As use of artificial intelligence proliferates across sectors, the Office of Faculty Affairs is preparing Metropolitan State University of Denver employees to best utilize the constantly evolving technology. The office dedicated the spring semester to facilitating engaging conversations and workshops on implementing AI and created a tailored AI-powered tool to support advising efficiency.    

“MSU Denver made significant strides in integrating artificial intelligence into its educational landscape over the spring semester,” said Sam Jay, Ph.D., director of Faculty Affairs. “These initiatives demonstrate our commitment to embracing cutting-edge technology while ensuring ethical practices and support for our community.” 

A path to better, faster advising 

A significant milestone this semester was the introduction of Rowdy’s Roadmap, an advising bot powered by generative AI that’s designed to assist professional and faculty advisors.  

“Since its launch in January, Rowdy’s Roadmap has been used over 1,700 times by more than 700 unique users, including significant usage in the days leading up to fall 2024 registration,” Jay said.  

Additionally, the bot has successfully answered 91% of queries with accurate and actionable information, directing users to additional resources when necessary. Support from Information Technology Services ensures that this tool will continue to help streamline the advising process. 

Workshops set the stage for safe, ethical AI use 

Many faculty and staff members are excited about using generative AI to assist with daily tasks and to enrich course content. More than 500 employees attended the OFA’s “AI Empowerment in Higher Education” workshop series. 

Ranjidha Rajan, Ed.D., and Steve Geinitz, Ph.D., assistant professors and faculty advisors of Computer Science, led the well-attended “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” in March, which was followed by April’s “Exploring Generative AI and Its Applications” led by Jay.  

“Participants consistently said the trainings offered a nice entry into big-picture AI usage,” Jay said. “There is a clear desire for more workshops that focus on things like automation within the Microsoft suite as well as prompt engineering.” 

New AI resources tailored to MSU Denver needs 

The OFA’s regularly updated AI for All website is a comprehensive resource for understanding and using AI. It provides valuable information on: 

  • AI basics 
  • Generative-AI usage 
  • Best practices in teaching 
  • Ethical AI usage 
  • A comprehensive AI reading list 

Additionally, Jay has developed a new Prompt Engineering Guide and is developing a new related workshop for the fall semester. 

Consultation and resources available 

To support safe and strategic AI use, Jay is available to consult with departments seeking assistance with developing AI policies or integrating AI tools into programs. 

“As we look forward to the summer and the upcoming academic year, we encourage all faculty and staff members to explore these initiatives and consider how AI can enhance their professional and educational experiences,” Jay said.  

Contact Jay with any questions, ideas or feedback on broader AI initiatives at MSU Denver.