There is increasing coverage of a relatively new AI tool called ChatGPT. It will generate intelligible (if not always entirely accurate) answers to questions. The concern among academics is that ChatGPT and other AI tools could - and most likely will - be used by students to write content for their essay assignments. So I asked ChatGPT how to spot a student's use of ChatGPT in an assignment. We could discuss the ChatGPT reponse, in particular the first item, because plagiarism software is unlikely to write something that has been newly written by an AI bot. This issue needs discussion among educators. I'm going to write about this in my education blog at about education research at: https://www.paulmcafee.com/experiential_learning_research.
Here is my conversation with ChatGPT.
Me: "How do we spot students who use ChatGPT to complete their writing assignments?"
ChatGPT: "There are a few ways you might be able to spot students who are using ChatGPT or other automated tools to complete their writing assignments:
"1. Look for signs of plagiarism: If a student's writing assignment is heavily copied from another source, it may be a sign that they are using ChatGPT or another tool to generate their writing. You can use plagiarism detection software to check for copied content.
"2. Check for unusual writing style or language use: ChatGPT and other automated writing tools often generate text that is not as sophisticated or well-written as human-generated text. If a student's writing assignment seems to be lacking in depth or complexity, or if it contains unusual language or syntax errors, it may be a sign that they are using a tool to generate their writing.
"3. Ask the student directly: If you have a suspicion that a student is using ChatGPT or another automated tool to complete their writing assignment, you can try asking them directly. Keep in mind that students may be hesitant to admit to using such tools, so you may need to approach the conversation in a non-confrontational way.
"It's important to note that it can be difficult to definitively identify when a student is using an automated tool to complete their writing assignment. However, by using a combination of these approaches and paying attention to red flags, you can get a better sense of whether a student may be using such a tool."