Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Academics applying AI: how generating content could be another educational resource

Could+AI+be+an+answer+to+college+debt%3F
Madilyn Findley
Could AI be an answer to college debt?

Finding ways to liberate students from college debt is something West Texas A&M University President Walter Wendler has discussed for years. Without financial burden, Wendler said, “students have more capability to do what they are passionate about.”

“That to me is what’s so important,” Wendler said. “When you feel vital and like you’re alive, you’re making some commitment and progress to serve a greater good, you can’t do it with a load of debt. And that’s why I’m trying to reduce the cost of a college education by the cost of textbooks.”

Using artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool for generating educational content brings another option to the table for an educational resource. AI could assist professors, like textbooks, but with the flexibility for individual faculty members to select relevant studies and information for their classes.

“I thought, well, this could help collect information for subject matter experts in the same way that a textbook does,” Wendler said. “But allow them, the individual faculty members, to pick the things that they wanted to use as supplements to their teaching.”

Wendler said that AI, along with other tools, could help in generating educational content that could be used by faculty to teach in the years to come. However, this approach requires a time investment.

“And I know it takes a lot of time,” Wendler said. “I’m very sympathetic when faculty say, ‘Gosh, we could develop this, but it takes a long time.’ And, you know, that’s what we’re trying to start doing now to get the process started.”

The University’s president’s commitment to cost reduction stems from his desire to prevent students from graduating with debt that hinders their job opportunities. The use of AI could assist in reducing the cost of textbooks for students and in return the cost of college as a whole.

“I’m going to keep on it because I want to help reduce costs to students,” Wendler said. “I don’t want people to leave this university with a debt encumbrance that doesn’t allow them to take the job they want.”

Wendler’s hope gears towards using AI to provide a way to enhance accessibility to content in a more cost-effective way. In the meantime, President Wendler will continue seeking out ways to reduce debt for college students and make higher education more affordable.

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About the Contributor
Reagan Riddle, Former Multimedia Reporter
Hi, my name is Reagan Riddle and I’m a senior with a major of Digital Media Communication here at WT. I’m from Plainview, Texas, and I cover all things WT sports here at the Prairie News. I’ve been with Prairie News since August, 2023 and have enjoyed being able to write sports stories that showcase the WT community. My future career plans are to work in the television and movie industry both in front of the camera and behind the camera.

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