ChatGPT in education: to ban or not to ban?
“Overall, I offered 20 questions to ChatGPT, and around 15 of its answers were correct”
In the last few months, we’ve seen many discussions on ChatGPT’s potential to disrupt certain fields and steal jobs. Copywriters are weak at the knees, and software developers are getting nervous. Education isn’t just a target – it’s already massively affected by AI. For instance, 17% of Stanford students confessed anonymously to using ChatGPT for their quarter assignments and exams.
Will it become a trend? Should we fight this process or accept the inevitable?
Like many other executives in edtech, as soon as ChatGPT became available, I started experimenting with it. Currently, I’m working on my Master’s degree, so I had a unique opportunity to examine this technology from two perspectives: a co-founder of an edtech product and a student.
One of the subjects I studied the last semester was the psychology of management. I prepared for the exam and passed it successfully (26 correct answers out of 30). I got curious: can ChatGPT do better than me? Recently, I read about AI passing the doctor’s exam. What about management and psychology?
I remembered some exam questions, so I asked ChatGPT to answer them. I offered the algorithm multiple-choice questions (it needed to pick the right option) and open questions requiring detailed answers. It turned out, ChatGPT understood all of them and could identify or generate the correct answer. Moreover, it was able to explain its answers in detail.
Overall, I offered 20 questions to ChatGPT, and around 15 of its answers were correct; so in theory, ChatGPT could pass this exam and get a “B”. I didn’t use AI for cheating, but I couldn’t see any barriers – except for the moral ones – to doing іt in the case of this exam.
What does it mean for the future of education? Soon, we will likely see more creative attempts to cheat on exams or assignments. We’ll definitely witness the appearance of more creative tools for cheating prevention as well. There are already some of them, like the ChatGPTZero app, which can identify if a text was generated by AI.
As with any innovation, two extremes emerged: some people are pro, and others are radically against. As for me, I’m somewhere in the rational middle of this spectrum. For example, some schools take radical steps like blocking ChatGPT on their computers. However, I’m not sure it’s going to work; AI is here, and it will continue developing. Fighting it is like opposing progress, painful and pointless.
Sure, educators worry about their jobs. If ChatGPT can write assignments and pass exams, it also can grade papers and give feedback . It can teach and explain complicated topics over and over without fatigue or burnout, give examples, and even test students’ knowledge. Does it mean that AI will replace teachers? I don’t think so, and here’s why.
Students who fear missing the deadline (or just being lazy) may use ChatGPT. But this technology still must earn professionals’ trust. Right now, it still isn’t accurate enough. Yes, ChatGPT can pass different exams, but it gets a “C” quite often. Also, it often makes mistakes and misleads us.
I’ve read multiple articles where professionals in different fields (software development, copywriting, etc.) assess the quality of work done by ChatGPT. In most cases, they aren’t impressed.
So, I don’t believe we trust AI enough to let it teach our kids. But it doesn’t mean that educators can’t benefit from this technology. They can, and, in my opinion, they should.
As a CMO in my company, I’ve also been experimenting with ChatGPT for marketing purposes – and I can already see tasks it can help solve, like creating ideas for Google Ads headlines, banner copy, or article titles. In my opinion, ChatGPT can’t replace human imagination, but it can broaden its limits and set us free from boring, repetitive tasks.
It can answer the questions like “What else?”, it can give you a push when it seems you’ve run out of ideas. It means that ChatGPT can help us increase the number of options available. That’s why in our company, we’ll definitely use ChatGPT to automate functions that can be automated and get new ideas when we’re stuck.
It applies to teachers’ work, too. For instance, AI can generate test questions or topics for essays. It can help teachers write detailed feedback on students’ work. It can save educators time when they try to write well-structured syllabuses. It even can be integrated into edtech products to make them more beneficial for the educational process. Options are almost endless.
After all, ChatGPT, despite its revolutionary image, is just another tool. In capable hands, it can bring much value to the educational process. For instance, an educator can teach students critical thinking by showing examples of misleading (although pretty convincing) ChatGPT’s answers and analysing them in class.
To sum up, I don’t think ChatGPT will leave teachers without jobs – but it will force them to grow professionally. What’s more, the system will benefit from it.
My next exam is coming soon. I enjoy learning, so I won’t use ChatGPT to cheat – and knowing that AI can get a “B” makes me even more motivated to get an “A”.
About the author: Alex Yelenevych is an EdTech enthusiast, Co-founder and CMO at CodeGym.cc, an online Java learning course with Ukrainian roots and global ambitions. Now, it has over 2M users in 40+ countries.