AI Cheating: Many Students Using AI for Tasks, Universities Increase Efforts to Catch Them

Australia United States Oceania Higher Education News by Erudera News Mar 28, 2024

chatgpt application

Universities are increasing their efforts to investigate students using artificial intelligence (AI) to complete their university assignments. The issue is becoming widespread as hundreds of them are turning to AI for help with their school tasks.

Two universities which are addressing this issue are Sydney University and the University of New South Wales in Australia. According to a report by the Daily Mail, Sydney University found that 330 student assignments were written with the assistance of AI, which shows the seriousness of the problem.

One of the most popular OpenAI tools which students use is ChatGPT, introduced in November 2022. At the same time, universities are using AI tools to detect cheating.

Reports indicate that most universities use Turnitin, a plagiarism prevention service run by a US-based company, to detect fraudulent assignments.

"If [an assignment] contains different use of language, is irrelevant to the question, has false references or fails to answer the set question, we then investigate, and use the Turnitin AI tool as part of this process alongside a number of indicators of misconduct," a Sydney University spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald.

However, in the past year, the same tool mistakenly identified 90 percent of a Johns Hopkins University student’s work as generated by AI. Professor Taylor Hahn clarified that the student afterwards provided all the materials he used to complete the task, thus proving his paper was not AI-generated.

In addition to this case, Turnitin incorrectly assessed another student's paper, which Professor Hahn was also monitoring, flagging most of it as AI-generated.

Some studies have shown that a significant number of students worldwide have been using AI tools to support their studies.

The first study in the United Kingdom, carried out by Josh Freeman, HEPI, and Kortext, explored students’ use of generative AI since the launch of ChatGPT and found that it has had a positive impact on student learning.

According to the same, 53 percent of undergraduate students have used an AI tool to help them during studies, 13 percent used it to generate text for assessments, and only 5 percent likely used AI to cheat.

“Clearly the adoption of generative AI among the student population has been rapid and largely positive,” Director of External Affairs at Kortext, Robin Gibson, said.

Another study by BestCollege, a US-based provider of higher education resources, conducted last year revealed that half of college students completed their assignments using AI tools. But, the use of ChatGPT for assignments is perceived as plagiarism for over half of respondents to the same survey.

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