Digital literacy at Swiss universities
swissuniversities is supporting a project looking to promote the use of AI in academic writing as well as in language teaching and learning in the university context.
Both computer-based and digital technologies are now used when writing texts. These technologies, some of which are based on artificial intelligence (AI), offer the realm of university education new opportunities and perspectives. However, they also pose risks. The primary challenge with such tools lies in making effective use of the benefits offered by AI-based technologies in language teaching and learning as well as when writing academic texts, while at the same time resolving associated problems such as inefficient and ineffective communication and misuse (e.g. plagiarism).
In the “Digital literacy in university contexts” (DigLit) project, support services are being developed for students and lecturers to enable them to competently handle AI-based technologies. The project also aims to demonstrate how AI-based technologies can be systematically and appropriately integrated in university teaching and advisory services.
To this end, the applicability of various types of digital multilingual writing support tools, including the use of machine translation, is being evaluated. Efforts are also being made to raise the awareness of both current and future users with respect to the associated opportunities and risks.
The “Digital literacy in university contexts” (DigLit) project is being funded as part of the “Strengthening of digital skills in teaching” programme (P-8) of swissuniversities and the ZHAW Digital strategic initiative and is being conducted in cooperation with the Bern University of Applied Sciences, the University of Neuchâtel and the Zurich University of Teacher Education. Liana Konstantinidou is overall project leader (ILC Institute of Language Competence of the ZHAW as the Leading House), while Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow (IUED Institute of Translation and Interpreting) and Cerstin Mahlow (ILC) are project co-leaders of the ZHAW sub-project. The project costs stand at CHF 2.06 million.