AI Chatbot FAQ
New technologies change how we educate. The CFC is here to help answer your questions and support your course development.
A.I. chatbots gained the attention of media, students, and educators as ChatGPT was made available near the end of 2022. The new technology will change teaching and learning as we know it.
We’ve got answers to questions on what this new technology means for faculty and students. This is a living document that will be updated as more information, direction, and research comes to light on Chatbots, A.I. and their implications for higher education.
What is ChatGPT? (Written by ChatGPT)
ChatGPT is a variant of the GPT (Generative Pre-training Transformer) language model, which is a type of artificial intelligence that is able to generate human-like text. It is trained on a large dataset of human conversations, and is able to generate responses to prompts given to it.
The GPT model was developed by OpenAI, and is one of the most advanced language models currently available. It has been used for a variety of tasks, including language translation, question answering, and text generation. ChatGPT is a specific variant of the GPT model that has been optimized for generating responses to prompts in the form of conversations.
ChatGPT is not a physical product or device, but rather a software program that can be accessed through an API (Application Programming Interface) or by using a software library. It is trained on a large dataset of human conversations, and is able to generate responses to prompts by predicting the next words or phrases that are most likely to follow based on the context of the conversation. ChatGPT is able to generate responses that are coherent and appropriate for the given context, and can even generate responses that are humorous or conversational in tone.
How can faculty use chatbots or other automated tools to enhance their teaching and support students?
There are several ways that faculty can use chatbots or other automated tools to enhance their teaching and support students:
- Use chatbots or other automated tools as a study aid: Faculty can use chatbots or other automated tools to help students practice and review material. For example, faculty can use a language learning chatbot to help students practice vocabulary or grammar skills, or help students review key concepts by having it generate practice questions based on course content. These tools can be a useful supplement to traditional study methods, but should not be relied upon as a replacement for traditional teaching methods.
- Chatbots can be used by faculty in their course design. Some chatbots, like ChatGPT, can generate lesson ideas, rubrics, instructions, discussion prompts, and assessment strategies and help in pacing content. This content must be vetted and be aligned with course outcomes and goals, but can serve as a resource or starting place.
- Use chatbots or other automated tools to provide personalized feedback: Some chatbots or other automated tools can be used to provide personalized feedback to students based on their responses or performance. For example, a chatbot could be used to provide feedback on a student’s writing or to offer suggestions for improvement.
- Use chatbots or other automated tools to facilitate discussions: Chatbots or other automated tools can be used to facilitate discussions in online or hybrid courses. For example, a chatbot could be used to prompt students to share their thoughts or to ask questions about a particular topic. Chatbots can also be used to generate discussion questions that faculty can use in their courses.
Overall, chatbots and other automated tools can be useful tools for teaching and supporting students, but it’s important for faculty to use them responsibly and ethically, and to consider how they can be integrated into their teaching in a way that enhances learning and student engagement.
What are strategies to educate students about academic integrity?
There are a few strategies you can use to educate your students about academic integrity:
- Clearly communicate your expectations for academic integrity in your course syllabus and throughout the course. This can include outlining the consequences for academic misconduct and the importance of citing sources properly.
- Discuss academic integrity with your students early in the course. This can help set a positive tone and establish a culture of academic honesty in your classroom.
- Use examples to illustrate the importance of academic integrity. For example, you can discuss real-world examples of academic misconduct or the negative consequences that can result from cheating.
- Encourage students to ask questions if they are unsure about what is acceptable. This can help students understand the expectations for academic integrity and avoid unintentional mistakes.
- From The Chronicle of Higher Education newsletter:
“The approach that most intrigued me is one that has to do with engaging students in a conversation about why and how they write, sometimes using these AI tools…writing is a form of thinking. Writing requires you to process and synthesize a range of facts and ideas, and to come up with a coherent and hopefully insightful take on what you have learned. Students, though, may have been trained in high school to see writing as a form of regurgitation based on a set of formulas (compare and contrast!).
If you can explain to students the value of writing, and convince them that you are genuinely interested in their ideas, they are less likely to reach for the workaround”
By using these strategies, you can help educate your students about the importance of academic integrity and the consequences of cheating. This can help create a culture of honesty and integrity in your classroom and reduce the risk of academic misconduct.
How do I create assignments for higher education that students cannot use chatbots to cheat on?
Wait. What is cheating? Won’t employers want employees that know how to effectively use tools that may include A.I.? There is an opportunity to engage human creativity and thought with this technology and teach data literacy. Of course, that means we need to adjust our approach to course design.
