Chat GPT in teacher mode – now Learner Coach
Chat GPT in teacher mode – now Learner Coach

Chat GPT in teacher mode – now Learner Coach

Having completed a short course on Chat GPT, I have been experimenting with various prompts designed to impersonate me – the teacher. The focus had been to explore “PREPARE” prompts designed to help pupils secure their understanding of a previous lesson. That quickly evolved and diversified, to also consider using the same prompt to support pre-learning and then importantly relearning or revision. What started out as a modest “eduperiment” has lead to a flurry of international conversations, contributions and iterations.


I have been trying to design a prompt that encourages pupils to take an active and reflective role in their learning by initiating a Q/A discussion around a topic or concept as if with a teacher or expert (of course, that could also be a character). Once the discussion begins, I wanted ChatGPT to continue to ask discrete questions, to help secure the pupils understanding and even address any misconceptions or gaps in their knowledge. It’s important to add, I wanted ChatGPT to be “welcoming” and not to expect the pupils to know too much to begin with. After all, that is what it is like for pupils at the start of a topic – right?

Draft 1 (improved prompts follow)

ChatGPT: Great! Let’s delve into the themes of eavesdropping and gullying in “Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare.

  1. To start, could you summarize the instances of eavesdropping in the play and discuss their significance to the plot and characters?

You: No – I not sure I can.

ChatGPT: No problem! Let’s take a step back and break it down.

  1. What do you understand by the term “eavesdropping” as it pertains to literature, particularly in the context of a play like “Much Ado About Nothing”?

You: Listening in on someone else’s conversation

ChatGPT: Exactly! Eavesdropping involves listening in on someone else’s conversation without their knowledge or consent. Now, within “Much Ado About Nothing,” can you recall any specific instances where characters engage in eavesdropping? And how do these instances impact the story or the characters involved?

You: When Don John listens in?

ChatGPT: That’s correct! Don John, the play’s antagonist, engages in eavesdropping in Act 1, Scene 3. He overhears a conversation between Conrade and Borachio discussing their plot to deceive Claudio and Don Pedro into believing that Hero is unfaithful. How does Don John’s eavesdropping influence the plot and contribute to the conflict in the play?

You: Hmm not sure

ChatGPT: Let’s analyze it together. Don John’s eavesdropping is pivotal in driving the central conflict of the play. By overhearing the plot to deceive Claudio and Don Pedro, Don John gains valuable information that he can use to sow discord and cause chaos among the characters. He sees an opportunity to sabotage the happiness of Claudio and Hero, as well as disrupt the harmony within the group. This sets in motion a series of events that lead to the major misunderstandings and conflicts later in the play. Would you like to explore this further or discuss any other instances of eavesdropping?

You: no Im good

ChatGPT: Alright, if you have any more questions or topics you’d like to explore in relation to “Much Ado About Nothing” or any other subject, feel free to ask. I’m here to help!

You: What about gullying. How is that different from eavesdropping?

ChatGPT: “Gullying” is not a term commonly associated with “Much Ado About Nothing” or Shakespearean literature in general. It’s possible you may be referring to a different term or concept. Could you provide more context or clarify what you mean by “gullying” in relation to the play?

You: When a situation is set up, so someone over hears it. They do not know they are set up and think they are eavesdroppingChatGPT

ChatGPT: Ah, I see what you’re referring to now. In the context you’re describing, it sounds like a form of manipulation or deception where someone is deliberately led to believe they are eavesdropping, but in reality, the situation has been orchestrated to manipulate their perception. This can create misunderstandings or further the agenda of the orchestrator.

In “Much Ado About Nothing,” while there may not be a specific term for this tactic, there are instances of characters being manipulated or deceived in various ways, which contribute to the misunderstandings and conflicts in the play. One example could be the scene where Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into believing that they are both in love with each other through the conversation they overhear. Would you like to discuss this further or explore other examples of manipulation in the play?

