Adapting Programming Education in the Era of AI Assistants

The developing landscape of AI assistants is rapidly changing programming education, and uncertainty about the direction it takes hangs in the balance. Due to AI assistants’ popularity, AI tools in education, accessibility, opportunities, and scope of programming education paradigms are rapidly changing forms.

Short-Term Responses to AI in Programming Education

Institutions and curriculums will begin including AI topics and AI tools in education for familiarity with AI, LLMs, and similar models. At the intermediate and advanced programming education level, the IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) must be incorporated with AI to take full advantage of the current AI advancement. Likewise, educational institutions must adopt hackathon-style events, and collaborative training to foster teamwork among its students in programming education.

Long-Term Strategies: Resisting AI Tools

The availability of AI tools in education for students is a major concern today as these have become the ones that provide coding homework help to college learners. AI tools can solve school and college assignments but also can decrease students’ aptitude and creativity in the field. Effectively, the future of programming education hinges on how programming instructors AI-proof the class assignments and bring out the ethics in students to responsibly use AI tools in education.

Long-Term Strategies: Embracing AI Tools

Granted, there is no avoiding AI, the AI tools in education (e.g., ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot). In the long term, embracing AI tools in education would be wise. Adapting teaching methods using AI tools in programming education can accelerate the learning process, especially in complex topics.

The future of programming education is shiny if programming instructors provide students with early exposure to tools like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot.

Ethical Considerations of AI Tools in Education

AI tools, most prominently ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot, relieve the effort a student must embrace to learn a new skill or get educated in programming. The future of programming education does not seem to involve human coding instead, it might require efficient prompt design to build such code. Using AI tools such as ChatGPT and GitHub, Copilot crosses the board in data privacy and can develop a bias in the code. In the era of AI tools in education, analysis of the implications of AI in societal betterment is critical.

Future of Programming Education with AI

Programming education with AI receives mixed reactions from the stakeholders. Students are aware of AI’s strengths, ease of use, and drawbacks. Whereas programming instructors are mostly worried that they not only need AI-proof assignments but also introduce diverse topics complementing the AI tools in education.

Cheating Concerns and AI Tools

Cheating is one of the primary concerns for programming instructors since student reliance on AI – ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot has increased due to ease of use, causing ethical considerations. Although programming instructors are adapting teaching methods and trying to come up with AI-proof assignments, evolving AI tools in education requires concrete efforts to remediate ethical considerations.

AI-Proof Assignment Design

Creating challenging assignments in the presence of AI tools and student reliance on AI requires tasks and adapting teaching methods that demand conceptual understanding to solve the AI-proof assignments. Programming instructors must recall that the AI tools rely on prior data, which is mostly available to the AI models. So, programming instructors must come up with novel ideas for AI-proof assignments to promote creativity in programming education.

AI as a Teaching Assistant

AI as a teaching assistant can boost programming instructors’ productivity while adapting teaching methods simultaneously. It also provides fast feedback and agile bulk code review. Overall, the programming instructor’s efforts are well spent when AI is integrated as a teaching assistant, enabling tailored resources for each course. AI as a teaching assistant improves engagement and speeds up the learning process.

Evolving Role of Programming Instructors

As AI makes strides and student reliance on AI increases, the role of programming instructors is evolving. The role of programming instructors is shifting towards one of mentor and facilitator. The programming instructors will move towards fostering creativity and a better experience [2]. Finally, the programming instructors will put special emphasis on incorporating ethics in their lectures.


How are programming instructors adapting to AI tools like ChatGPT?

Programming instructors are adapting teaching methods using AI-proof assignments requiring critical thinking and asking for AI detection reports. Although ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot are not banned, their use is regulated to inspiration only.

What are the ethical considerations in using AI tools for programming education?

AI tools like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot generate responses based on prior data. So, they might perpetuate inherent bias. Similarly, content creators are concerned about data privacy and security.

How can assignments be designed to be AI-proof?

Designing AI-proof assignments is a challenging task. They can be built on:

  • Questions with answers requiring critical thinking
  • Questions requiring contextual understanding of the problem.
Adapting Programming Education in the Era of AI Assistants was last updated February 2nd, 2024 by Michael Fowler