AI-guided discussion boards

Co-create an engaging discussion board with AI.

An illustration of a colorful AI portrait
An illustration of a colorful AI portrait

Artificial intelligence is valuable as an assistive tool in the hands of a student or a teacher.

AI image generation can enable self-expression, but only when a human is describing what they want to see. This is why we built I can’t draw.

We trust AI to moderate posts, but only when the padlet creator makes the final decision. This is why we built Safety Net.

AI can help build lessons and activities, but not on its own. AI should suggest ideas that can be rejected, edited, or approved by a skilled educator.

This is why we built AI-guided discussion boards. Here’s how they work.

AI can help you find engaging discussion questions

You may be wondering why you would need AI to build a discussion board. Discussion boards seem simple. You add a question and you let your participants discuss. The quality is determined by the discussion, not the board.

But what determines the quality of the discussion? The discussion is built on the foundation provided by the discussion question, and this is where AI can help.

Consider these two discussion questions:

1.) How might the establishment of human settlements on other planets influence global cooperation and challenge our understanding of what it means to be human?

2.) What are some advantages and disadvantages of sending people into outer space?

Question one sparks the imagination and forces participants to hypothesize about potential futures. Question two invites rote analysis and formulaic responses. We can all spot the difference between a good and bad discussion question, but inventing a good one is deceptively difficult. This is where AI comes in.

Co-creating a discussion board with AI

The first step is to add your student and topic information. This data will inform the AI on what kind of material and language to use.

A screenshot of the Generate tab
AI will suggest discussion questions

The next step is to work with the AI to find a question. This is where AI will prove its worth. It will offer unlimited suggestions in an editable text box, and it will rely on you to decide which ideas work.

A screenshot of the Configure tab
You will edit, approve, or reject AI suggestions

You can keep regenerating until it produces something you like. You can modify a good suggestion to make it great, or you can write your own original idea. You remain in complete control. The AI’s role is to offer an endless stream of ideas for you to build on.

After you lock in your question, you decide whether the board will be a debate or a discussion, and you have the option to add the first post. Once again, the AI will offer suggestions. You can take them, leave them, or alter them.

A screenshot of the Post tab
AI will suggest ideas for the first post on your board

The last step is to share the discussion board with your students and sit back while they deepen their understanding.

Which templates should we add AI to next?

We plan to add AI to other templates on Padlet. Which should we do first? Let us know over social media @padlet.