ChatGPT is a conversational AI that follows instructions given via a prompt. ChatGPT has the ability to “answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests”. It can also correct code. (https://openai.com).
A quick search on LinkedIn, YouTube and educational pages on Facebook that I follow reveals a very interesting conversation taking place. These conversations include everything from how to use ChatGPT for planning lessons to concern around students plagiarising using ChatGPT. The future capabilities of AI are fast becoming a reality and there seems to be equal amounts of excitement and concern!
There are YouTube videos on how to create lesson plans, rubrics, comprehension resources where ChatGPT does the heavy lifting; creating the resources, designing the inference questions, and even providing the answer grid and for the appropriate level (see here https://tinyurl.com/yc8mfwed).
A simple search online for ‘can ChatGPT solve IB maths questions’ turns up this blog post on what questions ChatGPT got right and wrong: https://tinyurl.com/2p8s5pcs. ChatGPT scored 5 with the author noting that with a few tweaks it could easily score higher. “It did make some very surprising basic mistakes – but overall was still able to achieve a solid IB Level 5 (a good performance), and it did this in about 5-10 minutes” (Chambers, 2022).
As far as essays go, just provide a prompt with the context, level, wordcount and question and voila! ChatGPT can even provide feedback on student writing.
This all sounds pretty useful. However, ChatGPT currently has a number of limitations. It will fill in knowledge gaps, make mistakes, and include references that don’t exist. It’s constantly being developed by the users and therefore dependant on the views, opinions etc. of those humans “ChatGPT was trained using a massive dataset of text written by humans that was pulled from the Internet. Thus, the responses can reflect the biases of the humans who wrote the text used in the training dataset”. (Torrey, p7). Because of this ChatGPT can be discriminatory and biased.
ChatGPT is an interesting tool in that teachers can use it to ‘save time’ and essentially students could use it to potentially ‘pass’ with minimal effort. It comes as no surprise that newsfeeds in the edusphere are filled with teachers voicing their concerns (and equally as many showing their support) around students using such technology.
Cyberwise (https://tinyurl.com/2mnazjre) recently produced an article on the positive and negatives of ChatGPT written by ChatGPT itself. This article asked the question of whether students using ChatGPT was plagiarism and the response from ChatGPT was this:
“It is generally considered plagiarism to present someone else's work as your own, whether you have copied it directly or asked someone else to produce it for you. This includes using a language model such as ChatGPT to generate text that you then submit as your own.” (ChatGPT)
With all the fuss around this, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until another digital tool will identify whether the student work is their own or from an AI tool like ChatGPT. But what to do in the interim? Well, in this author’s opinion, perhaps we teachers learn to embrace it.
Research conducted By Susnjak at Massey University, NZ, titled ‘ChatGPT: The End of Exam Integrity’ found that ChatGPT can produce work that demonstrates critical thinking. This raises good questions about exam integrity. According to the article, the area of exam integrity in online assessmentis under researched. An interesting finding in this research was,
“It is clear from the experimental evidence conducted in this paper that AI technologies have reached exceptional levels and are now capable of critical thinking rather than just information retrieval…One of the most impressive capabilities of ChatGPT is its ability to reason critically, as well as express thoughts and ideas in flawless prose. This technology has demonstrated exceptional competency in these areas, seemingly matching the capabilities of humans” (p13)
The risk identified by this article is “that students could potentially use ChatGPT to cheat on exams, as the technology is able to generate responses that are indistinguishable from humans.” (p.14).
The question that AI such as ChatGPT raises for me is what knowledge and skills are currently of value to communities? My rationale for this is that schools are in the business of providing students with knowledge and skills that are valued by communities - be they tertiary, industry, familial or something else. Overtime, what these communities value in terms of knowledge and skills changes.
I can’t help but go back the OECD Future of Learning 2030 document and agree that:
“Students need support in developing not only knowledge and skills but also attitudes and values, which can guide them towards ethical and responsible actions. At the same time, they need opportunities to develop their creative ingenuity to help propel humanity towards a bright future.
As Andreas Schleicher, Director of the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills, commented in 2019, “Education is no longer about teaching students something alone; it is more important to be teaching them to develop a reliable compass and the navigation tools to find their own way in a world that is increasingly complex, volatile and uncertain. Our imagination, awareness, knowledge, skills and, most important, our common values, intellectual and moral maturity, and sense of responsibility is what will guide us for the world to become a better place” (Schleicher, 2019).”(p6)
So, we have some choices:
· Status Quo – essentially do nothing! Teachers could use ChatGPT to create lessons and assist with teaching. Students use it in their learning and potentially as a method for producing work that is not their own. This will then result in school policies and consequences to try and curtail the misuse (I use this term in a general sense) of the technology.
· Embrace the technology – this choice has a lot of potential future scenarios, such as integrating AI into teaching and learning programs, changing the way we evaluate learning, changing our teaching and learning programs and the creation of new knowledge and skills, the list goes on…
Whatever we choose, the fact remains that the technology is here and will only continue to develop.
Embrace the technology but how?
This is a big question and one I don’t have the answer for!
But, I do believe that we need humans who can critically think, be creative, design and solve problems to improve the environment for those that live in it (ethically).
As educators we need to think about the purpose of teaching and learning, the content of the teaching and learning and if how we ‘assess’ is currently a good measure of success in students gaining knowledge and skills. While AI is increasingly able to respond to prompts with in a more human-like manner, we as teachers need to ensure that we don’t create passive citizens but active lifelong learners who have the ‘attitudes and values to act ethically’.
So, if our concern as educators is that AI is providing students with the answers – maybe we are asking the wrong questions?
Blakemore, T. (2023). ChatGPT tutorial for Teachers, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQJOXn4NG40
Chambers, A. (2022). Can Artificial Intelligence (Chat GPT) get a 7 on an SL Maths paper? IB Math Resources from Intermathematics https://ibmathsresources.com/2022/12/11/can-artificial-intelligence-chat-gpt-get-a-7-on-an-sl-maths-paper/
ChatGPT (2022). Cyberwise https://www.cyberwise.org/post/the-pros-and-cons-of-students-using-chatgpt
OECD. (2019) Future of Education and Skills 2030. https://www.oecd.org/education/2030-project/teaching-and-learning/learning/learning-compass-2030/OECD_Learning_Compass_2030_Concept_Note_Series.pdf
SusnJak, T. (2022). ChatGPT The End of Online Exam Integrity. Massey University Auckland, NZ. https://arxiv.org/pdf/2212.09292.pdf
Trust, T (2022). ChatGPT and Education, https://tinyurl.com/yv6m7ra7