Exam season is looming at many universities across the United Kingdom; this time of year can be stressful for students as they try to find a way to revise everything they have learnt over their time in further education. This year, there is a new tool available that could potentially aid revision and help with the stress of essay writing – ChatGPT.
As students are turning to AI to supplement their own knowledge, universities are finding themselves on the back foot, trying to keep up with the many advancements in technology. Can ChatGPT be a help or hindrance to further education? Guidance needs to be formulated quickly by universities in order to answer this question.
The University of Bath has conducted research into Chat GPT and its ability to create essays and answers for students who are willing to use it to assist their studies. The findings gave a mixed response; multiple choice questions proved easy to answer, with a high success rate. However, essay responses that required a level of critical thinking showed the difference between AI and the human brain. Chat GPT included references in its answer which turned out to be made up; this would be picked up quickly during the marking of an essay. In general, the quality of answer that ChatGPT gave was good, but more suitable to secondary school level rather than university standard.
This all suggests that ChatGPT has some way to go before it can be considered as a suitable option for essay writing at university level. At this point in time, it should be used as a starting point, rather than completely replacing students’ own critical thinking. Universities need to find a place for ChatGPT in their institutions, as it is only going to become more influential over the next few years. Guidelines need to be created so students are aware of the restrictions, as well as educating them about the benefits of AI as they enter the workplace. This will all help to create tech-savvy employees for the future workforce.