Teaching with AI

At Wharton Interactive, we are always exploring new tools and innovations for learning, and we have been experimenting extensively with using AI alongside our simulations and building AI-powered simulations.

Democratizing Education Through AI


As of November 2022, teachers and students gained access to a tool that can potentially act as the ultimate educational technology. This tool can create lessons that take advantage of the latest in pedagogical science while doing so in a way that matches both the students and the local context. This tool – AI, and specifically GPT-4 - is available for a fee via OpenAI’s ChatGPT and free for Bing’s Creative Mode. We believe this is a transformative moment in education.

Why does this matter?

Because, with just a paragraph of instructions, teachers can create tools to help their students learn that would have, in previous years, required buying specialized software. As of now, all teachers need is a prompt and some time to experiment. While it's important to remain vigilant for potential hallucinations, errors, and biases, GPT-4 enables teachers to craft personalized prompts, significantly bolstering their resources in the pursuit of quality education.

We find ourselves in an exhilarating era. Our goal is to actively democratize access to these cutting-edge tools by broadening their capabilities.

Our plan:

  • To combine our collective expertise about the science of learning, game, and narrative design and build AI-powered simulations that give everyone access to essential skills through tutoring, coaching, and immersive role-play.
  • To devise instructions that work for all students and foster a culture of ethical experimentation and collaboration, keeping the well-being of our students, schools, and societies at the forefront of our efforts.
  • To share our data and findings, advancing the state of teaching and learning with AI.

The Role of Simulations in a World of AI

Though the advent of generative AI challenges many kinds of instruction, Wharton Interactive simulations, harnessing games, stories, and the science of learning with in-class participation are especially relevant.

Our flagship simulations can integrate with AI exercises and are designed to provide educators with alternate pathways to assessment and instruction that integrate well and are robust to the challenges and opportunities of AI:

Saturn Parable Simulation: a fast-paced and engaging way to learn team leadership

Entrepreneurship Game: give learners the experience of running a high-growth startup

Machine Learning for Business Decisions: crack open the black box of Machine Learning

Organizational Leadership and Innovation: give students the experience of leading and managing an internal venture

As educators grapple with changing curricula in the Fall, our simulations are adaptable to this new world of teaching.

AI Aids pic

AI Aids for the Saturn Parable Simulation

Resources & Research

Our Crash Course video series on AI is a practical guide for educators and students designed to provide an introduction to the world of Large Language Models. The series begins with an introduction to Large Language Models, with a focus on OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing Chat, which includes an overview of how the models generate output and their transformative impact on our work and teaching. The second video delves deeper into the specifics of each model, providing practical examples and guidelines for effective use. The third video focuses on how to prompt the AI, teaching users how to guide the AI and integrate their own expertise into the interaction. The fourth and fifth videos are tailored for educators and students who can use AI to enhance their teaching and learning.

Current papers include:

New Modes of Learning Enabled by AI Chatbots: Three Methods and Assignments.

In this paper, we discuss the opportunity provided by AI because it can help us teach in new ways. The AI's flaws —its tendency to make up facts, its lack of nuance, and its ability to make excellent student essays — can be used to improve education. This isn’t for some future theoretical version of AI. Instructors can create assignments right now, using ChatGPT, that will help stretch students in new ways. These assignments:

  • Promote transfer
  • Break the illusion of explanatory depth
  • Challenge students to teach someone else

Using AI to Implement Effective Teaching Strategies in Classrooms: Five Strategies, Including Prompts

In the rush to deliver AI benefits directly to students, the role of teachers is often overlooked. AI tutors, as exciting as they are, do not replace the complex role of a teacher in front of a class. But not enough effort seems to be going toward applying AI to help instructors. We have a new paper that tries to remedy that gap by providing some research-backed approaches to pedagogy and the AI prompts (for GPT-4, GPT-3.5, and other AIs) to implement them. These strategies include:

  • AI-created examples
  • AI-created explanations
  • AI-created low-stakes tests

Assigning AI: Seven Approaches for Students, with Prompts

The incredible promise of AI as a way for students all over the world, of all ability levels, to learn is undeniable. Education is our most powerful system for increasing social mobility, unlocking potential, and improving lives. A tool that can help with this has tremendous implications. Plus, students are already using AI for direct help. Teaching them how to do it responsibly may alleviate some of the negative implications of our AI moment. In this paper, we tackle ways that students can be assigned to use AI directly. We don’t shy away from the dangers but provide detailed instructions on how students and instructors can think about each of the tools we suggest.

7 ways to use AI

Assigning AI: 7 approaches with prompts and guidelines

AI Tutor Prompt image

Elements of a prompt: Role & Goal; Pedagogy; Constraints; Step-by-step instructions

AI Policy

As AI use grows, we are experimenting with and creating AI policies for classes. In this series of articles, Professor Ethan Mollick discusses his policy for AI use and includes guidance for teaching students how to learn with and about AI and for giving students assignments that ask them to use AI and then reflect on that use.

AI policy

Coming soon: PitchQuest, an AI-powered simulation that teaches a critical entrepreneurship skill