Chat GPT is a valuable tool for students who want to “outsource” their writing assignments. So what can educators do about it since there are no reliable tools for distinguishing AI content from human work? Answer: Educators will have to rethink how they structure their instruction and assess students.
To try to prevent students from fabricating assignment answers with Chat GPT, professor at the
University of Applied Science for Engineering and Economics in Berlin, Debora Weber-Wulff, has turned to the model herself. She has been running exams and homework questions through AI and then modifying the questions to try to trip up the software. Although, this strategy isn’t foolproof as AI is constantly updating and learning, there may be some other ways to trip the machine that Weber-Wulff hasn’t thought of yet. The bottom line is that she is having to put in more effort now to combat
academic dishonesty then she has had to before. Read more about this by clicking here: ChatGPT Can Get Good Grades. What Should Educators Do about It?
AI developers didn’t necessarily create cheating. Before Chat GPT, thousands of people offered essay writing services to students at a cost. Now, Chat GPT is more accessible to all students due to the fact that it is free. It has made cheating on assignments easier than ever before. This illustrates an educational problem: Students are often rewarded for their grades – not their understanding of the material.
The focus for educators should not be preventing students from using AI but addressing the root cause of academic dishonesty. Kai Xie, an educational psychologist at Michigan State University studies student motivation, and he chalks up cheating and plagiarism to peoples attitudes. If a student is motivated to master a skill, there’s no reason to cheat. If a student is wanting to appear competent, outcompete peers, or get a good grade, they’re liable to use any tool that will help them excel.
Not only does AI make it more difficult to access students knowledge but also threatens to prevent them from learning how to write themselves. Writing is a basic skill that is useful in most professions and is also a way for individuals to express themselves. Writing helps people build connections between concepts, boost insight and understanding, and improves memory. If a student chooses to use Chat GPT for all all of their writing assignments, they will fall behind in their writing abilities and might also be stunted in their academic and intellectual growth. This is an opportunity to rethink teaching and reconceptualize AI in an academic sense.
Educators can design their instructional delivery and assignments to better encourage growth over competition, and AI can be apart of that. Teachers could use “flipped classrooms” where students can use AI tutoring tools at home and classroom time can be for working with peers. Instead of proving a students grasped the concepts as homework, they would demonstrate their knowledge through in-class projects.
Xie says that possibly phasing out or minimizing grades is another possibility regarding academic dishonesty with AI. If a teacher’s evaluative feedback is more individualized instead of assigning a quantitative value of a product, students might be less inclined to cheat.
Chat GPT might also be useful for students for the idea-formation process, using AI as a
brainstorming partner. It is important to teach students how to apply AI tools for their
own benefit. Educators could end up raising students’ technology literacy by teaching them how to apply AI tools for their own benefit in a ethical way. In a perfect world, our relationship with generative AI might end up similar to the one we have with spellcheck or a calculator. As educators, we must ensure that the students are using these tools the proper way. If you are interested in supporting educators with the classroom use of AI, get in touch with Learn New Mexico or learn imrsv. We can create a tailored professional development for you and your institution.