Students Using Ai to Write Essays? Here’s How to Manage the Use of Ai Among Students Effectively

Sylvia Nguyen

Sylvia Nguyen

Students Using Ai to Write Essays? Here’s How to Manage the Use of Ai Among Students Effectively

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into the realm of education invites rising concerns among educators about the issue of students using Ai to write essays, plagiarism and misuse of Ai in students’ school work. There is an increasing trend of students utilizing AI-powered tools to assist them in crafting essays and academic papers.

While this presents a host of benefits, such as improved writing efficiency and enhanced language skills, it also raises concerns about the ethical use of AI and the potential for academic dishonesty. Therefore, it is imperative for educators and institutions to develop effective strategies to manage the use of AI among students, ensuring its responsible implementation while nurturing their growth as independent thinkers and writers. Here we explore the tools and strategies to help educators manage usage of Ai among students more effectively. 

The Rising Issues Associated with Ai Usage Among Students Using AI

With the rapid increase of AI-powered solutions, our students are among the individuals most affected by this technology. While AI offers numerous benefits, it also presents three critical emerging issues that could spiral out of control if not addressed seriously.

Students Using Ai to Write Essays
Photo by Lenin Estrada

1. Students Using Ai to Write Essays

Ever since ChatGPT came into existence, educators have been concerned about plagiarism. When used appropriately, AI can help students become more efficient in completing their assignments. It can even offer ideas and perspectives that they might not have thought of before saving them from the tedium of research and giving them time to think critically. However if students rely heavily on AI to do all the work for them, it undermines the integrity of the education system and leads to an increase in plagiarism and academic misconduct. This ultimately fostered intellectual complacency, and hampers students’ critical thinking and comprehension abilities.

2. Cheating

AI can also be misused to cheat during exams. And academic dishonesty, even before the advent of AI, has been a significant concern for educators. And the existence of AI has just made it worse.

To complicate the issue, existing AI detectors do not always go a perfect job in differentiating human content from Ai-generated content. So, this additional burden to prevent academic dishonesty with the use of AI tools has rested on our shoulders ever since. 

3. Misinformation

While AI chatbots like Bing AI and Google Bard have access to the internet and are able to provide users with up-to-date information, in the end of the day, AI is still not a validated source. This is because AI is trained using vast amount of data from the Internet and it is possible that some of these data do not come from validated and credible sources. And this is a worrying concern for educators because it will lead to misinformation and divert students from acquiring accurate knowledge and facts on a certain topic.

So, How Teachers Can Manage Ai Usage Among Students Effectively?

Teachers Managing Ai Usage Among Students
Photo by Max Fischer

1. Don’t ban Ai, Instead Recommend Suitable Ai Tools to Students

Instead of banning Ai tools, teachers should provide students with recommendations and guidelines. This approach helps to foster a sense of encouragement among students, motivating them to adhere to the suggestions put forth by their teachers.

A remarkable example of implementing this approach is the recent case at the University of Sydney, where medical science students were assigned the task of requesting ChatGPT to write an essay for them. However, they were required to subsequently revise the essay, track their changes, and submit a final draft. This exercise went beyond mere information compilation and tested their capacity to exercise sound judgment as well.

We have researched almost all Ai tools suitable for educators and cherry-picked 5: 

  1. Duolingo: The language-learning app Duolingo offers classes in over 30 languages. It employs a combination of AI and linguistics to tailor lessons to each individual’s skill level and learning pace, providing a personalized learning experience.
  2. Pearson: As a global educational services provider headquartered in the UK, Pearson offers an extensive range of digital learning resources and embraces the latest technologies, including AI, to enhance the online learning process.
  3. Century Tech: Century Tech offers an AI-based solution that integrates student data with cognitive neuroscience to develop customized lesson plans tailored to individual students’ needs.
  4. Querium: A web-based education platform that delivers personalized study plans in the fields of science and mathematics, Querium ensures that students receive tailored guidance and support in these subjects.
  5. Edmentum: Serving as a premier online education provider for students in grades K-12, Edmentum offers products and services aimed at improving educational standards, enhancing student achievement, and increasing educator efficiency.

