IN THIS ARTICLE
- Springboard students feel optimistic about generative AI
- Using generative AI to improve learning delivery
- 23% of Springboard mentors say AI has already “drastically...
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Generative AI has taken the world by storm, insinuating itself into people’s personal and professional lives with breathtaking speed. Suddenly, everyday tasks like finding a recipe, applying for a job, or even completing a homework assignment are becoming AI-assisted activities.
With the tech industry embracing generative AI tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT in largely positive ways—using the tool to enhance productivity, brainstorm ideas, and automate tasks—we at Springboard recognized the necessity of integrating generative AI modules into our course offerings and developing AI-focused short courses to prepare the future workforce for AI-human collaboration. Already, our Software Engineering Bootcamp includes a module on AI prompt engineering.
We recently sent a survey to our students, mentors, and alums to gauge overall sentiment regarding generative AI.
Namely, we wanted to understand the following:
- To what extent have they used or do they anticipate using generative AI in their work?
- How do they feel about generative AI and how it will impact their future job prospects?
- Do they feel they would benefit from learning more about generative AI?
- How can Springboard use generative AI to better support students in a remote learning environment?
We received over 1,100 responses—500 of which came within the first 24 hours of the survey being sent. The findings were telling—65% of students think learning how to use AI in the field they’re studying is very important and another 31% think it’s somewhat important.
Springboard students feel optimistic about generative AI
The majority of students, mentors, and alumni have a positive sentiment—”excited” or “hopeful”—when it comes to using generative AI for learning. While the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022 catapulted generative AI into the mainstream for the first time, knowledge of how to use these tools remains relatively limited.
About half of Springboard students (49%) consider themselves knowledgeable about how generative AI works, while 48% of students have heard of generative AI but don’t know much about it.
Meanwhile, just under half (45%) of students already use generative AI to enhance their learning at Springboard, while 38% said they hadn’t but only because they didn’t know how (we also provided a third alternative response “No, because I am not interested,” which only 17% of students selected). Almost a third of our alums are using AI assist them professionally.
When asked what they would most like to learn about regarding AI, the majority of students say they want to learn how to integrate AI into their future or current jobs.
Using generative AI to improve learning delivery
AI has the potential to provide personalized learning at scale and empower students to take charge of their learning experience. We asked students how Springboard could use generative AI to better support their learning.
Here were the most popular responses:
- Personalized learning (18%): Using generative AI to create customized learning materials tailored to individual student needs.
- Tutoring and virtual mentorship (15%): Implementing AI-powered virtual mentors and tutors to provide personalized guidance and support.
- Content creation and curation (12%): Leveraging generative AI for creating and curating relevant educational content.
- Quick answers and summaries (10%): Utilizing AI to provide quick answers to specific coding our course-related question and creating summaries of key topics.
- Code review and feedback (10%): Employing AI to automatically review and provide feedback on code submissions.
23% of Springboard mentors say AI has already “drastically changed” their jobs
As seasoned industry professionals, our mentors provide us with a window into the latest developments in tech. Most of our mentors remain unconcerned that AI could steal their jobs, but recognize the importance of adapting to the changes AI will bring. Seventy-three percent of our mentors responded ‘No, I don’t think AI could do my job’ while 11% believe that even if they were displaced, their company would transition them into another role.
About 23% of our mentors agreed with the statement ‘AI has already drastically changed my job, versus just 14% of students, while the majority of our mentors (48%) believe the biggest changes will come within the next 2-5 years. The appetite for bringing AI education to Springboard students is high: nearly 80% of mentors say they are interested in getting involved.
The data tells us what we had already suspected: the impact of generative AI is only going to spread, and it’s our responsibility as an e-learning company to do the best we can to provide current and future tech professionals with the tools they need to thrive in a world of AI-human collaboration.