The University of Texas at Austin (UT) announced that it is partnering with Grammarly for Education, an AI-enabled writing assistant, to explore the adoption of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) in a broad academic setting.

The project, led by UT’s Office of Academic Technology, will be broken into two phases. Initially, there will be a testing phase during which students, faculty, and staff will interact with Grammarly’s GenAI assistant. Faculty and staff participants will design GenAI activities and test those activities with students and peers. Next, faculty will create more detailed lesson plans to engage students in generative AI learning activities, which will be vetted to meet UT’s academic standards.

“We strive to be involved in projects that will influence higher education on and beyond the Forty Acres,” said Art Markman, vice provost for academic affairs. “We are in an era with a lot of uncertainty surrounding AI and education. This is a chance to demonstrate how to use generative AI as a positive source for education, teach responsibility to our students, and engage an industry leader to improve our understanding of classroom AI.”

As part of the partnership, all participants will receive a short-term Grammarly for Education pilot license. Additionally, training on Grammarly for Education and the AI assistant will be provided.

“We’re thrilled to partner with UT on such a forward-looking project,” said Mary Rose Craycraft, head of customer success at Grammarly for Education. “We know that innovating with AI while preserving academic integrity and critical thinking is a key challenge that all institutions are grappling with right now. We look forward to working with UT to develop best practices that can scale responsible AI adoption across the sector.”

UT explained that projects like this are “carefully assessed and vetted” by the Office of Academic Technology through a Learning Technology Adoption Process (LTAP). The university noted that LTAPs provide a strategic and coordinated approach to data-driven adoption of academic technology that ensures the school only adopts and promotes tools on campus that align with its principles of effective teaching. The school added that this process protects students and faculty from adopting short-term technologies or those unsuitable for information security regulations.

“Our primary generative AI strategy is to use evidence-based decision-making to drive effective, forward, and responsible AI use in ways that advance the teaching and learning mission of the University,” said Julie Schell, assistant vice provost of academic technology. “We are very excited to work with Grammarly to engage the UT community and create generative AI activities and lesson plans vetted by UT faculty, staff, and students that can be scaled with any generative AI tool.”

Read More About
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs