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Tag: student affairs

Applying ChatGPT in Student Affairs Education: AI-Generated Case Studies for Realistic Learning

This blog post is about the value of using case studies and Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI), including ChatGPT, for practical and effective learning for student affairs professionals, student leaders, and programs for undergraduate and graduate programs.

Over the past few years, I have been a judge for a national virtual student affairs-focused case study competition. I recently completed this year’s competition, which inspired me to explore new ways of generating case studies for student affairs professionals. Additionally, I have been a mentor for the NASPA Undergraduate Fellowship Program (NUFP) for the past eight years, working with undergraduate students from underrepresented communities who are interested in pursuing student affairs as a career. As a staff advisor for student organizations for the last two decades, I have advised student leaders in navigating challenging scenarios; these scenarios are expected as they consistently appear every year, but some scenarios are unique for that particular year.

These experiences, coupled with my interest in the potential of ChatGPT in higher education, led me to consider how Generative AI, like ChatGPT, can be used to create student affairs-focused case studies for undergraduate fellows, graduate programs, student leaders, advisors, and student affairs professionals.

The Value of a Well-Designed Case Study

A well-designed case study is an invaluable learning tool, especially in student affairs. It provides students and professionals with a realistic scenario that allows them to apply their knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities to real-life situations. This kind of experiential learning fosters a deeper understanding of theories and concepts, encourages reflection, and promotes the development of problem-solving skills.

Using ChatGPT to Generate Student Affairs Case Studies

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful language model demonstrating its capacity to generate human-like text based on given inputs. By leveraging the capabilities of ChatGPT, we can generate a wide range of student affairs-focused case studies tailored to specific learning objectives and outcomes. These case studies can be used in various educational settings, such as classrooms, workshops, and professional development programs.

Below are some ways ChatGPT-generated case studies can benefit student affairs professionals and students:

  1. Customization: ChatGPT allows educators and professionals to customize case studies based on their needs, goals, and contexts. This means that case studies can be tailored to address the unique challenges and situations most relevant to a particular group of learners or professionals.
  2.  Variety: With ChatGPT, we can generate various case studies to expose learners to various issues and scenarios. This variety provides learners with new scenarios instead of those presented with the same problems and contexts that may need to be updated or relevant today.
  3.  Time and Cost Efficiency: Creating case studies can be time-consuming and costly. ChatGPT streamlines the process by generating case studies quickly and efficiently, allowing educators and professionals to focus on other essential aspects of their work. It is important to note that the generated case studies may need to be modified for accuracy and more details.
  4.  Adaptability: As the field of student affairs continues to evolve, ChatGPT-generated case studies can be easily adapted and updated to reflect new trends, challenges, and best practices, ensuring that learners are constantly engaged with the most current and relevant material.

Here are examples of case studies generated by ChatGPT:

Case study 1: Balancing Academic and Extracurricular Involvement
Case study 2: Supporting Students’ Mental Health
Case Study 3: Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion in Student Organizations
Case Study 4: Addressing Student Food Insecurity
Case Study 5: Building a Comprehensive Campus Wellness Program


As the needs of our students and the nature of our work as student affairs professionals evolve, we must continue to explore and embrace new technologies and methodologies that enhance our ability to educate and prepare the next generation of student affairs professionals. The integration of ChatGPT in generating student affairs-focused case studies holds the potential to enrich the learning experiences of students and professionals alike.

Student Conduct Officers: Are You Prepared to Deal with ChatGPT?

I have yet to read many articles on how higher education student conduct officers should respond to ChatGPT-related academic and behavioral misconduct incidents. So, to get some general ideas on the topic, I prompted ChatGPT with ideas on what a 1-hour training to introduce ChatGPT, the relevance to their jobs, and potential approaches they may have when such incidents arise.

This blog post aims to:

  1. Share a 1-hour training session plan that can be used as a baseline for others to adapt.
  2. Illustrate the utility of ChatGPT as a learning tool.
  3. Use ChatGPT to develop training activities.

One important note: The value of a knowledgeable instructor/practical facilitator who can lead inclusive, diverse, and productive discussions cannot be understated. For this interactive training, the approach of “guide by the side,” whereby the teacher acts as a facilitator or guide for the learning process, is more effective than “sage on the stage,” whereby the teacher lectures, and the students listen and take notes.

