Here we will attempt to keep you informed on the current trends that are happening in regard to academic integrity, and where possible provide you with additional information for further discussions.
Currently, there are free and fee-based artificial intelligence writing tools available on the market for use. The capabilities of these applications are quite broad in nature, with some having far more sophistication and accuracy than others.
For a quick overview, check out the information in the boxes below, or the Academic Integrity Council of Ontario's information sheet below.
Most of the applications employing artificial intelligence for writing are based on natural language processing (NLP). NLP uses computer algorithms to break down written language (that which is fed into the systems) and fragments this information to analyze both grammar and meanings within a context. In theory, the systems learn to mimic human language through this process. NLP breaks down words and categorizes them into their various forms of speech (verbs, nouns, etc.).
The NLP applications use machine learning algorithms that analyze and respond with written content based on statistical expectations of what words are most likely to follow one another in a specific response. The more these applications have as input the more accurate they may become.
While this will continue to change as NLP application continue to learn, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to assessing if an assignment has been produced with one of these tools:
Some tools are currently under development that may make detection easier in the future, however, current guidance is to not employ these in detecting AI. These systems have yet to be extensively tested for accuracy and many scholars have shown them to produce false positives.
Writing Tools - these tools are being used to paraphrase, translate and remix information for students. Growing exceedingly more sophisticated there are tools that exist now that can quickly turn out essays, blogs, and test answers with a mere few keywords. Quillbot, ChatGPT, Jasper.ai, Bard
With every technological advancement comes challenges and opportunities to adapt pedagogical practices to support students' future success in an ever changing world. This too might come to pass with artificial intelligence if a conscious effort is made to understand its benefits and limitations. The following are resources developed recently by several other institutions.
The introduction of any tool in the classroom warrants open discussion with students on appropriate use and acknowledging that there may be ethical concerns for faculty and students alike. Some of these prompts may assist in openly discussing these with your students (York University, 2023):
The following list is provided as a starting place to understand artificial intelligence writing tools, their place in and out of the classroom, and their impact on academic integrity.
CNBC - Why OpenAI’s ChatGPT Is Such A Big Deal [Video 12:52] (generative AI)
Understanding AI's Limitations and Capabilities, York University
Eaton, S. and Anselmo, L. (2023, January). Teaching and Learning with Artificial Intelligence Apps
Guides for Faculty
University of Toronto Guide
ChatGPT & Education - slide deck being regularly updated from Torrey Trust, Ph.D., College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst (CC BY NC 4.0)
Other Issues and thoughts
Privacy Issues and Free Labour - ChatGPT and Good Intentions in Higher Ed
Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity, ENAI Webinar with Thomas Lancaster [Video 1:01:51]
Other AI Issues to be aware of:
Coded Bias [Feature Film] currently available on Netflix https://www.netflix.com/ca/title/81328723
Sharing behaviours among students can be linked to several acts of academic integrity violations, including plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, and aiding academic dishonesty. But not all of these behaviours occur with the intent to deceive or cheat.
Course Sharing Sites
Several sites exist that entice students to share course materials and assignments in order to gain access or credits that the student can then use to access other services within the site. This may include lecture notes, presentations, tests, rubrics, and completed assignments. In some cases, students gain access to past assignments from these sites without the knowledge of the student who uploaded the information. Examples of these sites include CourseHero, OneClass, and StuDocs.
Note: If you locate college-owned material on these sites please advise the college by reporting to email@example.com
Social Media Sites
Students use several different social media applications to stay connected and share information with classmates. It is always important to discuss appropriate sharing behaviours to maintain both personal safety and academic integrity.
Contract Cheating is defined as the act of obtaining original work produced for a student, which they then submit as if this were their own work. It often involves a payment of some kind, but not always. The following presentation was given by Marcia Steeves in January 2021 to shed light on to the contract cheating industry.