ChatGPT in the classroom, a role that is still developing

Artificial intelligence, also known as AI, has recently become a more integral part of our everyday lives, revolutionizing the way we approach tasks. However, with the release of the new artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, there has been much discourse about its use in academic spaces. AI can be helpful in classrooms; however, it shouldn’t be used to write entire assignments. ChatGPT’s ability to generate long-form answers and write entire essays with the input of a single prompt has made cheating assignments much easier. Many students around us have been able to get away with this practice with carefully constructed prompts and skillful paraphrasing. 

Ms. Amy Kumpel, Director of the Upper School, stated that, as of now, “Dana Hall doesn’t have an official policy regarding ChatGPT; however, the use of it could fall under our general academic dishonesty policy.” But amidst these concerns, Ms. Kumpel said that such technological developments come with many advantages along with the obstacles. ChatGPT, when used in a way that does not fall under academic dishonesty, can serve as a valuable tool “to generate ideas, conversations, or to help with organization.” Ms. Kumpel recognizes the potential of ChatGPT and expressed excitement about what this tool will be able to bring into the classroom.

Adaptations to combat AI-generated plagiarism are already coming into place. Tools such as have integrated AI to detect content generated by ChatGPT. However, even with these advancements, numerous students have turned to ChatGPT when faced with tight deadlines and an influx of assignments. Even with technological adaptations, it will not be possible to mitigate the use of ChatGPT for cheating and plagiarism without a shift in perspective. It is easy for plagiarism through an AI-generated chatbot to be seen as less serious because there isn’t a person behind the work that is being copied. Students need to view AI plagiarism just as dishonest as rewriting and paraphrasing an essay found on the internet. When feeling chased down by a deadline, the goal often becomes completion. However, Ms. Kumpel reminds us that “the goal of the assignments that you’re given by your Dana Hall teachers is to learn something and to take ownership of that learning.” 

At Ms. Kumpel’s suggestion, we played around with ChatGPT writing a version of this article. We fed ChatGPT a 275-word outline of the topic, what opinions we wanted to express, and quotes from Ms. Kumpel. In response, ChatGPT generated a 623-word opinion piece titled “ChatGPT: A Learning Tool for the Modern Classroom.” The article touched on all of the points that we wanted to express, and so the chatbot definitely did its job. However, the article was a bit of a bore. The chatbot refused to go beyond simply laying out information, and the tone used was unfitting for a newspaper despite us having specified for it to “write an opinion piece article for a high school newspaper.” The writing sounded more like a persuasive essay that phrased ideas eloquently yet lacked depth in its content. 

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