Academic Honesty and Integrity

It’s Time to Talk to Your Students about ChatGPT

If you haven’t already, it is now time to have a frank discussion with your students about ChatGPT and AI-assisted writing. Why now? 

Users (surely including our students) are signing up for ChatGPT at staggering rates. Consider this graphic provided by Statista

In addition, two weeks ago, it hit over 100 million users. According to Forbes (LINK), one study claims that ChatGPT is the “fastest growing consumer internet application in history.”

Simply put, our students are already going there. In addition, with recent developments that incorporate ChatGPT into Microsoft’s Bing search engine (LINK) AND third-party add-ins that incorporate it into Microsoft Word (LINK), AI-assisted writing will soon be coming to them. 

Having the Conversation:

I recommend keeping this conversation very simple. 

  1. Acknowledge that ChatGPT (and its AI-writing cousins) are quickly becoming part of our lives. Feel free to share how you feel about those programs (the good, the bad, the strange, the exciting, etc). 
  2. Clarify, in certain terms, when it is NOT OKAY to use those services in your class or on your coursework. Help them understand that using ChatGPT on writing or work that they will submit for credit will result in an academic misconduct issue. 
  3. If there are any acceptable uses, explain those for your students. However, clarify that just because you haven’t forbidden a use, doesn’t mean that it’s okay. In other words, if you haven’t told them that they can use it in a certain way, they can’t use it. 

Finally, I think it’s important to be human and share your thoughts and concerns about the issue of AI-assisted writing. This won’t be your last conversation, so don’t feel like it has to be exhaustive. Just begin the conversation and let your students know where you stand.