Alleging Students Of ChatGPT Cheating, Professor at Top University Puts Students Graduation at Stake
- Lincoln Phillips By
- June 27, 2023
- 6 Min Read
Since the launch of ChatGPT, it has been a boon and bane for many students and professors. One such incident has recently courted controversy wherein a Texas professor relied on the AI tool for final paper evaluation. As per the reports, the professor employed ChatGPT to check if the students had copied the assignment from ChatGPT. And as per the claims made by the AI, the professor failed over half of his students.
This incident serves as a cautionary tale about the limitations and risks associated with the uncritical use of AI in educational settings and makes one question whether AI cheat checks can be trusted.
The Dominance Of AI
Artificial intelligence is showing immense potential and promise in various fields, and the education sector is no exception. With the launch of ChatGPT, the AI language models have gained great recognition for their capability of accomplishing the once impossible tasks. In fact, they have improved human-machine interaction. ChatGPT is not just an AI chatbot but an advanced tool that comprehends the context of the question that is given and responds in an intelligent way.
In short, it is human-like and understands the idioms and subtleties of human interaction. Furthermore, it is a continual learning AI bot that gets improved with every interaction.
All these qualities have pushed AI to the forefront today, and we can see its dominance all over the world. However, with all its positives, there are negatives attached to it that cannot be sidelined. In other words, AI tools are not completely reliable and cannot be trusted blindly whether to write something or evaluate something.
One such situation came to light on the Reddit platform wherein a user named DearKick posted an email that went viral. The incident involves Dr. Jared Mumm, professor (Animal Science) at Texas A&M-Commerce, who sent a heated email to the class, warning that he would award an ‘X’ indicating that it is incomplete. Mumm used an AI detector tool to evaluate students’ papers and check if they had used ChatGPT or other tools to write the assignment. And as per the evaluation, the professor came to the conclusion that students have used ChatGPT.
He wrote, “In Grading your last three assignments, I have opened my own account for Chat GTP. I copy and paste your responses into this account, and Chat GTP will tell me if the program generated the content. I put everyone’s last three assignments through two separate times, and if they were both claimed by Chat GTP, you received a 0” as per the source.
As a result of this email, the university decided not to award any diplomas to the students, which created a stir among them.
While students are agitated by this incident, one must understand that AI tools cannot be trusted completely as it comes with their own limitations.
The Potential Pitfalls of AI Integration
While the integration of AI technology in education has shown tremendous promise, this incident highlights the potential pitfalls that can arise when relying solely on AI algorithms for critical decision-making. ChatGPT, though powerful, is not infallible and can make mistakes or generate inaccurate information. This incident underscores the importance of maintaining human oversight and critical thinking to ensure the accuracy and fairness of evaluations.
The Fallacy of Automated Grading
Automated grading, where AI algorithms assess student work, has gained attention for its potential to streamline the evaluation process. However, the incident involving the Texas professor demonstrates that blindly trusting AI algorithms to grade student papers can have detrimental consequences. AI systems lack the nuanced understanding, context, and subjectivity that human graders bring to the table. This incident serves as a reminder that certain aspects of evaluation, such as assessing creativity, critical thinking, and writing style, require human judgment.
While these are some essential points, the incident has also sparked a broader discussion about the ethical implications and challenges associated with the integration of AI in educational settings. The professor has some concerns over AI integration that are valid and must be taken into account. Here are the top most concerns that one must consider:
This is one of the central concerns expressed by the professor. Employing AI technology to create false claims about students writing their final papers poses important questions about the authenticity of the academic process. It highlights the need to uphold academic honesty, ensuring that students are evaluated based on their own knowledge, skills, and efforts rather than relying on AI-generated content.
Impact on Student Learning:
AI has a big role to play in education and learning now, and when AIs are used excessively or inappropriately, they can potentially impair the critical thinking of students. Additionally, relying completely on AI-based content may hinder students’ ability to develop their own ideas, conduct independent research, and hone their critical analysis skills.
Educators and institutions must establish protocols for the use of AI technology, ensuring that it aligns with principles of academic integrity and is employed responsibly. Transparency in communicating the role of AI systems to students is essential, fostering trust and understanding while mitigating the potential for unethical practices.
Amidst these big allegations by the professor, the students have expressed shock and dismay over the claims and feel they are being targeted for no fault of their own. Confronted with the severe consequences of failing grades, all due to AI claims which seem fabricated has caused distress and confusion.
As a result, there’s a breach of trust between students and their professors, and both feel a sense of betrayal and frustration. Students have outpoured their distrust and frustration on social media and shared their experiences and frustrations through hashtags and online campaigns. They demand accountability from the institution and professors.
Furthermore, to amplify their voices and hold those responsible accountable, affected students initiated petitions and lodged formal complaints against the professor and the institution. These petitions garnered significant support from both students and concerned individuals within the academic community.
As per the update on the Reddit platform by the user DearKick, the university has withheld the degrees but hasn’t barred anyone from graduating. Moreover, one of the students has been cleared of the plagiarism charges as well.
Response From The Institution
The response from the institution, upon being confronted with the student outcry, played a pivotal role in determining the resolution of the Texas cheating case. Institutions faced pressure to address the concerns raised by the students promptly and transparently. The affected students demanded a thorough investigation, a fair re-evaluation of their papers, and appropriate consequences for the professor’s alleged misconduct. The institution’s commitment to rectifying the situation and implementing measures to prevent future incidents was critical in restoring students’ trust and confidence.
Overall, one can say that this incident serves as a learning opportunity for both educators and developers regarding AI technology and its pros and cons. It highlights the need for thorough testing, validation, and ongoing monitoring of AI algorithms before implementing them in critical educational processes.
Furthermore, it also stresses the importance of clear communication with students about the role of AI systems in their education, managing their expectations, and ensuring transparency throughout the evaluation process.
While AI technology offers exciting possibilities, educators must exercise caution and maintain a balance between the power of AI and the invaluable human touch. By recognizing the importance of ethical considerations, embracing the role of human expertise, and learning from mistakes, we can foster a responsible and effective integration of AI in education, ultimately enhancing the learning experience for all.