What counts as cheating when using AI?

Tuesday, 06 June, 2023

What counts as cheating when using AI?

When it comes to the use of AI by students, there is a lack of clarity as to what constitutes cheating.

A new study by Chalmers University of Technology shows that while students are generally positive towards the use of AI tools like ChatGPT in education, 62% believe that the use of chatbots during exams is cheating.

The survey was one of the first large-scale studies in Europe to investigate students’ attitudes towards artificial intelligence in higher education. Almost 6000 students from Sweden participated.

“The students express strong, diverse and in many cases emotionally charged opinions,” said Hans Malmström, Professor at the Department of Communication and Learning in Science at Chalmers University of Technology. He, together with his colleagues Christian Stöhr and Amy Wanyu Ou, conducted the study.

More than one-third use ChatGPT regularly

A majority of the respondents believe that chatbots and AI language tools make them more efficient as students and argue that such tools improve their academic writing and overall language skills. Virtually all the responding students are familiar with ChatGPT, the majority use the tool and 35% use the chatbot regularly.

Despite their positive attitude towards AI, many students feel anxious and lack clear guidance on how to use AI in the learning environments they are in. It is simply difficult to know where the boundary for cheating lies.

“Most students have no idea whether their educational institution has any rules or guidelines for using AI responsibly, and that is of course worrying. At the same time, an overwhelming majority is against a ban on AI in educational contexts,” Malmström said.

No replacement for critical thinking

Many students perceive chatbots as a mentor or teacher that they can ask questions or get help from, for example, with explanations of concepts and summaries of ideas. The dominant attitude is that chatbots should be used as an aid, not replace students’ own critical thinking. Or as one student put it: “You should be able to do the same things as the AI, but it should help you do it. You should not use a calculator if you don’t know what the plus sign on it does.”

Aid in case of disabilities

Another important aspect that emerged in the survey was that AI serves as an effective aid for people with various disabilities. A student with ADD and dyslexia described how they had spent 20 minutes writing down their answer in the survey and then improved it by inputting the text into ChatGPT: “It’s like being colour-blind and suddenly being able to see all the beautiful colours.”

Giving students a voice

The researchers have now gathered a wealth of important information and compiled the results in an overview report.

“We hope and believe that the answers from this survey will give students a voice and the results will thus be an important contribution to our collective understanding of AI and learning,” said Christian Stöhr, Associate Professor at the Department of Communication and Learning in Science at Chalmers.

Summary of survey results

  • 95% of students are familiar with ChatGPT, while awareness of other chatbots is very low.
  • 56% are positive about using chatbots in their studies; 35% use ChatGTP regularly.
  • 60% are opposed to a ban on chatbots and 77% are against a ban on other AI tools (such as Grammarly) in education.
  • More than half of the students do not know if their institution has guidelines for how AI can be used in education; one in four explicitly says that their institution lacks such regulations.
  • 62% believe that using chatbots during examinations is cheating.
  • Students express some concern about AI development, and there is particular concern over the impact of chatbots on future education.

Image credit: iStock.com/BlackJack3D

Related Articles

SaaS uplift to boost student experience

Bond University recently migrated to TechnologyOne's software-as-a-service (SaaS)...

Tech partnership simplifies school administration

Atturra has partnered with Brisbane Grammar School to deliver a student information system (SIS)...

Does online delivery trump the classroom?

A new study by Charles Darwin University has explored the effectiveness of online learning when...

  • All content Copyright © 2024 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd