I Asked ChatGPT to Plan An Entire Class Term!

Teachers can be assigned to teach any course at any time, and sometimes, the instructor may have little (or no) time to prepare. If the instructor is lucky, there may be materials from a teacher who taught it last, and the course might have an assigned textbook. However, in reality, sometimes there is no textbook available. Asking ChatGPT to come up with a plan would ease a lot of the stress and would work as a springboard for a teacher to work from. 

I used ChatGPT (Feb 18 2024 version) to create a tentative plan for a class on American Idioms. The idea came after the release of the 99th Episode of the DIESOL Podcast. You can watch the entire video on our YouTube Channel here.

There are some things that ChatGPT did well. For the most part, ChatGPT gave me output that I could use in a class. The first few prompts didn’t need to be tweaked. I did have to go through the lists of idioms that it gave me to make sure that the idioms were in the correct category. Two were not, so I manually fixed them. 

However, as I asked for more detailed material, like games and videos, it gave me some repetitive information and video links to every resource it gave me were dead URLs. This didn’t eliminate a lot of time for me, as a teacher, because I now had to go and see if those videos existed elsewhere with a new URL; they didn’t. 

What impressed me the most was that ChatGPT did provide me with some cultural material that I could tie back to my students’ backgrounds. Not only did it give me idioms that translate similarly into other languages, but it gave me a list of idioms in other languages. This would have taken me a long time to collect, and the idea only came after wondering how I could tie idioms to help students speak a little more English. 

Overall, I am happy with the result and I would certainly use something like this that I could modify as I’m teaching a course. Now I am curious to see what other chatbots would give me. Stay tuned!

The full, formatted document can be found here. Feel free to adapt the prompts as you wish, and do let us know what your own exploration results were!