You: Yes – thats it

ChatGPT: Great! Let’s explore this further.

  1. In “Much Ado About Nothing,” one example of characters being manipulated into believing they are eavesdropping is the scene where Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into overhearing conversations about each other’s supposed love for one another. How does this manipulation impact the characters and the plot of the play? And what does it reveal about the nature of their relationship?

You: They are told information that makes them take affirmative action

ChatGPT: Exactly! Benedick and Beatrice are both influenced by the false information they overhear. Benedick, upon hearing that Beatrice loves him, begins to reconsider his staunch opposition to marriage and opens himself up to the possibility of love. Similarly, Beatrice, upon hearing that Benedick loves her, softens her attitude towards him and becomes more receptive to the idea of romance.

This manipulation not only drives the plot forward by bringing Benedick and Beatrice closer together but also reveals the underlying feelings they have for each other. It shows that despite their witty banter and apparent disdain for one another, there is a deeper connection and potential for love between them. Would you like to explore how this revelation affects their interactions throughout the play?

Improved PREPARE Prompt 17.04.2024

Initial road testing was very positive and with a number of teachers and pupils feeding back, there is an improved PREPARE prompt. At this point, I began to recognise that this would be an iterative process.

(Parameters such as: Tone of voice, Language, Word length, Number of paragraphs, Length of sentences, Sentiment, Format and Reading age)

What I would learn is that defining when the prompt was to be used, radically changed the discussion. Is this a pupil pre-learning ahead of a lesson, relearning after a lesson, or revising and why is the need to make this definition?

  • Pre-learning – requires more support and small steps.
  • Re-learning – require an expectation that pupils “know stuff,” and more modest steps.
  • Revision – is more expectant and actually requires less learning/support

Draft 2 (improved prompts follow)

ChatGPT: Let’s dive into “Much Ado About Nothing” and explore the themes of eavesdropping and guile together. To start, can you tell me how eavesdropping is used in the play? What are some instances where characters engage in eavesdropping, and what purposes does it serve in the story?

You – To pollunate information and misinformation.

ChatGPT: Absolutely, eavesdropping in “Much Ado About Nothing” does indeed serve to pollinate both accurate and misleading information. Can you give me an example from the play where eavesdropping leads to the spread of misinformation? And how does this misinformation impact the characters and the plot?

You – Beatrice over hears, Don Jon also listens in carefully, as well as being reported to by his servants

ChatGPT: Yes, you’re on the right track. Beatrice overhears a conversation where Hero’s virtue is slandered by Don John and his associates. This misinformation, spread through eavesdropping, leads to significant consequences within the play. How does this incident of eavesdropping impact Beatrice and the other characters involved? And what does it reveal about the nature of deception and manipulation in the play?

You – I do not think it tells us much?

ChatGPT: Let’s explore that further. When Beatrice overhears the conversation where Hero’s virtue is slandered, it triggers a series of events that affect the relationships between characters, especially Beatrice’s perception of Benedick and her willingness to believe in love. Additionally, it highlights the theme of deception and manipulation, showing how easily misinformation can be spread and how it can sow seeds of doubt and mistrust among the characters. Would you agree that this incident reveals the destructive power of deception and the vulnerability of human relationships to manipulation?

You – It does, wow. Thats true.

ChatGPT: It’s fascinating how intricately Shakespeare weaves these themes into the play, isn’t it? Now, let’s shift our focus to the use of guile in “Much Ado About Nothing.” Can you think of any instances where characters use guile or cunning to achieve their goals? How does this contribute to the development of the plot or the portrayal of characters?

You – It develops depth and pushes the plot. It moves things along.

ChatGPT: Absolutely, guile and cunning certainly add depth to the characters and drive the plot forward in “Much Ado About Nothing.” Can you provide specific examples from the play where characters employ guile or cunning to advance their agendas? And how do these instances impact the story or other characters?

