Suppose you are an English professor, and you assign an essay on “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare. A student hands in the assignment with the following opening paragraph: “I am sorry, but as an Al language model, I am not able to complete this assignment. However, I can provide you with some guidance on how to approach this essay.” Will you consider this a pass or fail? A- or F? How would you grade an essay if you knew a human student had not written it? In a recent Twitter post, a student was caught by their teacher for using ChatGPT, a software that can answer questions and assist with tasks, such as composing emails, essays, and code.

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With all the focus on artificial intelligence and education on AI personalized learning and tutoring systems, AI technology has become a gift for student cheats, a powerful teaching assistant, or a tool for creativity. However, it acts as a universal tool set to disrupt education. Though the essay was submitted, the student conveniently forgot to make it as ‘human’ as possible. The assignments contained various pointers given by the AI at the request of the student to write a comprehensive essay. “In your introduction, you should provide a brief overview of the play and its themes. You can then focus specifically on the theme of gender and sexuality, highlighting how this theme is explored in the play,” the AI wrote. The passage reads like filler, but so do most student essays.

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The entire “student essay”  is problematic because  AI produced the gist of the play, including headings and references. Moreover, plagiarism software does not necessarily detect essays written by ChatGPT because the text is generated, not copied. According to PCguide, some reports suggest that Chat GPT-derived text scores as low as 5% for plagiarism when tested. For some tools, under 20% is an ‘acceptable’ score. Therefore, if you paste a ChatGPT-generated essay into the internet, you will most likely not find a word-for-word anywhere else. ChatGPT is an insidious academic threat gone steroids, with revolutionizing writing tools, a potential siren song for educators that is difficult, if not impossible, to catch.



 

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As per TODAY, an OpenAI, ChatGPT can answer questions, correct false information, and even acknowledge its own mistakes. Teachers worry that students will use ChatGPT to get away with cheating more easily as the AI pulls content from all over the internet to form brand-new authentic answers. “We don’t want ChatGPT to be used for misleading purposes in schools or anywhere else, so we’re already developing mitigations to help anyone identify text generated by that system,” an OpenAI spokesperson tells TODAY.com “We look forward to working with educators on useful solutions, and other ways to help teachers and students benefit from artificial intelligence.”



 

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Students will elect AI to write assignments, and teachers will use AI to assess them. This is the reality. Nobody learns and nobody gains. So, instead of teaching children not to use AI for any malpractice or trying to outwit AI software, educators can decrease homework overload or make learning a fun experience. As educators, if you give assignments that can be answered by artificial intelligence, are you helping students learn? Constructive feedback, peer assessment, and teach-back are better ways to enforce learning. If AI influences education, maybe educators and policymakers need to rethink how to drive students away from setting assignments that machines can answer, toward assessment for learning.





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