It’s official: now is the time to learn about AI.
Actually, it’s more likely that you already use AI and don’t realize it. If you subscribe to popular services like Amazon, Google Maps, and Siri, you’ve already been introduced to the magic of artificial intelligence. The reason it’s in the news right now is because the technology is developing fast, and without regulation. We recently discussed some ethical considerations and limitations of ChatGPT on our Office Hours podcast (listen here).
Though there are important missteps to avoid when implementing AI, I don’t think we should swear it off (and I’m not the only one who thinks this). Without forging a deeper understanding of AI, we are leaving too much on the table. And without testing it, we are missing applications of ChatGPT that can help us be more efficient.
As I’ve experimented with the tool on my own, I’ve noticed that it could be useful for enrollment professionals who are strapped for time and low on resources. ChatGPT helps users avoid cumbersome ads and quickly consolidate results for simple inquiries. It can help you overcome writer’s block and even reinvigorate your strategy sessions. If you’ve never used ChatGPT before, I’ll show you how to get started.
How to use ChatGPT
- First, head to openai.com and create an account.
- You’ll find sample prompts in the chat window. I’d recommend experimenting with these to get a feel for how the technology works.
- Use ChatGPT just like a chat with a friend! Feel free to be direct with what you need help with. Phrase questions either in bulleted lists or in complete sentences – whatever feels most natural. Just be sure to never input sensitive information into the chat.
- Try formatting your inquiries with context first, then a question, then the format you want the response to be organized in. For example, “I am an enrollment leader at a small, private school in New Jersey. Can you help me come up with ideas for engaging recruitment events that involve my local community? Please give me a bulleted list of 10 examples.”
- For more complex prompts, you can tell ChatGPT to wait until you’ve given it all information to consider, and then ask for an output.
- ChatGPT will save your chats to your account, so you can leave and come back to them later. You can also break out your inquiries into different conversations, so you stay on topic in one thread. The more you chat about a specific inquiry, the closer you’ll get to your desired result.
- If you aren’t happy with the result that ChatGPT gives you, keep trying! Explain why that wasn’t what you wanted and give it a chance to try again. For example, if you want to write something in a more serious tone, you can ask that.
- The response you get from ChatGPT may be inappropriate as a final product. For example, you may encounter false information. Be sure to verify data points that come from ChatGPT before using them elsewhere.
- When asking for long responses, sometimes the chat will end early. To get ChatGPT to complete the prompt, type “continue” and send the message.
How ChatGPT can save you time every day
Sourcing new ideas can be labor-intensive. And let’s face it – when you’re too busy with your day-to-day responsibilities, adding another meeting to your calendar feels impossible. ChatGPT is a reliable brainstorming tool that doesn’t get tired of giving you new ideas. You can try asking it for help with recruitment events, team engagement activities, and adding more personal touches to your campus tours, to name a few.
Here’s an example:
Enrollment teams spend a lot of my time writing, and not just for external purposes. Getting your meeting agendas, team emails, and announcements just right often takes a fair amount of editing. You may have a team that manages these tasks—they’ll be glad to know that ChatGPT can help them improve their efficiency by getting the first draft of these items out of the way.
Here’s an example:
A note about external writing with ChatGPT
As you’ve probably seen, there are lots of applications for AI-supported marketing. While AI can be used to assist with student- and parent-facing communications, there are additional pros and cons to be considered. We plan to cover this topic in future blog posts.
If you need help finding professional development opportunities or practicing for interviews, ChatGPT is a great place to start. Of course, you’ll want to discuss career moves with your mentors and family, but when you’re pressed for time and need a little assistance, AI can step in.
Here’s an example:
Tips for writing ChatGPT prompts
- Start with a clear objective: Begin your prompt with a clear objective in mind. What do you want to achieve with this prompt?
- Provide context: Provide some background information for your prompt to help ChatGPT better understand what you’re looking for. If you don’t like a response, explain why in simple terms.
- Provide examples: Provide examples of what you’re looking for to help ChatGPT better understand your inquiry. This is how ChatGPT learns.
- Ask what ChatGPT needs from you: Sometimes, you just don’t get the answer you expected. Tell ChatGPT what type of response you hoped to receive, then ask what else it needs from you to get that output.
- Prompts for when you’re stuck with ChatGPT
- I don’t like that answer because [reason here]. Can you try again?
- I already do those things. What else do you recommend?
- Those are very common answers. Can you give me more niche ideas?
- Can you write that again in a formal/friendly/other tone?
- Can you give me more ideas that are free?
Remember, never put sensitive information into ChatGPT. Be good stewards of your data (and your students’ data) and keep personal information secure.
Autumn Baggett is an experienced marketing professional with a proven track record of creating and executing campaigns that delight and engage consumers. She is an analyst in EAB’s product marketing department, focused on Enroll360, Advancement Marketing Services, and CONNECTED promotional campaigns. Prior to this, she served as the Director of Enrollment Marketing for a regional public institution in Alabama.
As a first-gen college student, Autumn strives to connect education research and innovations to underserved communities. Outside of work, you can find Autumn at concerts, thrift stores, and volunteering for several organizations in Northeast Tennessee.
Autumn holds an M.S. in Strategic Communication and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (music, business, psychology), both from Troy University. She is an alumni member of Tau Beta Sigma, Sigma Alpha Iota, and Omicron Delta Kappa.