Generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, like ChatGPT, can instantly write well-constructed essays in seconds. This has left many teachers wondering how they can prevent students from using these tools to cheat, while still helping to prepare them to thrive in a world where generative AI will be commonplace. Though there are no perfect solutions to this complex scenario, there are strategies that teachers can consider to help maintain integrity through the writing process, while potentially improving student writing instruction at the same time.
Strategies to Consider
- Determine why students may cheat, and then address those factors.
- Generate expectations and guidelines collaboratively with your students.
- Have students sign a classroom contract.
- Focus on the writing process.
- Confer with students.
- Make the writing assignment personal or local.
- Require students to cite their sources.
- Have students document how they use AI.
- Have students track revisions.
- Utilize AI-powered writing coaches.
No two classrooms are identical, so teachers will need to consider which strategies will work best in their individual classrooms. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid a reliance on AI detectors to “catch” students cheating. The use of these unreliable tools can lead to a negative classroom culture rife with potentially false accusations and a “gotcha” mindset. Instead, a combination of clear, collaborative, and transparent expectations is a good place to start. From there, a well-designed writing activity that values student voice and personal or local contexts can go a long way toward maintaining academic integrity throughout the writing process. Checking in and conferring with students throughout the process will also allow you to see authentic writing progress and provide valuable feedback along the way.
How can I learn more?
For more information about AI, explore the following AVID Open Access article collection: AI in the K–12 Classroom.