IUP students reject ChatGPT | News | thepenn.org – Indiana University The Penn Online

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Updated: October 30, 2023 @ 2:24 am
ChatGPT is able to mimic human writing incredibly accurately, leading many to worry it could be used by students to cheat. However, the tool’s limitations have many college students refusing to use it. 

Staff Writer
Sam Bigham
News Editor
ChatGPT is able to mimic human writing incredibly accurately, leading many to worry it could be used by students to cheat. However, the tool’s limitations have many college students refusing to use it. 
ChatGPT burst onto the scene in November of 2022. With it came the concern that the tool would enable students to easily cheat on their written assignments. But are students using the tool and is it even an effective cheating tool?
College students do not seem to be confident in the tool. A survey from BestColleges found that only 22% of those surveyed used an AI tool to cheat on assignments. Additionally, 57% of those surveyed stated they will not use AI tools to cheat.
One IUP student does not trust ChatGPT to generate correct information saying, “I know it’s an AI oriented platform that can give you answers for various things such as math homework, writing an essay, and other stuff. I personally don’t think it’s helpful because I’ve had friends try to use it and it did not give the correct answers. I feel like it’s very flawed and doesn’t allow you to learn.”
ChatGPT has been known to generate false information. In one instance, a lawyer involved in a Manhattan civil case used ChatGPT to create his legal brief for the case. ChatGPT fabricated six court cases with the lawyer not realizing until the judge reprimanded him for it.
This is because ChatGPT is an AI generative language model, not a database of information. The model was trained on a sample of text from the internet and generates text based on the probability that one word follows another in a sequence. It does not know what it is typing, it just knows that what is typing is the most probable sequence of words based on the texts that it has been trained on.
Another student expressed frustration over the tool’s potential to allow students to easily coast their way through college.
“I think ChatGPT is one of the worse things that could have been created,” they said. “With ChatGPT, it makes it easier for students to cheat in sneaky ways without professors knowing. I think that with technology growing as fast as it is, within the next five to 10 years, college will be so much easier to cheat your way through.”
Professors also fear that ChatGPT would enable students to cheat. They now warn students on their syllabi about the consequences of using ChatGPT since it counts as plagiarism. Additionally, AI detection tools, such as Turnitin, may be unable to accurately detect AI generated text.
Dr. Tamara Whited in the History Department was one of those professors. In her 28 years of teaching at IUP, she always required some sort of long take home essay for her upper-level courses. But, this is her first semester with ChatGPT since returning from sabbatical, she has removed that requirement from her French Revolution class. Instead, students in the class were assigned in-class essays and short take home essays based on specific primary sources.
“I am not thrilled with my decision,” Whited said, describing it as a knee-jerk reaction to ChatGPT.
She now understands that ChatGPT can generate inaccurate information. She also believes that most students would rather write their essays because they recognize that it is cheating.
Whited believes that students must ask themselves, “To what extent am I willing to outsource my brain? Because that is what you’re doing.”
Long essay assignments teach important skills such as critical thinking and communication according to Whited. She will return to requiring long essays in the future since she believes in-class essays do not accomplish the same learning objectives.
Whited ultimately believes that people should learn the skills associated with long-form written communication just as they should learn intermediate mathematics, saying its “good for the brain.”
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