While we continue the conversation about artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT, their place in an educational setting continues to evolve. It is essential that students remain aware of both the possibilities and limitations when using these tools in their learning.
AI software can be harnessed as a powerful learning aid — particularly if used as a sophisticated search engine — when students are conducting research into a specific topic. For example, some AI programs are useful, like the chess-playing programs in the 1990s. That was supposed to be the end of humans playing chess. No, it wasn’t the end of humans playing chess. Chess is a different game now and that’s interesting.
Some Valid Uses of AI Would be:
- Kickstarting your research on a topic. You might ask, ‘I want to learn more about AI software and academic integrity, what academic articles could I use?’ Or: ‘As a senior student, list and describe 10 key aspects/characteristics or an event, person or even theory.’
- Asking for clarification on an article that you don’t understand or for clarification of terms or even sentences from that article. A good tip when typing in your prompt is to specify your context (such as a Year 11 Modern History student).
- To brainstorm ideas for a piece of writing such as, ‘Can you give me some starters for a story about resilience?’
Limitations Around AI Software
It is also important that students are aware of the limitations around AI software, particularly regarding academic integrity when it comes to assessment tasks. Some of the things that students should be aware of are:
- The dangers of blindly trusting the information that AI generates. Students should verify any information that the software produces for accuracy and credibility against reliable academic sources such as textbooks, academic articles or reputable websites. This is because Chat GPT doesn’t have the ability to search for references in real-time. It is making probabilistic predictions in the generation process based on the corpus it has been trained on. This can lead to false claims about facts.
- The risk of breaching the College plagiarism policy. If a student copies and pastes a response generated by AI into an assessment task and presents it as their own work without proper citation, then this is regarded as plagiarism and they will be subject to a penalty.
- The recent update in Turnitin. The College has a policy outlined in the 2023 College Diary that requires students to submit all take-home tasks through Turnitin. This software now has a facility to detect the use of AI software. Currently, this is only visible to the teacher.
- The limitation of AI to provide a response that recognises the nuances of a question or task. We have been testing AI-generated responses, and consistently find that the text often does not directly answer the question, placing the result in the D range. Rodney Brooks, who directed the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT until 2007, and held faculty positions at Carnegie Mellon and Stanford Universities, commented in an IEEE Spectrum magazine article on 17 May 2023 that Artificial Intelligence (AI) like Chat GPT “ … doesn’t have any underlying model of the world. It doesn’t have any connection to the world. It is correlation between language … What the large language models are good at is saying what an answer should sound like, which is different from what an answer should be.”
What can a student do to make sure they are using AI software with integrity?
- Understand the purpose: AI should be used as a supplemental resource to enhance the learning experience, not as a substitute for independent work.
- Maintain originality: do not copy and paste AI responses directly into your work. Instead, use the information as a reference or source, to help you understand and express concepts in your own words. Make sure you keep your notes and drafts for a task that substantiates that the task is your own work.
- Be transparent: if you have used AI to assist you in completing an assessment task, acknowledge it appropriately. Make a note of the tool used and cite it correctly. This link provides guidance on how to reference AI text, and we will continue to update the community as this advice evolves.
- Seek guidance from teachers: if you are uncertain about the appropriate use of AI in a particular assessment task, talk it through with your teacher. They can provide specific guidance on how to use the tool effectively.
- Embrace ethical conduct: ultimately, academic integrity is about personal growth, honesty and ethical conduct. Use AI responsibly and take pride in your original ideas and contributions.
We continue to place AI software firmly on our agenda in Curriculum and we will be seeking opportunities to educate our students further on the topic as we move into Semester 2.
One final thought. It is important to stay curious and open to new technologies like ChatGPT. We believe an open mindset and curiosity can help us to navigate this unchartered territory as a community.
Ms Lynsey Porter
Director of Curriculum