Evaluating an institutional response to Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI): Applying Kotter’s change model and sharing lessons learned for educational development


  • Jackie Potter University of Chester
  • Katharine Welsh University of Chester
  • Laura Milne University of Chester




artificial intelligence, GenAI, educational development, Kotter’s change model, assessment


Since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, there has been a dawning understanding in the higher education sector of ways Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tools can challenge the traditional roles of academic teaching staff (e.g., Chan & Tsi, 2023) and support learning by students. For example, Mike Sharples in Sabzalieva and Valentini (2023) identifies ten roles that ChatGPT can play which would all support student learners. Media and sector concern has focused on whether GenAI use by students would disrupt the integrity of degrees and awards and there is a good deal of debate on how to adapt assessment, learning outcomes and curricula to reflect and reward unique human competences associated with a discipline or subject and embrace students’ use of GenAI.

Educational development colleagues have been at the vanguard of leading higher education provider reactions and responses to the widespread availability and capabilities of GenAI. This case study reflects on a year of action to lead teaching staff and students as well as institutional policy and practice through a series of steps to enable rapid, proportionate and robust change. We apply Kotter’s (1996) eight stage change model to reflect on the activities, achievements and challenges to date. We do not purport to have finished but rather can see, one year in, that increasingly activity is more embedded into structures, routines, the practice of others, and our work as educational developers. We reflect forward too on the ways we will act next to ‘make change stick’ and on our own personal, professional journeys as educational change leaders, all of whom were new appointments in the educational development centre. We chart how we have been able to innovate and to lead complex educational change at pace.

Author Biographies

Katharine Welsh, University of Chester

Dr Katharine Welsh is a Senior Lecturer and University Innovation Fellow within the Centre for Academic Innovation and Development at the University of Chester. She is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and was awarded an Advance HE CATE award in 2018. Email: k.welsh@chester.ac.uk, LinkedIn: Katharine Welsh.

Laura Milne, University of Chester

Laura Milne is Head of Digital Education at the University of Chester. She is a Fellow of Advance HE, an Associate Certified Member of the Association of Learning Technologists, and has been active in digital education in the UK, USA and South Africa. Email: laura.milne@chester.ac.uk, LinkedIn: Laura Milne, Tw/X: @LRMilneWrites


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