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Harnessing AI to Refine Educational Courses: My Experience with ChatGPT's Capabilities

In a recent interaction, I showcased the potential of OpenAI's ChatGPT in assisting educators to refine their course structures. My experiment began by predefining a context using a comprehensive list of Business Analysis Techniques. Following this preprompt, I presented a current undergraduate course structure that needed modification. The goal? To identify and recommend new Business Analysis techniques appropriate for each chapter of the course. 

The Power of Contextual Communication with ChatGPT
One of the most striking elements in this experiment was the emphasis on context. My initial "preprompt" set the stage by providing ChatGPT with a menu of options to consider. This allows for a directed, topic-specific conversation, where the AI can pull from a given set of data. The "postprompt" then elaborated on the current course structure, allowing ChatGPT to compare, contrast, and make recommendations based on the established context.

Quality and Limitations of the Recommendations
The results? Intriguing. The AI provided well-thought-out suggestions that not only aligned with the course's overarching themes but also showcased how AI can think laterally, aligning topics with broader educational objectives. However, like any tool, ChatGPT has its limitations. Some suggestions, while innovative, may not always perfectly mesh with intricate nuances of human-curated educational content. Yet, even these moments of "imperfect alignment" gave me fresh perspectives and avenues to consider.

AI and Education: Co-creating the Future
The possibilities here extend beyond mere course refinement. This experiment hints at a future where educators, like myself, co-design, co-structure, and even co-write course outlines with artificial intelligence. AI can analyze vast amounts of information, identify patterns, and make connections at speeds incomprehensible to humans. When combined with the deep domain knowledge and intuitive understanding of educators, the potential for creating dynamic, relevant, and engaging course content is boundless.

Broader Implications for Society and Education
From a broader perspective, integrating AI tools like ChatGPT in educational planning could revolutionize how I and other educators approach learning. By offering tailored recommendations and new perspectives, AI can help us address diverse learning needs, bridge educational gaps, and adapt to the ever-evolving societal demands. This represents not just an advancement in educational techniques but also a shift in how we understand and implement societal knowledge transfer.

A Call to Fellow Educators
To my fellow educators, I encourage you to explore this blended approach of human expertise and AI capabilities. Dive into the world of AI, and see how it can enhance your curricula, offer fresh insights, and even challenge your perspectives. However, remember, while AI provides an arsenal of information and suggestions, the essence of teaching – the heart, the intuition, the deep understanding of human dynamics – remains irreplaceably human. 

In conclusion, while ChatGPT and similar AI tools offer a wealth of possibilities, the ultimate responsibility and privilege of shaping young minds rests in our hands as educators. Embrace AI, but let your wisdom guide the journey of education.

This post has been cowritten with ChatGPT. Please beware that AI is fascinating and can catch your full attention for hours. Get the balance right! > more?

The Experiment

I teach business analysis to undergraduate students. Between two years of study, I revise the course as all lecturers do. In the following experiment I use ChatGPT to deepen the course structure. ChatGPT is supposed to give me suggestions for expanding the chapters of my course from a list of 96 business analysis techniques. 

Interesting is the structure of the request: I use a context before the prompt (green), in which I give ChatGPT the list of 96 techniques which can be found here. The prompt itself (red) contains the task. And I use a context after the prompt (blue), in which I give ChatGPT my current course structure. 

Can ChatGPT help me to refine my course structure?

(ChatGPT-4 default)


1. Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria 2. Active Listening 3. ADKAR Model of Change 4. Agenda 5. As-Is Process Analysis 6. Ansoff’s Matrix 7. Backlog Management 8. Balanced Scorecard 9. Benchmarking and Market Analysis 10. Benefits Dependency Network (Benefits Map) 11. Boston Matrix 12. Brainstorming 13. Business Analysis Plan 14. Business Capability Analysis 15. Business Cases 16. Business Domain Model 17. Business Model Canvas 18. Business Process Model 19. Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) 20. Business Rules Analysis 21. Change Request 22. Collaborative Games 23. Competitive Comparison 24. Concept Modelling 25. Conference Call 26. Context Diagram 27. Data Dictionary 28. Data Feed Specification 29. Data Flow Diagrams 30. Data Mapping 31. Data Mining 32. Data Modeling 33. Day in the Life 34. Decision Analysis 35. Decision Modeling 36. Deliverables List 37. Document Analysis 38. Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) 39. Estimation 40. Gap Analysis 41. Given When Then Statement 42. Five Whys (5 Whys) 43. Financial Analysis 44. Focus Groups 45. Four View Model 46. Functional Decomposition 47. Glossary 48. Interface Analysis 49. Interviews 50. Item Tracking 51. Jobs to be Done (JTBD) 52. Kano Model 53. Lesson Learned 54. Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 55. McKinsey 7-S 56. Mind Mapping 57. Minto Pyramid 58. MoSCoW Prioritisation 59. MOST Analysis 60. Non-Functional Requirements Analysis 61. Observation 62. Organisational Modelling 63. PESTLE Analysis 64. Porter’s Five Forces Framework 65. Portfolio Management 66. Problem Definition 67. Process Analysis 68. Process Modelling 69. Process Walk-Through 70. Prototyping 71. Resource Audit 72. Reviews 73. Rich Picture 74. Risk Analysis and Management 75. Roles and Permissions Matrix 76. Root Cause Analysis 77. SARAH Model 78. Scope Modeling 79. Sequence Diagrams 80. Six Thinking Hats 81. Stakeholder List, Map or Personas 82. State Modelling 83. STEEP Analysis 84. STEEPLE Analysis 85. Survey or Questionnaire 86. SWOT Analysis 87. Target Operating Model 88. To Be Process Analysis 89. Use Case and Scenarios 90. User Stories 91. User Story Mapping 92. Value Chain Analysis 93. Vendor Assessment 94. VIRO Framework 95. Weighted Decision Matrix 96. Workshops Based on the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK), the list of Business Analysis Techniques above and the following undergraduate course structure, suggest 3 additional, new Business Analysis techniques for each chapter 2 to 10. The techniques should be different from the ones that are already in the chapters. Only suggest techniques that are in the list above. Each technique should only be mentioned in one chapter. Summarize each technique with two sentences and explain why it makes sense to use this technique in the corresponding chapter. Chapter 1 – the Business Analyst Chapter 2 – Context - PESTEL - SWOT - Porter’s 5 forces Chapter 3 – Stakeholders - Context diagram - Power-interest matrix - Stakeholder-trend matrix Chapter 4 – Opportunities & risks - Opportunity-risk matrix - Fishbone diagram - CATWOE Chapter 5 – Scenarios - Stakeholder stories - Force-field analysis - Personae Chapter 6 – Gaps - POPIT - Customer journey - Mc Kinsey 7-S Chapter 7 – Priorities - RASCI - MOSCOW - Backlog Chapter 8 – Processes - Business Process Model (UML) - Entity-Relationship diagram - Wireframes Chapter 9 – Planning & Budget - Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) - Investment and operational budgets - Cost-benefit analysis Chapter 10 – Business case document - Business case structure - VMOST summary


Sure, I will suggest 3 additional Business Analysis techniques from your provided list for each chapter from 2 to 10. Here are my suggestions along with a brief explanation of each technique and why they would be suitable for each respective chapter:

Chapter 2 – Context

  1. Business Domain Model

    • Summary: This technique involves creating a representation of the organizational context in which the business problem or opportunity exists. It helps in identifying the entities in a business and their relationships.
    • Justification: Understanding the business domain at a granular level can provide insights into how external factors identified by PESTEL, SWOT, and Porter's 5 forces can influence various elements in the business domain.
  2. STEEP Analysis

    • Summary: This method is similar to PESTEL but focuses on Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political factors that influence the business environment.
    • Justification: STEEP analysis complements PESTEL analysis and provides a broader view of the external factors affecting the business context.
  3. Balanced Scorecard

    • Summary: This technique allows businesses to monitor and measure the effectiveness of processes and strategies.
    • Justification: Including this in the context chapter helps in setting up a framework which allows measuring the impacts of various contextual elements on business strategies.

Chapter 3 – Stakeholders

  1. Stakeholder List, Map or Personas

    • Summary: This technique involves identifying and analyzing stakeholders and creating visual representations or detailed profiles to understand their interests, influence, and needs better.
    • Justification: Enhances stakeholder management by creating a clear representation of stakeholder groups which complements the existing techniques in the chapter.
  2. Jobs to be Done (JTBD)

    • Summary: This method focuses on understanding the jobs that stakeholders are trying to accomplish.
    • Justification: Incorporating this technique can provide a more in-depth insight into stakeholder needs and preferences which would assist in effective stakeholder management.
  3. Interviews

    • Summary: This technique involves conducting interviews with stakeholders to gather qualitative data and insights.
    • Justification: Helps in acquiring direct insights from stakeholders, providing an opportunity to uncover trends and perspectives that might not be captured through diagrams and matrices.

Chapter 4 – Opportunities & Risks

  1. Risk Analysis and Management

    • Summary: It involves the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated efforts to minimize and control the probability of unfortunate events.
    • Justification: Directly contributes to managing and mitigating risks identified in the opportunity-risk matrix.
  2. SWOT Analysis

    • Summary: SWOT analysis helps in identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to business competition or project planning.
    • Justification: This technique can aid in identifying opportunities and risks from a broader perspective, complementing the existing techniques in the chapter.
  3. Benchmarking and Market Analysis

    • Summary: It involves comparing business processes and performance metrics to industry bests or best practices from other companies.
    • Justification: Helps in identifying opportunities and risks in the market, facilitating better decision-making based on market trends and standards.

Chapter 5 – Scenarios

  1. Use Case and Scenarios

    • Summary: This technique helps in identifying, clarifying, and organizing system requirements, particularly in system developments.
    • Justification: Can be used to develop potential scenarios in business planning, providing a structured approach to scenario development.
  2. User Stories

    • Summary: These are simple descriptions of a feature, told from the perspective of a person who desires the new capability.
    • Justification: Can be used to build stakeholder stories, helping in understanding various perspectives in different scenarios.
  3. Prototyping

    • Summary: This technique involves creating prototypes of systems or features to visualize and test concepts before full-scale implementation.
    • Justification: Helps in visualizing scenarios and understanding potential issues before implementation, aiding in better planning.

