- Educators should clearly communicate rules and expectations for AI
- It’s also worth keeping an open mind and learning a bit more about how AI tools work
The discussion around the influence of AI writing on education has never been so active – all thanks to the launch of ChatGPT last year. The tool is so advanced compared to other writing tools of its kind that a lot of people instantly started using it for all kinds of ethically ambiguous purposes.
Educators are concerned about the influence AI will have and how its negative effects could be detrimental to education. Without further ado, here’s how to counteract the disruptive influence of AI writing on education.
1. Inform Students
First of all, you need to inform your students about the fact that plagiarism will never be tolerated. Explain that when they use AI tools to generate the texts for their assignments, they are not actually presenting their own writing to you. Though texts generated by AI tools do not exactly fall under the definition of plagiarism, they are still not the student’s work which means the student could suffer consequences for their actions.
If your students understand why using AI tools to do their assignments for them is not the right route to take, they will be less likely to even consider trying such tools. It is your responsibility as a teacher or professor to raise this matter in the classroom and make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding the topic.
You should also discuss with students the sketchy ethics of using AI writing tools and issues related to data privacy. Is it really worth using AI tools to complete academic assignments when you can do them yourself? What about lying to the teacher? And if a student uses a free AI tool, the software developers behind it could be using the student’s data for malicious purposes. Students should be extra careful.
2. Understand AI
Even though having such discussions in the classroom is great and you should definitely warn your students about potential risks, you should also be educated on the matter yourself. In other words, you need to understand how AI works to be able to discuss it with your students. If you don’t fully understand how AI writing tools work, it will be difficult for you to explain why they shouldn’t be used.
Moreover, if you don’t know how AI tools work, you might not be able to identify texts that were generated by them that your students try to present as their own original work. Try using ChatGPT and similar tools to get a feel for the way they work and learn how your students could be using the tools without your knowledge.
Keep in mind that your students might also be using writing services like Write My Essays to help them complete their assignments. Don’t be too angry at them if this is the case. Most students who turn to such agencies for help usually want assistance and eventually learn how to write assignments on their own. It’s better for them to seek help now than to never improve their writing skills because they don’t have any guidance.
3. Integrate AI
Sometimes, fighting fire with fire won’t do any good. In fact, there are different types of fire that you could be dealing with. This is why it’s best for educational institutions to start thinking about ways they could integrate AI into the educational process. By letting students use some AI tools, you could minimize their desire to use the tools you don’t let them use (i.e. AI text generation tools).
Besides, schools and universities are already using different AI tools in one way or another. Think about the interactive games used in the classroom or predictive analytics for the financial side of managing educational institutions. Without AI, schools and universities can’t run as smoothly as they do nowadays. Adding AI usage into the curriculum for students to excel academically will only have positive effects if done right.
4. Teach Useful Skills
Speaking of the learning process, educators should also think about teaching students useful skills that will allow them to complete their assignments on their own without needing help from tools. Students can be taught a lot of skills that these tools are initially meant to substitute.
If a student keeps turning to text-generation tools to help them write their assignments, then they probably feel that they are lacking in the writing department. As a teacher, you need to help them grow academically and become better at writing to be able to complete their assignments successfully without help from humans or machines.
5. Be Open-Minded
Lastly, always be open-minded and realize the importance of AI. After all, Artificial Intelligence has already changed many industries and has had a big positive impact on education. It is difficult to determine at what pace AI will continue being developed, but it will definitely continue changing our society for the better.
This means that such AI tools that are disruptive to education will appear in the future not once but many times again and again. It isn’t always necessary to fight them – some of them can and should be embraced. The faster educational institutions realize this, the more positive changes these tools will be able to bring to the educational sector.
At the end of the day, it is hard to estimate the full extent of the influence of AI writing on education. However, teachers and educators can already implement preventative measures to avoid situations where AI starts disrupting the educational process. Likewise, educational institutions should start implementing some AI technologies to help students excel.
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