The education conference Frontiers in Education (FIE) 2023 was held in College Station, Texas. It is a quite large conference, and there were many tracks during the three days that the conference was on. College station is situated between Dallas and Houston, and it is a, well, lets say interesting city, and incorporates another apparently a bit older city, Bryant, in the close vicinity. There was not that much time for sight-seeing so it was mainly the road from the hotel to the conference centre that became the major view during the conference.

The conference offered a large number of very interesting presentations and I did in fact not sit through any bad or boring presentations, Before the main conference there was also one day of workshops, as usual so many that it was difficult to chose one of them. I attended one on inclusive mentoring, which was very inspiring as a supervisor/mentor in general . I am of course very happy to find that there were quite a few presentations, work shops and special sessions that dealt with the issue of inclusion of students on various levels.

The special session on “Disabled Students in Engineering” was held by four Ph.D. students, and was very well prepared, rendering lots of inspiration for the teaching. The organizers also shared very good working material, which can be reused, e.g., in course seminars (I have just started a 15 credit course on non-excluding design).

All in all, the conference felt well worth the effort and time spent. It is always a good feeling when you return home and feel inspired, and just long for putting all the experiences at work in your own teaching. I have already added several new ideas to the course, and I think that this will improve the course a lot.

Still, maybe the most inspiring part of the conference was the (positive and constructive) critique I received on my presentation and paper: “New Perspectives on Education and Examination in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” which I almost wanted to retitle as “Old perspectives…” since it looks back at older forms of examination, where there was a closer connection between teacher and student. This closer connection and the way it is achieved does make it more difficult for the student to “cheat” or use the AI chat bots.

The picture shows An old Greek teacher and his student, probably discussing a difficult problem during the examination.
An old Greek teacher and his student discussing some interesting problem during the examination

This post is already long enough, so I will not present the paper in any more detail here, but should you want to have a copy of the paper, please contact me with an email. You are also free to comment/criticize this post in the comment section below.