The DLTE Blog

Hands-on beginner training on Generative AI for ENU staff.

Beginner's Guide to Generative AI short course poster. 5 days, 2 webinars. Around 45 minutes self-directed activity each day. Led by Dr Louise Drumm (

In trimester 2 of 2023/24 we’ve run our Beginner’s Guide to Generative AI short course twice so far. This course is led by Dr Louise Drumm and helps colleagues throughout the ENU to get hands on experience with a range of AI tools and develop understanding of how to use these without information security risks.

Beginner's Guide to Generative AI short course poster. 5 days, 2 Webinars. Around 45 minutes of self-directed activity each day. Led by Dr Louise Drumm (

There is a developing pool of knowledge and practice in using Generative AI within the university and practice sharing conversations are starting to take place, which is great. However, a perceived lack of knowledge can leave those who are less confident with new technologies feeling left out in the cold, unsure about where to start with learning how and whether to use these and if they bring benefits such as increased efficiency in their work. That’s where this short course comes in.

We know that work schedules can get in the way of our best plans to take part in CPD and not all of the eager sign-ups were able to complete or take part in the course each time, but we were pleased to see some colleagues return for the 2nd run to build on their participation the first time. If colleagues want to sign up to the course again and get more out of it, we’re happy to have them! Across the 2 runs of this course, we’ve had 23 participants complete each day’s activities and receive their certificate of success and over 80 make a start on developing their knowledge.

Each day through the week, colleagues were given guidance and a task to complete using a range of free Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Google Gemini, Bing Co-pilot. We then brought everyone together with a mid-week webinar and another at the end of the week. The webinars, along with the discussion forum, gave a space for participants to share their experiences, results and methods or processes they have found useful in using the tools suggested or others they have found elsewhere.

We’ve really valued the opportunity to hear how colleagues have been using the available tools for personal and professional purposes. Colleagues have started to expand their perspectives on how students might interact with Generative AI tools as part of a gradual process to produce their work own work, realising that the tools can’t currently respond well to a broad request to produce an essay or a report in any depth.

For supporting students, colleagues have had success in using ChatGPT to generate lesson plans and sessions to support new students joining postgraduate programmes or undergraduate programmes straight from school, with a range of activities suited to the stages of learning of each group.

Others recognised how AI tools can help with research tasks, helping them to draw out information from existing literature to help their own research, and organising their notes, but ChatGPT’s tendency to be an over-enthusiastic golden retriever doesn’t lend itself to accurate critique of proposed research methods. Others found ChatGPT useful for proofreading their research papers in more depth than more familiar tools like Grammarly.

We will be running this beginner’s short course again in late spring, Tri 2 2023/24. If you’ve not completed the course or tried it yet, we would love to have you take part, regardless of your role. Keep an eye out in the DLTE Weekly Roundup or on our LinkedIn page.

Colleagues who teach or support learning and are interested in use of technology in their practice can enrol on our PG studies in Blended and Online Education (PgCert, PgDip, MSc) starting in September. Fees are waived for ENU colleagues. For those who don’t work at ENU but are Scottish residents, the BOE is funded by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland. As this course is fully online, it is also available for students worldwide. And beyond, if your internet connection is good enough.

Poster for MSc Blended & Online Education at Edinburgh Napier University. Testimony from Shannon, a Digital Learning Designer & Facilitator. "The BOE programme was instrumental in my transition from traditional education into education technology and eventually digital learning design. It gave me strong theoretical foundations to conduct research and practical skills in designing effective online and blended courses. Thanks to the BOE, I am now pursuing my PhD in Technology Enhanced Learning." Find out more and apply at

You can find resources to support and inform student use of AI on the staff intranet including our Quick Guide on Artificial Intelligence, Student Learning and Assessment.

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