ChatGPT – Friend or Foe for Learning Institutes?

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If you enter “Write me an essay on the effects of labor unions on the economy” in ChatGPT, it’ll return the definition, history, effects and more about the topic in minutes. It’s a wonderful tool for aggregating information on virtually any topic you’d like to learn more about.  

However, the irony in the education sphere is that learning institutions are instinctively negative toward the explosive evolution of these artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Why? Many believe it erodes originality in student responses. In fact, the first instinct of any learning institute when presented with such a tool is to deploy anti-plagiarism programs to identify unoriginal submissions in their student’s assignments or exams.

While learning institutes can take this approach to uphold originality in student submissions, it uncovers a challenge: How can they appropriately embrace the ubiquitous accessibility to machine-generated, human-like information responses in their learning pedagogies?   

The good news is we can change the way we embrace AI for progressive learning. 

View AI as an opportunity to empower modern learners 

The first approach is to change the way we think about how we reshape questions in a way that can elicit students’ intellectual capabilities.

Instead of restricting access to universal information, they can think of ChatGPT as a type of textbook. It’s shortened the search effort and the time needed to aggregate multiple information sources complete an assignment. This opens up a new approach of empowering learners with knowledge beyond the classroom,  where in-person community learning adopts a flipped classroom concept to discuss application-based scenarios on real-world challenges. 

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While institutions can adopt technology to blacklist applications such as ChatGPT in high-stakes exams to maintain the originality of answers, doing the same when asking students to learn more about a topic is counterintuitive to the basic idea of education and gaining knowledge.    

Promote collaborative, critical thinking powered by AI 

The potential of AI in education isn’t just for learners. It can provide tremendous benefits to educators themselves. For example, educators can use ChatGPT as a powerful assistive lesson tool to spontaneously create discussion topics, quizzes, assignments in a flipped classroom concept.  

This way, educators can focus on probing critical thinking among students on multiple perspectives to approach problems and issues amidst the plethora of information readily made available to the modern learner. This means educators can restructure assessments and coursework in a way that embraces AI as an assistive learning tool, while challenging students in their ability to apply what they have learned in real-world situations. 

Educators have also shared that as ChatGPT’s knowledge base is developed based on diverse sources of information input, it would not be entirely academically validated. This could pose problems if students do not know how to interpret the information returned, or if ChatGPT returns conflicting information in multiple searches. That is when classroom discussions matter, where knowledge is validated in a research-based approach.

Maintain exam integrity

Universities are also observed to be moving away from ‘pen and paper’ essays into a structured and secure online assessment platform to manage ChatGPT plagarism risks. Online assessment tools such as Examena provide institutions the peace of mind as it provides a controlled assessment environment, where all applications utilised during the exams would have to be first whitelisted, thus supporting the originality of submitted answers.

Embrace the future of modern learning with MaivenPoint 

Balancing the use of AI in learning and assessment platforms is an art. Scaling machine learning can affect a more productive workforce in a learning institution while sustaining the desired level of intellectual challenge for a robust education. 

At MaivenPoint, we partner with education bodies to push the limits on how a community-led education ecosystem can inspire modern approaches to meaningful learning. This includes embracing the evolution of technology to assist knowledge consumption, collaboration and exchange of intellectual ideas, in a secure environment that protects personal and corporate data. 

As we shape the features in our learning, assessments and student administration platforms in an increasingly interconnected way, we thoughtfully implement AI in our machine-led automation in business processes and the learning experience to deliver an inspiring learning experience that meets the unique needs of every institution with whom we work.   

Get in touch with our EdTech experts to learn how you can make AI work for your learning institution, in your journey to digitalize learning for the modern generation.