US: Students at Nevada’s Oldest University Compete with ChatGPT for Top Grades

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News May 27, 2024


The University of Nevada at Reno, known as the first university in Nevada, is taking steps to address the impact of artificial intelligence in classrooms by making students compete with ChatGPT in completing assignments, a professor at the university has made known.

Students in two courses are competing against this AI system developed by OpenAI, completing the same tasks in a bid to improve their writing and achieve better results, according to a report by Inside Higher Ed, the higher education news website.

By enrolling ChatGPT as a student in their courses, professors at Nevada’s College of Education & Human Development are revolutionizing online education, reports.

Rod Case, Ph.D, associate professor of teaching English as a second language (TESOL), introduced an innovative approach with ChatGPT as a full-time student in his course, which delves into theories and research when learning a second language.

“In this untraditional online class, students find themselves competing against ChatGPT, attempting to outscore it on weekly assignments related to second language acquisition,” a report by Nevada Today, the university’s official news source stated.

“ChatGPT, like its human counterparts, receives grades for its submissions, creating an environment where students can critically assess its essays on language and reflect on ethical considerations regarding the use of AI in instruction and their own academic work,” it added.

This course was the result of several months of cooperation between Case and Leping Liu, a professor of quantitative methods and learning sciences.

“I felt like our two fields really complemented each other. Learning sciences and research into the uses of AI combined in unexpected ways with literature, language and culture as a means of improving online instruction,” Liu said.

Beyond educators’ efforts to have students compete with artificial intelligence, a study last year found that 90 percent of students who had been accepted to top schools and responded to the survey said they believed AI helped them to get admitted.

According to the survey conducted by Intelligent, an online education magazine, 10 percent of students use ChatGPT to complete essays for college admission.

More recently, Intelligent found that 37 percent of college students use ChatGPT for various reasons. Among 588 surveyed college students, 96 percent said they use the AI chatbot for schoolwork.

The survey also found that:

  • 80 percent of college students use ChatGPT for other tasks, including job searching.
  • 69 percent use the tool to help them write assignments.
  • 29 percent to help them write the whole essay.

51 percent of students said that at least one instructor encouraged them to use the tool for assignments. Three in four students consider using ChatGPT for class assignments as cheating.

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