Teaching with Microsoft Copilot (Formerly Bing Chat)

Microsoft Copilot Microsoft Copilot

Microsoft Copilot (formerly known as Bing Chat Enterprise) is the University of Miami's officially supported generative AI chatbot platform and search engine with commercial data protection. Users can prompt Copilot Chat to find information and/or complete a task. Free to faculty and staff using their UM credentials at Bing.com/chat, users can integrate Copilot into different areas of their teaching practice including course design, lesson planning, and assessment development. Read on to learn more about the considerations, example applications, and limitations with Copilot. 

Quick Links: About - Considerations - Application Examples - Limitations

About Microsoft Copilot (Formerly Bing Chat Enterprise)

Microsoft Copilot, formerly Bing Chat, is a generative AI chatbot accessible at bing.com/chat that is available to all faculty and staff at the University of Miami. While students do have access to Copilot, it is not equivalent to the faculty and staff version and does not enjoy the same data protection. As mentioned in the Bing Chat Enterprise Get Started page, diverse conversation modes are offered:

  • Balanced Mode: Powered by GPT-3, this mode ensures consistent and reliable responses, ideal for straightforward tasks.
  • Creative Mode: If you seek creativity and innovative content, the GPT-4-powered Creative Mode is at your disposal.
  • Precise Mode: When precision and detail are paramount, GPT-4 in Precise Mode offers accurate and in-depth responses.

For example, faculty members can leverage  “Creative Mode” for support in brainstorming lesson ideas or the “Balanced Mode” to receive specific feedback on an existing assignment. 

Instructors can also make use of the automated follow-up prompts that become visible after each response to guide them through the process of drafting content for various instructional purposes. Another helpful feature is the Compose tab that guides the user through the development of content by prompting them to include parameters including their desired length, tone, and format.

To learn more about how to access Bing Chat Enterprise using your UM credentials, please visit the Bing Chat Enterprise Get Started page. 


This section focuses on important factors to consider when using Microsoft Copilot. As a new and developing technology, there is opportunity to determine ethical approaches, new policy, and meaningful training and development around the use of generative AI tools like Copilot.

Transparency with Students

Faculty members should deliberate whether to disclose their use of Copilot Chat or Copilot Compose when incorporating it into course development and what that language might look like. In general, transparency in teaching tends to support trust between faculty members and their students. 

Effective Prompt Generation

Developing proficiency in prompt generation is essential for maximizing the benefits of Copilot. Well-crafted prompts can lead to more effective results. UM faculty and staff have free access to prompt engineering guidance through LinkedIn Learning.

Power in Collaboration

Departments are encouraged to come together and form a consensus on the usage and acknowledgment of Microsoft Copilot (formerly known as Bing Chat Enterprise). Collaborative experimentation with the tool can also result in innovative teaching solutions.

Application Examples

Microsoft Copilot can be applied to various educational tasks not limited to those described below. From content development and feedback to administrative tasks, users can leverage Copilot to generate or refine ideas and streamline routine action items. 

If you are already using Copilot, a.k.a. Bing Chat, to enhance your course design, activities, or assessments, we invite you to share your experiences with us! Your insights can help inspire and support fellow educators in their journey with this tool. Email your examples to life@miami.edu

Course Design Assistance

Instructors can ask Copilot to use a particular framework to help guide them through an instructional initiative like designing a course. For example, a faculty member can ask Copilot to follow the principles of L. Dee Fink’s Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses to walk them through the process of building a course from scratch or developing a new iteration of an existing course. Copilot will adopt Fink’s guiding questions to engage the user in a step-by-step conversation throughout the process. Faculty members can even ask Copilot for feedback on different course components as they are developed.

Example Conversation:

Adapting Prompts to Generate Feedback

AI chatbots, like Copilot, perform best when they are given a specific role along with context for their task including task parameters, examples, a desired response format, and the intended audience. For example, faculty members can ask Copilot to play the role of an instructional designer offering feedback on course elements like learning objectives, lecture notes, lesson plans, class activities and assessments. Once users receive an initial response, they can ask Copilot to elaborate on certain points, provide further clarificaiton and additional examples. Responses can also be refreshed to provide more options. The more users intentionally engage in the conversation, the more relevant and useful the responses can become. Below are two additional feedback prompt examples that faculty members may find useful. 

