ChatGPT is an incredibly powerful tool, but providing the right prompts is key to getting useful results. The CREATE framework (Character, Request, Example, Adjustment, Type of Output, and Extras) provides a simple step-by-step process for writing effective prompts. Let's walk through an example of how we can use the CREATE framework to develop an instructional activity for a higher education course (Birss, 2023).
Using the CREATE Framework
Use the steps below to aid in the creation of your own prompt:
C - Character: Describe the perspective you want ChatGPT to take.
For our example, we'll say: "You are an instructional designer with 7 years of experience creating activities for a 300-level sociology course."
R - Request: Clearly explain the task you want ChatGPT to complete.
For example: "Please develop 2 interactive discussion activities to help students analyze core sociological theories."
E - Examples: Provide 1-2 examples to guide ChatGPT.
For example: Activity 1: Have students discuss reasons for rising income inequality in the US and debate potential solutions.
A - Adjustments: Give feedback on early responses and adjust the prompt. If activities are too advanced, ask for simpler ones.
For example: "The activities should be focused on core concepts of conflict theory and applicable to undergraduate students. Please simplify any overly complex examples."
T - Type of output: Specify exactly how you want the final response formatted.
For example: "Provide the activities in a numbered list with each on a separate line."
E - Extras: Add other directives as needed, like "Ignore any prior prompts." or "Explain your reasoning."
For example: "Please explain your reasoning and thought process behind each suggested activity."
Below is a sample prompt using the examples listed above.
You are an experienced instructional designer with 7 years of experience developing activities for university-level courses. Please develop 2 interactive small-group discussion activities to help students analyze conflict theory in a 300-level sociology course. Activity 1 should have students discuss reasons for rising income inequality in the US and debate potential solutions. The activities should be focused on core concepts of conflict theory and applicable to undergraduate students. Please simplify any overly complex examples. Provide the 2 activities as a numbered list with each on a separate line. Please explain your reasoning and thought process behind each suggested activity.
Benefits of Using the CREATE Framework
Taking the time to carefully construct prompts using CREATE will result in responses from ChatGPT that are:
More Accurate and Relevant
Tailored to Your Specific Needs
Iteratively Improved Through Adjustments
The CREATE framework takes some practice, but it is a useful approach for unlocking ChatGPT's capabilities and leveraging its full potential. Well-crafted prompts lead to amazingly helpful AI.
NOTE: Portions of this post were written with the assistance of generative AI.
Birss, D. (2023). The Prompt Collection. LinkedIn Learning course “How to research and write using Generative AI tools.” [LINK]
Kakwani, K. (2023, May 2). Mastering prompt engineering for chatgpt: Tips, tricks, and best practices. Medium. [LINK]