGPT Prompt Tutorial 

Strategies for ChatGPT prompting
https://community.openai.com/t/strategies-for-chatgpt-prompting/25311/1 

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