The more venerable Millennials among us might remember attending school without a smartphone, back in the halcyon days when a Tamagotchi was the height of digital entertainment and math teachers could suggest with a straight face that you might find yourself without a calculator someday. Similarly, teachers today are facing the prospect of explaining to students why writing an essay without the aid of artificial intelligence is worthwhile, and why using AI writing tools like ChatGPT constitutes academic dishonesty.
Much like with the earlier example of long division in the age of pocket calculators, the important thing isn’t developing the ability to replicate what a machine can do. It’s what the student gains in the process of learning to write. Reading comprehension and critical thinking are vital skills even in an AI-enhanced world, and the literature we engage with during our formative years shapes who we are as a person.
There are a number of ways to bring AI into the classroom where students’ learning is enhanced, not bypassed. AI-powered tools like Grammarly can offer students who need help with grammar and sentence structure assistance and advice on the fly, no matter where or when they’re studying. Grammarly won’t replace a teacher or a thoughtful lesson plan, but it can remind students when they’ve used “your” in place of “you’re.” Google Scholar can help students find sources for essays. Down the line, AI will be used as a powerful assistant by the teacher to deliver personalized learning experiences that meet the student’s individual needs and constantly recalibrate to meet them at their level.
None of those things are the same as just putting a prompt into ChatGPT and copy-pasting the output, however. While a student who hands in AI output as their own original work may not be plagiarizing from another person, they’re arriving at the same result: getting credit for work they didn’t do.Our solution removes the temptation to engage in AI-assisted academic dishonesty. If students submit material written by ChatGPT to a teacher using Passed.AI, they will be caught. Best of all, implementing Passed.AI in your classroom acts as a powerful deterrent: if students know every paper is getting scanned with AI to check for AI, they’re less likely to try submitting ChatGPT-generated work.