Chatting with GPT: Enhancing Individualized Education Program Goal Development for Novice Special Education Teachers

Rakap S.

Journal of Special Education Technology, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/01626434231211295
  • Journal Name: Journal of Special Education Technology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
  • Keywords: artificial intelligence, individualized education program goals, natural language processing, novice teachers, chatGPT
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Novice special education teachers often face challenges in developing high-quality Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals for children with autism. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, has shown potential in supporting teachers in IEP development. This study aimed to investigate the impact of ChatGPT on the quality, content, and time spent on IEP goal development for novice special education teachers. Moreover, impact of previous training on IEP and goal development was examined. 22 novice special education teachers were randomly assigned to either the ChatGPT group or the control group. Participants developed IEP goals for five children with autism, and the quality of the goals was assessed using the Revised IEP/IFSP Goals and Objective Rating Instrument. The use of ChatGPT significantly improved the quality of IEP goals developed by novice special education teachers, regardless of previous training status. Moreover, novice teachers who used ChatGPT spent significantly less time developing IEP goals compared to those who did not use ChatGPT. Furthermore, the IEP goals developed by the ChatGPT group were more comprehensive, addressing specific strengths and needs of children with autism, in comparison to the goals developed by the control group. The findings suggest that the use of ChatGPT can be a valuable tool in supporting novice special education teachers in developing high-quality IEP goals efficiently. The study highlights the importance of providing training on IEP development and the potential benefits of AI tools in general and special education practice.