ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, launched in November 2022. Mimicking human conversation, it is able to respond to questions and follow up queries, create written content on requested subject matters, as well as other 'creative' functions such as writing poetry and composing music. There has been considerable concern in schools that students may attempt to pass off material from ChatGPT as their own.
Mr Matt Glanville, Head of Assessment Principles and Practice at the International Baccalaureate (IB) told The Times that content created by ChatGPT is to be permitted in IB student essays, however it must be "credited in the body of the text and appropriately referenced in the bibliography".
Mr Glanville told UK newspaper, The Times:
“We should not think of this extraordinary new technology as a threat. Like spellcheckers, translation software and calculators, we must accept that it is going to become part of our everyday lives."
Mr Glanville explained the requirements of using content from the AI Chatbot:
“The clear line between using ChatGPT and providing original work is exactly the same as using ideas taken from other people or the internet. As with any quote or material adapted from another source, it must be credited in the body of the text and appropriately referenced in the bibliography.
To submit AI-generated work as their own is an act of academic misconduct and would have consequences. But that is not the same as banning its use.”
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com spoke to Mr James Lynch, Principal of American Gulf School, Sharjah. Mr Lynch warned that even where used ethically, with the appropriate referencing, ChatGPT content cannot be blindly relied upon to provide students with accurate information. Students therefore must be supported in understanding how this potentially works and how it can appropriately be used.
"Demonstrating ethics and integrity will always be pivotal for students studying within IB programmes. However, there must be consideration of the dangers of students using information incorrectly through Chat GTP. Effective quality assurance systems, together with ethics and integrity being embedded within a schools culture need to be considered more than ever before."
Mr Lynch also expressed his view of the vast potential uses of ChatGPT in schools, and insisted that it can be a revolutionary tool in education:
"Chat GPT has the power to revolutionize how we approach education in a modern dynamic world. The quick access to information at a few clicks can aid students in cutting down on wasted time, trawling through online information.
In addition, as we are an international community, the language learning and differentiation applications of Chat GPT cannot be underestimated. It can communicate in multiple languages, provide differentiated support, differentiated tasks and many interactive learning experiences for students who are learning in a language other than their mother tongue."
Ms Sinéad Cahill, Design and Technology Integration Teacher at Fairgreen International School shared:
"We acknowledge this technology may impact the future of essay-writing as part of the assessment process, and as a result, we will aim to adapt accordingly, equipping our students with the skills they need to succeed in a changing educational landscape. Such skills include creative and critical thinking and the ability to analyze and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different arguments, identify gaps in reasoning, and think creatively to develop their own unique ideas and perspectives."