These are a few strategies you can use to create assignments that are less susceptible to “cheating” using chatbots or other automated tools:
- Use open-ended questions or prompts that require critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis. These types of questions are more difficult for chatbots to answer accurately, as they require a deeper understanding of the subject matter and the ability to form original insights and arguments.
- Use authentic assessment methods, such as projects, presentations, and essays, which require students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a more comprehensive and nuanced way. These types of assignments are more difficult to cheat on, as they involve a higher level of creativity and originality.
- Using iterative writing process. Build in more feedback and revision to writing assignments that are kept in your course. You may have fewer writing assignments to allow time for an increase in constructive feedback and revision.
- Create a multi-modal essay, or an essay that requires sound, images, and related links, a format discussed at more length in this Tonya Howe article and a Ryan Cordell article here.
- Use proctored exams or require students to complete exams in a secure location, such as a testing center. This can help prevent students from using chatbots or other automated tools to cheat on exams.
- While requiring students to use software that does not have university privacy protection cannot be recommended, inviting the use of chatbots can lead to higher-order thinking. Assignments can have students analyze, evaluate or critique responses they are given by a chatbot (the response could be instructor generated).
By using these strategies, you can create assignments that are more difficult for students to cheat on.
While creating assignments that are more difficult to cheat on there is value in having an open discussion with students about the value of completing assignments as they were intended by the instructor. Faculty are guides in acquiring knowledge and course assignments are designed to prepare students for their field. Faculty can help promote a culture of academic integrity in your classroom. Clarify expectations and purpose with the assignments that have been chosen.
What are examples of open-ended questions or prompts that are less susceptible to cheating using chatbots or other automated tools?
Open-ended questions or prompts are those that require critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis, and are less susceptible to cheating using chatbots or other automated tools because they require a deeper understanding of the subject matter and the ability to form original insights and arguments. Some examples of open-ended questions or prompts that are less susceptible to cheating include:
- “What do you think are the most significant challenges facing [industry/country/issue] today, and why?”
- “How do you think [concept/theory/issue] applies to a real-world situation, and why?”
- “How do you think [concept/theory/issue] has evolved over time, and what impact has this had on [industry/field/society]?”
- “What are the potential implications of [concept/theory/issue] for the future, and how can they be addressed?”
- “What are the strengths and limitations of [concept/theory/issue], and how can they be overcome?”
By using these types of open-ended questions or prompts, instructors can encourage students to think critically and synthesize their knowledge in a way that is more difficult for chatbots or other automated tools to replicate.
What is the value of completing assignments without using chatbots or other automated tools?
There are several values to completing assignments without using chatbots or other automated tools:
- Developing critical thinking skills: Completing assignments without the help of chatbots or other automated tools can help students develop critical thinking skills, as they are required to analyze, synthesize, and apply their knowledge in a more authentic and nuanced way.
- Enhancing learning and retention: Research has shown that students learn more effectively when they are actively engaged in the learning process. By completing assignments on their own, students can better internalize and retain the material, as they have had the opportunity to actively process and apply the knowledge.
- Promoting academic integrity: Cheating undermines the integrity of the educational system and can have negative consequences for both the individual student and the academic community as a whole. By completing assignments honestly and independently, students can contribute to a culture of academic honesty and integrity.
- Developing personal accountability: Completing assignments without using chatbots or other automated tools helps students take responsibility for their own learning and fosters a sense of personal accountability.
Overall, completing assignments without using chatbots or other automated tools can help students develop important skills, enhance their learning and retention, promote academic integrity, and foster personal accountability.
How can students use chatbots or other automated tools to enhance their learning without cheating?
There are several ways that students can use chatbots or other automated tools to enhance their learning without cheating:
- Use chatbots or other automated tools as a study aid: Some chatbots or other automated tools can be used to help students practice and review material. For example, students can use a language learning chatbot to practice vocabulary or grammar skills, or use a quizbot to review key concepts. These tools can be a useful supplement to traditional study methods, but should not be relied upon as a replacement for independent learning.
- Use chatbots or other automated tools to explore new areas of interest: Chatbots or other automated tools can be used to help students discover and explore new areas of interest. For example, students can use a chatbot to learn about a new topic or to find additional resources for further study.
- Use chatbots or other automated tools as a tool for self-assessment: Some chatbots or other automated tools can be used to help students assess their own learning and identify areas where they may need to focus more attention. For example, students can use a quizbot to test their knowledge and get feedback on their progress.
Overall, chatbots and other automated tools can be useful tools for learning, but it’s important for students to use them responsibly and ethically, and to avoid using them as a substitute for independent learning.
What are the privacy concerns that an individual may have about using ChatGPT?