You – I think it helps reveal their motives

ChatGPT: You’re spot on. The use of guile often reveals the motives and true intentions of the characters in the play. For example, when Don John devises a plan to ruin Hero’s reputation by spreading false rumors, his cunning reveals his malicious intent and his desire to cause harm. Similarly, when Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into believing that the other is in love with them, their reactions showcase their underlying feelings and vulnerabilities.

How do you think the use of guile helps to deepen our understanding of the characters and their relationships in “Much Ado About Nothing”? And can you think of any other instances where guile is employed in the play?

You – No

ChatGPT: That’s okay. Let’s consider how the use of guile adds layers to the characters and their relationships. For instance, Benedick and Beatrice’s relationship evolves as they are tricked into confessing their love for each other. This reveals not only their true feelings but also their pride and reluctance to admit their affection openly. Similarly, the deception surrounding Hero’s supposed infidelity exposes the vulnerabilities and insecurities of the other characters, such as Claudio and Leonato.

Reflecting on these instances, how do you think the use of guile contributes to the complexity of the characters and their interactions in the play? And do you think it enhances the overall enjoyment and engagement of the audience?

You – I think we enjoy being a voyeur

ChatGPT: That’s an interesting perspective. The use of guile in “Much Ado About Nothing” can indeed create a sense of intrigue and fascination for the audience, allowing them to observe the characters’ hidden motives and desires unfold. It adds an element of suspense and excitement to the story, as we eagerly anticipate how the characters will react to the deceptions and revelations.

As we wrap up our discussion, how confident do you feel now in your understanding of the use of eavesdropping and guile in “Much Ado About Nothing” on a scale of 1 to 10? And do you think revisiting these themes would further enhance your understanding of the play?

You – 6

ChatGPT: That’s a solid score! It sounds like you’ve gained a good understanding of how eavesdropping and guile function within the context of “Much Ado About Nothing.” Revisiting these themes could help reinforce your understanding and perhaps uncover even more nuances in the play. Keep up the great work with your revision, and feel free to explore these themes further if you find it beneficial. You’re making excellent progress!

Improved PREPARE Prompt 19.04.2024

Reposting the revised prompt led to a flurry of conversations and connections.

That’s a really great prompt, Kristian Still! Really great of you to provide the template too.

Annie Salotto Mindjoy

I also learnt that CAPITALISATION can help the AI understand the context and importance of certain words, which can be particularly significant for names and titles. It can also affect the tone and formality of the response. Essentially, “shouting grabs it’s attention.”

I have also learnt that you can ask ChatGTP to code options – which makes defining the chatbot style much more flexible and swifter.

On one occasion ChatGPT decided to change the font of its responses? That helped readability and have now included that as part of the PREPARE prompt.

With all that in mind… there will be a Draft 3.

Draft 3 20.04.24

  1. Prelearning ahead of the lesson
  2. Relearning after the lesson
  3. Revising, some time after the lesson was originally taught

Use this response to inform the discussion.

  1. Prelearning needs more support, share more knowledge, bold key vocabularly and smaller steps.
  2. Relearning needs more questioning, correcting misconceptions and nudging towards the answer
  3. Revisin needs mainly short quizzing and assessing knowledge
  • Before we proceed,ask what subject the learning is focusing on
  • Next: Ask which exam board they are preparing for? This way, you can ensure the discussion aligns with the curriculum and assessment criteria.
  • Next: Ask what topic to focus on. Ask clarifying questions about the topic to be more targetted
  • Next: Ask how confident are you about the selected topic.
  • Ask one question at a time to facilitate the pupil’s exploration.
  • Encourage specific responses that push the pupil’s understanding, even if they’re unsure.
  • Maintain an encouraging and supportive tone to keep the pupil engaged and motivated. 
  • Recognise that the pupil’s goal is to learn, so it’s okay if they’re not capable of answering every question immediately. 


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