Chapter 6 – Gaps

  1. Gap Analysis

    • Summary: It is a technique to identify the differences between current processes and desired goals.
    • Justification: Directly relates to identifying gaps in current business strategies and operations, aiding in effective planning for improvements.
  2. As-Is Process Analysis

    • Summary: This technique involves analyzing current processes to understand their effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.
    • Justification: Complements gap analysis by providing a detailed view of current processes, helping in identifying gaps effectively.
  3. To Be Process Analysis

    • Summary: This technique involves analyzing and defining future processes that would help in bridging identified gaps.
    • Justification: Helps in creating a roadmap for bridging identified gaps, complementing the POPIT and McKinsey 7-S models.

Chapter 7 – Priorities

  1. MoSCoW Prioritisation

    • Summary: This technique helps in prioritizing requirements by categorizing them into Must-haves, Should-haves, Could-haves, and Won't-haves.
    • Justification: Complements the existing techniques in the chapter by providing a structured approach to prioritizing requirements and tasks.
  2. Kano Model

    • Summary: This technique involves categorizing features or requirements based on how they are perceived by users and their effect on user satisfaction.
    • Justification: Provides a different perspective on prioritization, focusing on user satisfaction which can be an essential factor in determining priorities.
  3. Weighted Decision Matrix

    • Summary: It is a tool used to compare alternatives with respect to various criteria of different weights.
    • Justification: Can be used to make informed decisions based on different criteria, helping in prioritizing tasks effectively.

Chapter 8 – Processes

  1. Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN)

    • Summary: This technique involves using graphical notation to visualize the steps and activities in a business process.
    • Justification: Complements the existing techniques in the chapter by providing a standardized method for mapping and visualizing business processes.
  2. Functional Decomposition

    • Summary: This technique involves breaking down complex processes or projects into simpler, manageable parts.
    • Justification: Helps in understanding and managing complex processes better, facilitating effective process management.
  3. Six Thinking Hats

    • Summary: This method involves looking at decisions from multiple perspectives to ensure comprehensive thinking.
    • Justification: Can be used to evaluate processes from different perspectives, helping in identifying potential issues and improvements.

Chapter 9 – Planning & Budget

  1. Financial Analysis

    • Summary: This technique involves analyzing financial data to assess the business's stability, performance, and liquidity.
    • Justification: Critical for budget planning as it provides insights into financial health, aiding in informed budget planning and management.
  2. Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

    • Summary: Involves setting up metrics and KPIs to monitor and measure the performance of various aspects of the business.
    • Justification: Helps in tracking the performance of implemented plans and budgets, facilitating effective management and adjustments.
  3. Resource Audit

    • Summary: This technique involves assessing the current resources of the organization, including financial, human, and material resources.
    • Justification: Provides insights into available resources, aiding in effective planning and budget allocation.

Chapter 10 – Business case document

  1. Business Cases

    • Summary: This technique involves creating a structured document that argues why a particular business decision or project is the right course of action.
    • Justification: Directly relates to building a strong business case, supporting the existing techniques in the chapter.
  2. Benefits Dependency Network (Benefits Map)

    • Summary: This technique involves mapping out the relationship between project deliverables and the benefits they are expected to deliver.
    • Justification: Helps in showcasing the potential benefits of a proposed business case, enhancing its credibility.
  3. Vendor Assessment

    • Summary: This technique involves assessing and evaluating potential vendors based on various criteria.
    • Justification: Can be essential if the business case involves acquiring products or services from external vendors, ensuring the best vendors are selected for optimal results.

These suggestions incorporate a range of techniques to provide a holistic approach to business analysis across different chapters.


The majority of the suggestions are interesting. ChatGPT sticks to the list of 96 techniques. These are sensibly assigned to the chapters of my course. Discussing whether the rationale in each case is defensible is beyond the scope of this post. Although the majority of the suggestions are helpful, we also see clear limits to the LLM model in the solution: • In Chapter 4, ChatGPT suggests SWOT Analysis even though the course chapter already includes SWOT. It seems that SWOT and SWOT Analysis are not equal here. • In chapter 5 ChatGPT proposes User Stories, although the course chapter contains Stakeholder Stories. Users belong to Stakeholders, of course, but LLM cannot make this derivation. • In Chapter 6, ChatGPT proposes a Gap Analysis, which is consistent with the title of the entire course chapter. • In Chapter 7, ChatGPT proposes a MoSCow Prioritization and surprises me with an otherwise uncommon Case Sensitiveness, because MOSCOW is already in the course chapter. • Finally, in the closing chapter 10, ChatGPT proposes business cases, which again matches the title of the course chapter. These difficulties aside, I found the experiment exciting. I will adopt the suggested in-depth topics in my next year's course structure. Thus, the answer to the in-depth question is: Yes, to some extent ChatGPT can help me refine my course structure.

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