The Pedagogy of Artificial Intelligence: A Survey of Faculty Who Teach Introductory AI

Harlan D. Harris and Sarah M. Kiefer

This paper present highlights of the results of a survey of instructors of the introductory Artificial Intelligence course at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Particularly notable results were seen in the Syllabus and Teaching Techniques sections of the survey, and those are reported here. Comparing responses from Doctoral-Extensive universities with other responses, the latter group sometimes tends to teach a syllabus that seems out-of-date relative to current AI research trends. Instructors from less research-oriented institutions reported spending significantly less class time on several current topics in AI, and significantly more time on several more outdated topics. Participants were also asked about what sorts of classroom teaching techniques they used, and what techniques were found to particularly valuable. In general, participants endorsed in-class activities to supplement lectures, and the use of programming homework, group projects, and an agent-themed syllabus.

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