Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

Teaching and Technology

Md. Nurul Haque

Teaching and Technology

Teaching at any level of academia has become so complicated and challenging that it had never been so in the history of human civilisation. Traditional teaching and learning methods had already been under attack and, in most cases, have been obsolete. Still, with the advent of modern technology, it has appeared prone to its feeble existence. Teachers with traditional knowledge will not be able to impart knowledge, assess progress and evaluate the students and teaching materials. Technological knowledge has become a must to master for both teachers and students.

By assisting professors in lesson planning and paper grading, ChatGPT, an AI-powered chatbot from OpenAI, has the potential to change academia. However, using it comes with many dangers and difficulties. Plagiarism is a significant risk. The high-quality content that ChatGPT's sophisticated language processing skills can produce can attract students to copy and paste it into their work. The educational process is undermined, and there may be severe repercussions for academic integrity.

The possibility of offensive and discriminatory content is another risk. OpenAI notes that utilising ChatGPT for educational purposes carries many dangers, including concerns about fairness and access, the reliability of artificial intelligence (AI) content, and excessive dependence on the technology for evaluation. Furthermore, if ChatGPT is not used appropriately, it could become a monstrous misinformation super spreader.

Informing teachers and students about plagiarism and academic dishonesty risks is also a challenge. These abilities must be developed to succeed in both academic and professional endeavours, and their lack might adversely affect a student's prospects for the future. Academics must also know ChatGPT's effects on research output and general student behaviour.

With the launch of ChatGPT, numerous sectors have experienced technological upheaval. No disruption, however, has been more significant than that in academics. The fundamental idea of homework and take-home tests is being questioned. There are chances for this, but the disruption is unparalleled. Teachers can adapt to these advancements by incorporating artificial intelligence into their educational practices and using technology to enhance learning chances.

Despite these risks and challenges, ChatGPT can be a helpful study buddy. Ethan Mollick, a lecturer at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, thinks ChatGPT has much potential for helping MBA students create syllabi, lectures, assignments and grading rubrics. However, it is essential to use this technology responsibly while being aware of its limitations.

We can maximise these tools' potential by teaching teachers to use AI platforms and technologies and raising their digital literacy. Additionally, we should emphasise the AI's ethical and responsible use when teaching children about digital literacy. In addition, teachers can concentrate more on assisting students in developing higher-order skills like teamwork, creativity and problem-solving, which are less likely to be automated, with AI systems handling routine and repetitive work. More than ever, educators must emphasise the importance of interpersonal connection and communication in learning.

Teachers and institutions may enhance the educational process and better prepare students for a world in which AI will play a more significant role. AI can significantly improve academic assessment, making it more efficient, individualised and fair. By automating grading for multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank exams, creating adaptive tests suited to students' performance, giving rapid and personalised feedback, analysing student data to guide education and assuring fairness and impartiality, AI can revolutionise evaluation processes. However, educators must prevent possible cheating by developing assessments that demand critical thinking, encouraging originality, using plagiarism detection software, monitoring student activity during online exams, encouraging academic integrity, and moving toward project-based assessments. Teachers can enhance student performance by embracing AI's potential while upholding academic integrity.

The use of AI by students to complete homework, assessments, take-home assignments and other tasks they are intended to perform and learn from has raised the most serious concerns about its usage in academia. Unfortunately, the development of AI has made it increasingly difficult to determine the originality and validity of student work. Traditional originality-checking programs like Turnitin or iThenticate are no longer recommended. They only analyse manuscripts for similarities to previously published papers or articles that may be obtained online or on their servers rather than checking them for possible AI algorithm creation.

AI technologies like ChatGPT also raise concerns about cheating because students can rely on them to finish assignments or exams. To address this issue, educators can employ the following strategies: using exercises and questions that require higher-order cognitive skills like analysis, synthesis and assessment will help teachers design examinations that encourage critical thinking. It is less likely that these assessments will only get AI-generated results.

Utilising plagiarism detection software to compare student work to internet sources, particularly AI-generated content, may not be very helpful; nonetheless, online tools can detect AI-written content to some extent utilising tools like GPTZero, ZeroGPT, etc. To see any potential attempts at cheating based on reaction time, organisations with access to online proctoring tools can utilise them to watch and monitor student activities during online tests.

The most important thing for teachers is to promote honesty and academic integrity by setting clear expectations, defining the consequences of cheating and providing guidance on proper citation and reference practices. Switch from traditional testing methods to project-based assessments, which call for collaboration, problem-solving and the production of tangible results from students.

Since the pandemic pushed us to change how we thought about learning, we have only just come to understand the limitless possibilities of online learning and evaluation. Two years later, ChatGPT and other comparable AI tools challenge traditional teaching strategies and upend the academic establishment. However, AI is meant to be a tool that helps us, not complicates our lives. Therefore, we have to use technology appropriately.


The writer is an assistant professor of English at International University of Business Agriculture and Technology