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“Originality” has long been central to the college classroom. “Be original. Be creative. Be bold.” These words--whether explicit or implicit--guide many classes. The suggestion? Being original means relying only on one’s wit and creativity. This model of originality no longer works. Now, learning does not resemble the ivory tower. It’s no longer the case that an individual would pore over a tome, hoping that reading would produce a spark. Modern learning is social and collaborative. Learners compare what they learn in class to what they find online, for better or worse. They make information stick by conversing (IRL or virtually), questioning, and comparing. In my presentation, I will argue that collaborative originality is the future of higher education. Collaboration is more than a way to share ideas; it’s a way to generate them. It thrives in boundary-blurring. The neat boundaries between humans and machines, between disciplines, and between informal and formal learning are blurring. Modern originality is collaborative and interdisciplinary. The rise of AI has accelerated this process. At a moment’s notice, I can bring up ChatGPT or Hyperwrite and, using prompt engineering, create ideas alongside a virtual assistant. This kind of tech has revolutionized what we mean by “originality.”

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