With the Nov. 30 launch of the artificial intelligence bot ChatGPT, the conversation about cheating in higher education has reached a new phase, inviting renewed critical consideration of how higher education can adjust to the ever-changing landscape of freely and sometimes-freely available online resources.
While it is newly released to the broader public, the OpenAI tool has garnered attention across academia and industry as a game changer for how we view, consume, and trust information, says learning specialist Dave Cormier of the UWindsor Office of Open Learning.
“While the technology certainly isn’t perfect,” he says, “initial tests have fooled peer reviewers at journals and faculty considering work done by their students.”
Cormier and Thompson Rivers University’s Brenna Clarke Gray are offering an interactive Zoom webinar on Friday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. They will review some of the tools that are impacting student assignments with the goal of establishing ways forward for getting students “to do the work” in classes in January and beyond. Cormier will be incorporating the usage of these natural language processing tools in the course he is teaching in the winter term addressing critical digital literacy needed by graduates.
Websites and software like Chegg and Photomath have garnered a lot of attention in recent years for being used by students to augment completing their assignments as intended. Written responses, whether in short answer or essay format, have been seen as a way of ensuring that students have done the work. ChatGPT offers a way to create plausible text responses to even complicated questions in a manner of seconds.
Interest has been high in the topic since Cormier and Dr. Clarke Gray started a public conversation about it a week ago on Twitter, with well over 100 registrants from around the world now signed up to join in the conversation.