Learning Outcomes/Objectives:

  • Define what ChatGPT is and how it works
  • Understand the potential impact of ChatGPT on academic and behavioral misconducts
  • Analyze case studies involving ChatGPT and academic or behavioral misconducts, and recommend appropriate responses
  • Develop a plan of action to respond to academic and behavioral misconducts involving ChatGPT

By the end of this training, student conduct officers should be able to:

  • Define what ChatGPT is and explain how it works, and recognize its potential applications in various fields
  • Understand the potential impact of ChatGPT on academic and behavioral misconducts, and recognize its relevance to student conduct officers’ work
  • Analyze case studies involving ChatGPT and academic or behavioral misconducts, and recommend appropriate responses, taking into account ethical considerations and best practices
  • Develop a plan of action to respond to academic and behavioral misconducts involving ChatGPT, using guidelines and best practices, and involving AI experts and stakeholders as necessary

Time Allocation:

I. Introduction (5 mins)

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Brief explanation of the purpose of the training session
  • Overview of what ChatGPT is and how it works

II. Importance and Relevance (10 mins)

  • Discuss why it is important for student conduct officers to be aware of ChatGPT
  • Explain how ChatGPT can be relevant to academic and behavioral misconducts
  • Provide examples of how ChatGPT can impact academic and behavioral misconducts

III. Case Study Activities (30 mins)

  • Divide the group into small groups
  • Provide each group with a case study activity involving ChatGPT and academic or behavioral misconduct
  • Allow each group time to analyze the case study and discuss potential responses to the situation
  • Reconvene the group and allow each group to present their analysis and recommended response

IV. Responding to Misconduct (10 mins)

  • Discuss potential approaches to responding to academic and behavioral misconducts involving ChatGPT
  • Provide guidelines for investigating and addressing potential misconduct involving ChatGPT
  • Discuss the importance of involving AI experts and developing policies to prevent future misconduct

V. Conclusion and Learning Outcomes (5 mins)

  • Recap the main points covered in the training
  • Reiterate the importance of being aware of ChatGPT and its potential impact on academic and behavioral misconducts
  • Provide learning outcomes for the training


It is imperative that student service practitioners, including student conduct officers, engage in learning about ChatGPT to gain competencies to better serve and prevent harm to students and other campus constituents. Ill-informed policies and practices implemented do have social justice implications.

While a significant portion of the conversations related to ChatGPT center around academic integrity and teaching/learning, higher education institutions consist of many areas/capabilities in the learning and teaching, research, and enabling capabilities that warrant explorations on the implications and utilities of this technology. 

Email me at for a facilitator’s guide for this training which includes scenarios for the case study section and details for each section.

My Professional Reading List 2015

thumbAnother year of professional growth and learning. A significant amount of my time went to my MBA (IT Mgmt Specialization) course work in 2015; I could not devote as many hours to reading about other topics I enjoy, such as higher education and student affairs. Nevertheless, I still managed to enjoy reading the books below. As it was with my professional reading lists for 2013  and 2014, most of the books below are kindle books I read through my iPhone and iPad. The beauty of mobile learning. Please feel free to ask me for any recommendations.

Business & Productivity

Change and Innovation

Higher Education / Student Affairs

Information Technology



Reframing Technology in Student Affairs

Technology can be scary for some. The prospect of technology potentially replacing one’s position in an organization is even scarier. This is one of the reasons why advances brought upon by technology are not always embraced by all. From my experience working in student affairs IT for more than fifteen years, obstacles to implementing new systems are not always about the shortcomings of the technology themselves but rather, the bigger challenge lies with the resistance of those impacted by the new systems based on fear, unwillingness to embrace change, refusal to learn new skills, or the belief their current practices are superior to what technology can offer. When implementing new systems, as a project manager, a few of the questions from the staff I know I have to address are “what’s in it for me?”, “Will it replace me?” and “how do I fit in?” The reality is that technology has changed manual processes that may have existed in the past. Technology has made certain processes more efficient through automation. In some cases, this has led to eliminating positions that used to perform these manual operations. For folks in these positions had to learn and adapt to the new ways of doing things, move to new positions, or leave.

One of the concerns about using technology in student affairs, particularly when dealing with students/customers, is that certain services requiring face-to-face communication should not be replaced with technology. I generally agree with this sentiment. Not every process can be replaced with technology. If that is the case, there would be no need for staff. However, consider that technology may provide staff with more operational efficiency and effectiveness so they can devote more face-to-face interaction and provide more time to students who need extra attention. Given our students’ global nature and increasing online presence in higher education, physical face-to-face may not be an option. Here are some examples of how technology complements and improves our work:

– Knowledge base systems like Intelliresponse that can answer most commonly asked questions can minimize the number of phone calls and emails to staff, thereby providing more time to deal with special scenarios.

– Electronic medical records and case management systems provide student affairs practitioners with relevant student information from different parts of the campus they can use to assist students. Institutions without these systems probably still need to gather information on paper from different places. Imagine students having to wait during an appointment as the counselor must wade through files, which may contain outdated information, and synthesize the information in front of them.

– Web-based self-service systems can delegate some of the tasks to students themselves. For example, disabled students could register for services provided by disabled students programs by providing their health information and requesting services (proctoring, notetaking, etc.) online. Given some business validation to ensure all required documentation is provided, these self-service systems save students and staff unnecessary steps and time going over required documents.

– Virtual conferencing tools such as Adobe Connect to provide webinars to incoming students who may not be able to visit the campus (international students, out-of-state, etc.) are saving institutions time and money for travel. They can also accommodate the different time zones when students are available. I know colleagues who have held web conferences at 2 am for students in China.

– Digital x-ray systems in student health centers have significantly reduced the time required to diagnose a patient. In the past, the process would have involved sending these x-rays to facilities outside the university for a couple of days. Student health centers with digital x-ray capabilities can now do the same process in minutes.

– Automated degree audit systems can assist students and advisors with information to monitor academic progress. The efficiency and accuracy provided by these systems are tremendous compared to manual processes, which require staff to enter and process volumes of student academic records.

With the topics I introduced above, including staff’s attitude to change and looking at technology as a tool for efficiency and effectiveness, we must also look at the subject of technology competency. What does technology competency mean? As I wrote in this blog post, I define student affairs technology competency as:

“Technology competency includes the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to use, design, evaluate and implement technology to support the goals of functional units and towards one’s work.”

Competency is not solely about the mechanics of using the technology itself but how technology is applied intentionally. Technology competency involves technical and business aptitudes as well as the right attitudes. In analogy, one does not develop competency with money but rather how money is used.

How do we then develop staff’s technology competency? Graduate programs must include technology as part of their curriculum, either as a component in other courses offered or as a course on its own. Not all student affairs professionals have a degree in student affairs, so opportunities to develop technology competency must be available to all staff. One such opportunity, which is also applicable to graduate programs, is a course on technology in student affairs. This would be in addition to any training provided by institutions such as and sites available to individuals, including codecademy and I also think our profession could encourage and promote discussions about effective technology use in student affairs by bringing the topic to the forefront and not just as an underlying component of other competencies. Perhaps, the next version of Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Professionals by NASPA/ACPA could include technology as a competency area and not as a thread.

Anyone to deny the idea that technology is an integral component of student affairs today has not worked in student affairs, and/or they have not spent the time reflecting on how technology impacts our work and our students. The question is no longer about whether technology should be a part of how we perform our jobs but how we best use technology in whatever capacity we contribute towards our mission of supporting student success. Student affairs professionals do not have the choice of accepting technology as part of their job.  This article, “You 3.0: The Most Important Evolving Technology“, says it quite aptly:

“The focus will be on the relationship between the evolving technology and the user—that is, on You 3.0.”

To be successful at what we do in providing service requires our willingness to adapt, not react, to the realities of the world of our students.

What are your thoughts on how we should frame technology in student affairs? Do you agree/disagree with my assertion that technology is a critical component of student affairs?

Note: Products mentioned in this post should be considered references only and not an endorsement by the author.

Why I’m Taking a MOOC on Student Affairs

This MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) entitled “Exploring the Student Affairs in Higher Education Profession” may just be the closest experience to being in a formal student affairs course for those who have not taken a course in student affairs and higher education. This is one of the reasons why I chose to enroll in this MOOC. While I have more than a decade of student affairs professional experience in my formal role as IT staff. Through volunteer positions (FYE discussion leader, summer bridge program instructor, org advisor), it is only through self-directed learning that I have been able to learn about some of the fundamental principles/theories and history of student affairs. I’ve always believed that to be an effective student affairs IT professional; I need to have the practical experience and theoretical knowledge to be able to contribute to the mission of my university and the purpose of student affairs, which I understand as creating the environment and providing support towards holistic student development and learning.

There are other reasons why I am in this MOOC, which include the following:

  • A better understanding of MOOC. I need to experience MOOCs firsthand to determine the values and pitfalls of this form of online learning. I read enough articles about the merit and shortcomings of MOOCs, and it’s personally intriguing. As a higher ed professional, online learning (including MOOC) is an area I need to be more knowledgeable about to better prepare myself and my department to provide infrastructure and services to support online learners, instructors, and student service staff. In addition, I am interested in learning theories, computer-mediate communication, and how technologies factor in/impact learning and communication processes.
  • Create connections with other students. Much of my “alternative professional development” has been through social media, mobile, and e-books, as well as my virtual Professional Learning Network (PLN)  consisting of folks I met through Twitter. These folks share my professional interest in student affairs/higher ed, technology, and leadership. Beyond the resources (videos, documents, web pages, etc.) provided by the course,  I expect that the biggest value I will receive from this MOOC is the new connections and interactions I will have formed during this course is over. I can’t think of any other venue that provides me with a platform to discuss with many aspiring and current student affairs professionals. Tap into their mindsets would be one of the biggest values from this experience.

I completed the first module (out of eight) this evening, and since students can go through the course at their own pace, I hope to complete it in the next few weeks. Given that this is my first MOOC, I am excited about this experience and to be able to learn about student affairs in a topic I am comfortable with.

What’s your experience with MOOCs? What’s your take on it?

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