2. Best Ai Plagiarism Checkers for Teachers

At the current age and time, Ai plagiarism checkers may be teachers’ best companions in weeding out unoriginal and plagiarised student work. Here is a short list of 5 best Ai plagiarism checkers for teachers. We only picked the FREE ones 😉:

  1. Copyleaks: Copyleaks boasts a 99.12% accuracy in detecting AI-generated content. Copyleaks offers robust capabilities for identifying AI-generated text and also supports multiple languages. What’s best is that the tool also promises future compatibility with ChatGPT 4.
  2. GPTKit: Developed using a custom model trained on a dataset of over 1 million samples, the tool boasts an even higher accuracy of approximately 98%. This is amazing news for educators! GPTKit also generates comprehensive results and a report with information including the authenticity and reality rate of the content.
  3. GPTZero: GPTZero utilizes the same technology as ChatGPT but aims to identify AI-generated content. The tool is continuously being developed, and the team is currently working on a specialized solution for educators.
  4. AI Detector Pro: AI Detector Pro’s algorithm is trained on GPT-3, GPT-4, and Bard, allowing it to provide accurate and detailed report indicating the probability of content being AI-generated. The best part is, the tool also includes the source URL, allowing educators to identify the plagiarised source effortlessly.
  5. Winston AI: Winston AI is a AI content detection solution tailored for publishing and education. It claims that its algorithm provides far better results in avoiding false positives than Turnitin with its training model using large datasets and large language models.

We have tested and compiled a list of the best free AI detectors for teachers here.

With these plagiarism checkers, the issue of students using Ai to write essays can be better controlled. 

3. Establish Guidelines

On top of that, to guide students in the proper and ethical use of AI tools, it is essential to educate them that these tools are meant to support not replace their learning. It is crucial to emphasize that AI should not serve as the primary source or sole contributor to their work and studies. Instead, students should produce their work independently, while utilizing AI tools as supplementary resources for support and assistance.

Furthermore, teachers should also provide guidelines on the topics of plagiarism and misconduct, including the potential consequences associated with the misuse of AI in school work.

4. Prioritize Fact Check in Class

Similar to a reporter fact-checking before broadcasting news, learning also requires fact-checking to prevent students copying Ai-generated content without processing the information. For students, independently verifying information can be challenging without proper guidance. As educators, it is our responsibility to teach students how to scrutinize the accuracy and validity of the knowledge they come across on random websites.

The most effective method for fact-checking is to verify if the information has been reported in scholarly articles or statistical reports published by reputable data enterprises. In cases where students cannot locate relevant academic articles, teachers can recommend alternative sources such as reputable online publishers or newspapers to cross-verify the information. If the information appears consistently across various trusted online sources and newspapers, there is a higher likelihood that it has undergone rigorous verification.

5. Consider Adjusting Exam Methods

To deter improper usage and academic dishonesty, consider making adjustments to the structures of summative and final exams.

For instance:

  1. Reintroduce traditional pen and paper for essay writing or test completion, reducing the reliance on AI-generated content.
  2. Increase the number of in-person assessments and essays, minimizing the opportunity for students to use AI tools at home.
  3. Utilize audio response questions instead of written ones, encouraging students to express their understanding and thoughts verbally rather than relying on AI-generated text.

By implementing these measures at the right time and occasions, you can create a learning environment that discourages improper usage of AI and promotes academic integrity among students.

Final Thoughts

Artificial intelligence is advancing at a rapid pace, especially in the realm of education. As this technology continues to evolve, it is expected that more EdTech providers will develop technological solutions to tackle the rising challenges associated with the usage of Ai in education, including the common problem of students using ai to write essays. While we anticipate the emergence of these solutions, let us proactively prepare our students to embrace and adapt to AI, the technology that holds the key to our future. By empowering them with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate and leverage AI effectively, we can ensure that our students are well-equipped for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

For the latest tips, trends and tools about AI in education, read our A-Z guide to AI in education!

Further Readings:

Sylvia Nguyen

About Sylvia Nguyen

Xin chào! Tôi là Trang Nguyễn, bạn bè quốc tế thường gọi tôi là Sylvia. Tôi thích viết lách và rất yêu thích tìm hiểu, nghiên cứu về những phương pháp giáo dục, học tập hiệu quả. Nếu bạn quan tâm những bài viết của tôi, hãy theo dõi ClassPoint Blog thường xuyên để đón đọc những bài viết tiếp theo nữa nhé! Cảm ơn bạn!

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