Dot’s Reading Room: Nov. 30, 2023

November 30, 2023

There are plenty of memorial “dates” in November and now we have a new one to consider: Nov. 30, 2022, which was the official launch date of ChatGPT. 

In the past year, we’ve been inundated with learned articles about the mind-boggling benefits of artificial intelligence or the devastating threats to civilization posed by ChatGPT and its clones. It’s your choice!

The potential for students to cheat is a big concern for many. Two university writing instructors are less afraid of students cheating by using ChatGPT than you might think. Daniel Ernst, Assistant Professor of English at Texas Woman’s University, and Troy Hicks, Professor of English and Education at Central Michigan University, had this to say: 

“When ChatGPT launched a year ago, headlines flooded the internet about fears of student cheating. A pair of essays in The Atlantic decried “the end of high-school English” and the death of the college essay.“ NPR informed readers that ”everybody is cheating.“

“Meanwhile, Teen Vogue ventured that the moral panic ”may be overblown.“

“The more measured tone in Teen Vogue tracks better with preliminary findings from our 2023 survey that examined attitudes and feelings about artificial intelligence among college faculty who teach writing. Survey responses revealed that AI-related anxieties among educators around the country are more complex and nuanced than claims insisting that AI is outright and always bad.

“While some educators do worry about students cheating, they also have another fear in common: AI’s potential to take over human jobs. And as far as teaching, many educators also see the bright side. They say they actually enjoy using the revolutionary technology to enhance what they do.”

The two professors conducted a 64-item survey of academics interested in the teaching of writing. Read the results as reported in The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/writing-instructors-are-less-afraid-of-students-cheating-with-chatgpt-than-you-might-think-207202

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