DOI: 10.3390/educsci13090885 ISSN:

AI-Supported Academic Advising: Exploring ChatGPT’s Current State and Future Potential toward Student Empowerment

Daisuke Akiba, Michelle C. Fraboni
  • Public Administration
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Artificial intelligence (AI), once a phenomenon primarily in the world of science fiction, has evolved rapidly in recent years, steadily infiltrating into our daily lives. ChatGPT, a freely accessible AI-powered large language model designed to generate human-like text responses to users, has been utilized in several areas, such as the healthcare industry, to facilitate interactive dissemination of information and decision-making. Academic advising has been essential in promoting success among university students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Unfortunately, however, student advising has been marred with problems, with the availability and accessibility of adequate advising being among the hurdles. The current study explores how AI-powered tools like ChatGPT might serve to make academic advising more accessible, efficient, or effective. The authors compiled a list of questions frequently asked by current and prospective students in a teacher education bachelor’s degree program in the United States. Then, the questions were typed into the free version of ChatGPT, and the answers generated were explored and evaluated for their content and delivery. ChatGPT generated surprisingly high-quality answers, written in an authoritative yet supportive tone, and it was particularly adept at addressing general and open-ended career-related questions, such as career outlook, in a clear, comprehensive, and supportive manner using plain language. We argue that AI-powered tools, such as ChatGPT, may complement but not necessarily replace human academic advisers and that these tools may very well serve to promote educational equity by empowering individuals from a wide range of backgrounds with the means to initiate effective methods of seeking academic advice.

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