A.I. Chatbots and Universities Start Rethinking Education - Liberty

Monday, October 16, 2023

A.I. Chatbots and Universities Start Rethinking Education

 

The University of Florida campus in Gainesville. Colleges and universities have been reluctant to ban the new chatbot because administrators wonder if the move would be effective. Credit...Todd Anderson

Anthony Oman, a philosophy professor at Northern Michigan University, was grading essays for a World Religions course last month when he read what he briefly described as "the best paper in the class." 

A red flag was immediately raised.

Orman asked the students if they had written the essays themselves. Students confessed to using ChatGPT, a chatbot that provides information, explains concepts, and generates ideas in simple sentences. In this case, I was writing a thesis.

Surprised by this discovery, Aumann changed how he wrote his essays this semester. He plans to require students to write their first draft in the classroom, using a browser that monitors and limits computer activity. Oman may forgo essays later in the semester, but also plans to weave ChatGPT into the classroom by asking students to rate the chatbot's responses.

Across the country, professors, deans, and administrators like Aumann are starting to reimagine classrooms for ChatGPT. This could revolutionize teaching and learning. Some professors have wholly redesigned their courses with changes that include oral exams, group work, and handwritten rather than typed assessments.


Antony Orman, a professor of philosophy at Northern Michigan University, said after one of his students confessed to using ChatGPT, he called for introducing new rules such as requiring students to write a first draft of an essay in class. said to have suggested. I suggested Said. schedule. Christine Renzen

The move is part of a real-time effort by a new wave of technology known as generative artificial intelligence. ChatGPT, released by the artificial intelligence lab OpenAI in November, is at the forefront of change. Chatbots generate eerily clear and nuanced text in response to brief prompts that people use to write love letters, poetry, fan fiction, and scholarly works.

In some middle and high schools, teachers and administrators are trying to determine if students are using chatbots to complete their schoolwork. While some public schools, such as New York City and Seattle, have banned anti-cheating tools on school Wi-Fi networks and devices, students are finding workarounds to access ChatGPT. I am here. Easy to find.

In higher education, universities are reluctant to ban AI. Administrators question whether the move will be effective and do not want to undermine academic freedom.

Rather than target specific methods of cheating, the University of Florida President Joe Glover said, "We are working on a general approach to ensuring that the authority of faculty members who run classes is maintained." said. This is not the last innovation we have to do...we are working on it. ”

This is especially true in the case of generative A.I. in its early days. Silicon Valley startups such as Stability AI and Character.AI are also working on generative AI. tool.

An OpenAI spokesperson said the lab is aware that the program could be used to mislead people and has developed technology to help people identify text generated by ChatGPT. said he did. of course.

ChatGPT is at the top of the agenda at many universities. Administrators have set up task forces to address the tools, hosted university-wide discussions, and much of the guidance has been adapted to the technology.


Faculty members at the University of Florida in Gainesville recently met to discuss how to deal with ChatGPT. Todd Anderson

Pandemic, but seems vulnerable to chatbots. Instead, opt for in-class assignments, handwritten reports, group work, and oral exams.

Some professors craft questions that seem too clever for chatbots and ask students to write about their lives or current events.

Sid Doblin, dean of the University of Florida's English Department, said students "are plagiarizing assignments because they can be plagiarized."

Frederick Lewis Aldama, head of the humanities department at the University of Texas at Austin, said that instead of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," William Shakespeare's early sonnets, newer or more recent sonnets, etc. He said there may be less information about ChatGPT.He said he plans to teach niche texts.

Chatbots “can motivate people who are leaning towards standard, mainstream text to reach out beyond their comfort zone of not being online,” he said.

In case these changes aren't enough to prevent plagiarism, Aldama and other professors said they plan to set stricter standards for what to expect from students and how to grade them. I was. An essay is more than a topic, an introduction, subparagraphs, and a conclusion.

"We need to step up our game," Aldama said.

Universities also aim to educate students about the new AI. tool. At the University of Buffalo, New York, and Furman College, Greenville, South Carolina, A.I. tools in required courses that teach freshman concepts such as freshman and academic integrity.

Other universities are pushing the boundaries of AI. The University of Washington in St. Louis and the University of Vermont in Burlington is drafting revised Academic Integrity Policies to include generative AI in their definition of plagiarism.

John Dyer, vice president of enrollment services and instructional technology at Dallas Theological Seminary, said the language in his seminary's code of ethics feels "a little outdated." He plans to update the definition of plagiarism to read:

A.I. exploit tools probably never end, so some professors and universities say they plan to use detectors to eradicate its activity. It plans to incorporate more features to identify AI.

Over 6,000 teachers from Harvard, Yale, Rhode Island, and others have also signed up to use GPTZero. GPTZero is a program that promises to quickly detect AI-generated text. University.


Lizzie Shackney, a law and design student at the University of Pennsylvania, said she understands both the value and limitations of AI. tool. Steve Legato

Some students see value in adopting AI. A tool to learn. Lizzie Shackney, 27, a student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and Design, started using ChatGPT to brainstorm her thesis and debug a series of coding problems.

“There are areas I want people to share and areas I don't want the wheels spinning,” she explained of her computer science and statistics classes. "This is where my brain helps me make sense of the code."

But she has her insecurities. According to Hackney, ChatGPT sometimes misrepresents ideas or miscites sources. The University of Pennsylvania also doesn't have regulations on the tool, so she doesn't want to rely on it in case the school bans it or considers it cheating, she said.

Other students have no such qualms and share on forums like Reddit that they have submitted assignments created and resolved by ChatGPT. On TikTok, the hashtag #chatgpt has been viewed more than 578 million times, sharing videos of people using the tool to write papers and solve coding problems.

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