There are several privacy concerns that an individual may have about using ChatGPT or other language models:
- Confidentiality: ChatGPT may be able to access sensitive or confidential information about an individual if they share it in conversation. This information could be used for malicious purposes or shared with third parties without the individual’s knowledge or consent.
- Data collection: ChatGPT collects data about the conversations it has with users. This data may include personal information, such as names and locations, as well as sensitive information, such as opinions and beliefs. This data could potentially be accessed by the developers of ChatGPT or by third parties.
- Data security: There is always a risk that data collected by ChatGPT could be lost or stolen, either through a data breach or through cyber attacks. This could expose personal or sensitive information to unauthorized parties.
- Lack of control: When using ChatGPT, individuals have little control over what information is collected and how it is used. This can be concerning for those who value their privacy and want to have more control over their personal data.
- Misuse of data: There is a risk that the data collected by ChatGPT could be used for purposes other than those for which it was intended. For example, it could be used for targeted advertising or to influence individuals in ways that they may not be aware of.
- Unforeseen consequences: There is always the possibility that ChatGPT or other language models could be used in ways that have unintended consequences for individuals’ privacy. For example, it could be used to create fake news or to spread misinformation.
Sample Syllabi Statements
Sample statements from Georgetown University
- If you have questions about what is permitted, please reach out to me.
- It is important to remember that ChatGPT and other AI tools are not a replacement for your own critical thinking and original ideas. The ultimate goal of this course and any tool used to submit work is to enhance your own learning and understanding, not to undermine it.
- As a college student, it is your responsibility to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. This includes a) ensuring that all work submitted for grades is your own original work, and b) properly citing any sources that you use.
- Having AI write your paper constitutes plagiarism. If the source of the work is unclear, I will require you to meet with me to explain the ideas and your process.
Options Compiled by Texas Tech University:
Academic Integrity and Artificial Intelligence (Offered freely by Jill Hogan, Higher Ed Discussions of AI Writing Facebook Group)
Sample statement shared by Chrissann Sparks Ruehle (with permission for others to use) on Higher Ed Discussions of AI Writing Facebook Group on 1/6/2023:
“Since writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills are part of the learning outcomes of this course, all writing assignments should be prepared by the student. Developing strong competencies in this area will prepare you for a competitive workplace. Therefore, AI-generated submissions are not permitted and will be treated as plagiarism.”
Sample statement shared by Laura Dumin (Higher Ed Discussions of AI Writing Facebook Group):
“Welcome to the wide world of new programs that can “do your writing for you”. Why did I put that into quotes? Because some of the writing is problematic and a lot of it is downright bland. Having said that, I accept that this is yet another way to get around doing your own work, if that is the choice being made. But maybe it can be used for good, and that is where we are right now. In the “what if” and “how to” zone. We might have assignments that use or integrate AI writing this semester. There might be other places where it simply isn’t appropriate for the assignment. Perhaps AI can be a helpful tool, and that is part of what we can explore this semester. With that in mind, if you are found to have used AI writing programs in a place where they are not explicitly allowed on an assignment, you will receive a ‘0′ grade, be reported for academic dishonesty, and will not have the chance to re-do or replace that assignment. I’d prefer that we see this as a chance to learn and adapt rather than just another way to cheat, so we’ll approach it from that angle and see where we end up. I look forward to entering this newish universe with you.”
General ChatGPT Resources
A Must-See Before the Semester Begins (Faculty Focus)
AI Will Augment, Not Replace (Inside Higher Ed)
Artificial Intelligence Writing (University of Central Florida)
Practical Responses to ChatGPT (Montclair State University)
Using ChatGPT to assist in your writing? 5 steps to follow (Offered freely by Allison Oberle, Higher Ed Discussions of AI Writing Facebook Group)
What if ChatGPT isn’t as intelligent as it seems? (The New York Times)
ChatGPT Scored a 1020 on the SAT (Twitter thread by @davidtsong)
Some journalists are using ChatGPT (Fast Company)
ChatGPT wrote cover letters (Business Insider)
Will ChatGPT Change the Way You Teach?(The Chronicle of Higher Education)
A new AI chatbot might do your homework for you. But it's still not an A+ student
See what NPR has to say about chatGPT and interview Ethan Mollick, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Stanford faculty weigh in on ChatGPT's shake-up in education
Faculty from the Stanford Accelerator for Learning share thoughts about how the new AI chatbot will change and contribute to learning and teaching.
ChatGPT and the rise of AI writers: how should higher education respond?
The proliferation of AI text generators such as ChatGPT has major implications for higher education. Nancy Gleason explores how educators should respond to these tools which can write essays in seconds
The content on this website was written by Ian Selig in conjunction with ChatGPT.