When using Microsoft Copilot to elicit student feedback, paste the following prompt into the chat box and modify it to fit the needs of your specific course.

Prompt Template for Student Feedback:

Act as a student enrolled in [Course Name], a [graduate/undergraduate] course. You are in your [first, third, etc.] year and have shown interest in [describe your student population as much as possible]. Please review this [lesson plan, class activity, assessment, etc] and give me feedback on how I can make it more clear, effective, engaging, and student centered. Write from a student's perspective addressing a professor. Please format your response as a bulleted list with short paragraphs. Use an encouraging and helpful tone. [Paste in lesson plan, class activity, assessment, etc.]

Example Conversation:

When using Microsoft Copilot to elicit feedback from an industry leader, paste the following prompt into the chat box and modify it to fit the needs of your specific course.

Prompt Template for Industry Leader Feedback:

Act as an industry leader who is looking to hire employees in the [Name of Industry] industry. Imagine you are evaluating college graduates for potential employment. Explain what are the key skills and competencies you are looking for in potential employees. What do these applicants need to know how to do in order to be successful in your industry? What should academic programs prioritize when designing their curriculums so that these students become successful in the field of [industry field]. Write from the perspective of an industry leader in this field. Format your response as a clear and specific letter to a local professor who teaches in this field. 

Example Conversation:

Creating Content

Microsoft Copilotcan offer instructional support by helping users develop class materials, activities and assessments or revise existing ones. Task Copilot to simulate a professor for your course then input course descriptions, student demographics and interests. After providing context, have Copilot generate tailored activities, rubrics, answer keys, or exemplar responses. It can be helpful to provide the learning goal or learning outcome related to the desired task to ensure alignment of your course components. Additionally, responses can be further improved by offering targeted feedback throughout your exchange with the chat bot.

Example Conversation:

Users can also input an existing activity and ask Copilot to revise it to incorporate more active learning, account for a flipped-classroom setting, or simply make it more student-centered.

Streamlining Administrative Tasks

The Compose feature facilitates the creation of drafts for various instructional and non-instructional purposes. From lesson plans to email templates, Compose allows you to set the desired tone, format, and length to help guide the creation of your draft. Additional example outputs can include event proposals, template feedback phrases, email templates for various student  groups including students needing encouragement, students with attendance issues, or students missing assignments.

bing compose screenshot

Additional Applications

In addition to its primary educational uses, Microsoft Copilot offers other applications, including image generation using DALL-E 3 and functioning as a PDF/webpage reader (please note that its performance in this area may vary).


Microsoft Copilot offers various opportunities to inspire, create, and optimize existing processes. However, this is a developing technology and, like all generative AI platforms, its performance may be inconsistent and unreliable in certain contexts. While Copilot is a powerful tool, it is essential to be aware of its limitations to make the most of its capabilities.

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  • Browser Compatibility

    For optimal performance, Copilot is best utilized with Microsoft Edge. While it is accessible on Chrome and Firefox, the functionality is limited, and it is not yet supported on Safari.

  • Compliance Considerations

    Microsoft Copilot for faculty and staff is compliant with FERPA regulations, ensuring the security of educational records. However, it is important to note that it is not yet HIPAA compliant.

  • Content Reliability

    Copilot operates with access to the vast expanse of the internet. While it aims for accuracy, there may be instances of hallucinations and the presentation of false information. Always exercise caution and verify critical information.

  • Potential Bias

    The nature of Copilot's training data, gathered from the internet, means that generated content may carry inherent biases. As a user, it is crucial to approach the content with a critical perspective.

  • Student Accounts

    Students have access to Copilot, a.k.a. Bing Chat, through their UM credentials. However, their usage is limited to four exchanges, and their accounts are not covered by the commercial security agreement. It is important to warn students of the dangers of inputting sensitive information and share best practices for safely using generative AI.

  • Response Consistency

    While Copilot consistently provides valuable responses, there may be occasional variations in the quality and accuracy of generated content. Be prepared to review and edit as needed.


Fink, D. L. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. Jossey-Bass.

Transparency In Learning and Teaching Higher Education. (n.d.). TILT Higher Ed Examples and Resources. Retrieved November 1, 2023, from https://tilthighered.com/tiltexamplesandresources