Optimize Your ChatGPT Prompts for Enhanced Learning Outcomes

Hello everyone,

It was great to connect with many of you during today’s computer lab session. I’ve had the opportunity to review the chat logs you submitted for Assignment 1. I’m thrilled to see that you’re actively using ChatGPT to assist with your coursework. To further clarify the course expectations and provide additional guidance on leveraging ChatGPT effectively, I’ve outlined some key points below.

The Art of Self-Directed Learning

One of the principal objectives of this course is to instill in you a data-driven mindset essential for life science research. More importantly, I aim to teach you the art of “learning how to learn.” This involves honing your ability to independently acquire new knowledge and skills. ChatGPT serves as an excellent tool to facilitate this self-directed learning process. Instead of focusing solely on the course content, I encourage you to embrace this broader, skill-centric approach to education.

In the context of Assignment 1, the goal isn’t simply to digest the book’s content. Rather, it’s about mastering the efficient use of ChatGPT to help you understand complex topics. If you find yourself struggling with the subject matter, consider that a cue to leverage ChatGPT more effectively to expedite your learning.

Crafting Effective Prompts

My review of your submitted chat logs indicates that many of you are not tapping into ChatGPT’s full potential—largely due to insufficient context in your initial prompts.

Remember, a well-crafted prompt serves as a catalyst for generating insightful and tailored responses from ChatGPT. Therefore, it’s crucial to invest time in developing a strong, context-rich prompt that you can use throughout the course.

Besides the example provided in Assignment 1, let’s delve into another approach for creating prompts: using ChatGPT to generate a prompt for itself.

Meta-Creation: Using ChatGPT to Craft a ChatGPT Prompt

Since a prompt is essentially text containing relevant context to steer ChatGPT’s output, why not use ChatGPT to help craft a more effective prompt?

Begin a new conversation in ChatGPT using the following prompt:

Act as an expert in  prompt engineering for ChatGPT, help me create a prompt to facilitate the learning in a course I am taking as a student, here is more about the course:
The course aims to introduce you to the field of computer-driven life sciences by letting you learn about their different application areas.

This course introduces data sets of different types, such as proteomics, transcriptomics, biomolecular structure, molecular dynamics simulations and different types of imaging, and presents, analyzes and discusses models of biological phenomena and related scientific breakthroughs based on the analysis of such data sets.

## Course goals (Intended Learning Outcomes)
-   describe the field of data-driven life sciences, including an overview of the different application areas, and give examples of applications and their associated analysis methods
-   apply statistical analysis and machine learning analysis to biological data sets and formulate models of biological phenomena
-   present and review scientific literature in the field of computer-driven life sciences
-   reflect on ethical consequences of data-driven life sciences and describe good practice around the computer life cycle (collection, handling, sharing and analysis)

Now based on the course description and learning outcomes, help me create a prompt which I will use  to guide ChatGPT in help me learning with the lecture, computer lab and seminar. 

Ask me for all the necessary information about me (be specific!) and create the prompt if you collected all the information. 

The proposed prompt should look something like this:
Hi, I'm a master student ....

Anwser "OK" only , if you get me!
I will reuse the prompt (paste it in the beginning of the conversation) for all the conversations during the course.

To construct the prompt, now ask me about myself.

Then, the assistant will ask questions to clarify your needs, and based on your responses, generate a customized prompt for you. This prompt can then be further refined either manually or by soliciting improvements from ChatGPT itself.

Check out this example conversation history for inspiration.

Extracting Quality Feedback from ChatGPT

An effective interaction with ChatGPT goes beyond the initial prompt. The questions you pose during your conversation can greatly influence the utility of ChatGPT’s responses. To that end, you can request feedback on your prompt engineering skills by asking ChatGPT something like:

As a prompt engineering expert, could you offer suggestions to enhance my prompt crafting skills? The aim is to make my interactions with you more effective for my learning objectives. Please analyze my previously used prompt and recommend specific improvements.

ChatGPT will then provide actionable advice, enabling you to further fine-tune your prompt for more effective learning experiences.

By incorporating these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of self-directed learning and making the most of the tools at your disposal.

Try this in your assignment 2, and let me know how it goes!

Wei Ouyang
Wei Ouyang
Teacher / Examiner

Assistant Professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology