Opinion | Don’t fight AI in the classroom-adapt to it

New tools will be needed for university professors to catch students who are using AI to cheat on essays and exams.


Cody Blissett

Professor Pamela Bourjaily teaches her class on Wednesday, March 22. Bourjaily is teaching her students proper business writing. (Cody Blissett/The Daily Iowan)

Peter Anders, Opinions Contributor

Students using AI to cheat has become a serious and widespread problem.

You may have heard a lot about AI recently, but what is artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence can be best described as computers with the ability to perform tasks once exclusive to the human mind and capabilities. Some of them are minuscule tasks, while others are much more complex.

Instead of trying to use the old methods of discouraging the use of artificial intelligence and trying to lecture students on the ethical problems inherent in students using AI to write essays and help with tests, teachers need to adapt and use new tools to catch the use of them.

Currently, it goes without saying that many students seem to feel some temptation to cheat using tools such as ChatGPT and other AI software on assignments like essays and tests.

This temptation might grow as students feel pressure to perform and get higher grades, compelled by an overcompetitive culture and overblown expectations, they might resort to the less ethical methods mentioned previously.

Teachers can use tools created by companies to detect any sense of plagiarism. While it’s not a flawless bit of technology, ChatGPT launched a tool earlier this year to help teachers detect plagiarism or the use of AI on assignments.

Another way teachers and universities around the country could follow suit is to incorporate ChatGPT and other AI into the learning environment in general. Instead of panicking and trying to eliminate every possible way students could use AI, perhaps a better way to go about it would be building lesson plans with artificial intelligence in mind.

Many lesson plans and curriculums as they currently were made in a time when artificial intelligence was merely a buzzword and nothing more. For example, essays could be assigned with a much higher emphasis on creativity and critical thinking in their prompts, something that even the most advanced iterations of artificial intelligence available to the public still lack and might never be able to acquire.

Whether we like it or not, AI is here to stay, and is likely to expand in its capabilities as time goes on. Now is the time for universities and professors to begin planning accordingly so that students are not able to take shortcuts with them versus learning actual class material.

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