Does AI feed plagiarism culture?

Educators are increasingly worried about the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) in education. One concern is that AI can be used to write essays, making…

Does AI feed plagiarism culture?

Educators are increasingly worried about the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) in education. One concern is that AI can be used to write essays, making it difficult for teachers to detect whether a student has written the essay themselves or used an AI-powered tool to generate it. This raises concerns about academic integrity and the effectiveness of traditional assessment methods.Moreover, the fear is that AI can create a culture of plagiarism, where students rely too heavily on AI-powered tools to do their work for them. This creates an ongoing problem for educators as plagiarism has been a growing concern in academia for decades.

 

How can we make assessments “AI-proof?

The use of AI in writing assessments has raised concerns about the potential for cheating and plagiarism. However, there are steps that can be taken to redefine assessments and make them “AI-proof”. Here are some strategies:

  • Focus on critical thinking skills: Instead of asking students to simply regurgitate information, assessments can be designed to measure critical thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. These skills are less susceptible to being automated by AI and require human creativity and insight.
  • Use open-ended questions: Open-ended questions that require students to demonstrate their understanding and application of concepts in their own words can make it more difficult for AI to generate answers that match the correct response.
  • Design project-based assessments: Project-based assessments that require students to engage in complex problem-solving, creative thinking, and collaboration can be more challenging for AI to replicate. These assessments can also provide a more accurate representation of real-world skills and competencies.
  • Employ human markers: Having human markers to review and evaluate student work can provide a layer of protection against AI-generated responses. This can include both automated tools and trained professionals who are skilled at identifying signs of AI-generated work.
  • Establish clear guidelines: Institutions can establish clear guidelines and policies that define acceptable use of AI in assessments and explicitly prohibit the use of AI-generated responses. These guidelines should also include consequences for cheating and plagiarism.

By implementing these strategies, assessments can be designed in a way that is less susceptible to AI-generated responses, while still measuring the skills and knowledge required for academic and professional success.

 

We’ve used AI in academic writing for years

AI is already used in academic writing: think of Grammarly and Turnitin, but it seems that the main concern for AI in education is the use of AI tools that generate writing, like ChatGPT. Some have suggested that all text generated by commercially available language models should be placed in an independent repository to allow for plagiarism detection.

AI technology itself does not necessarily feed plagiarism culture. It is the way in which it is used that can have negative consequences. Properly defining what constitutes cheating or plagiarism in the context of AI-assisted writing can help prevent the misuse of such technology and promote academic integrity. Ultimately, the ethical use of AI technology in writing depends on the responsibility of its users.

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