Developing Literacy and Critical Thinking with AI: What Students Say
This study examines college students’ attitudes towards using artificial intelligence (AI) for developing literacy and critical thinking skills. A mixed-methods study was conducted, including surveys and discussion analysis, to capture 60 college students' perspectives before and after engaging with an AI-based learning activity. Thematic analysis found increase in students recognizing AI’s benefits for facilitating higher-level skills after participating in an AI discussion and question generation activity, compared to before the experience. While concerns about privacy, dependence on technology and ethics persist, students expressed greater willingness to use AI if given opportunities to use it responsibly. As students gained more experience, their perceptions appear strongly linked not just to technology itself but to how it is developed and applied as a tool for learning and growth. By addressing concerns through sustainable policy and cooperative practice, AI may boost skills that serve students well. This indicates that their perceptions are strongly influenced by the chances they have to witness technology being responsibly and fairly used for learning purposes. This study highlights how educating students on responsible and fair AI use is essential for technology to empower rather than disadvantage learners.
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