January 27, 2023

Staff Voice: When It Comes to Academic Integrity, Even ChatGPT Has the Answer

Most students are aware of Generative AI (artificial intelligence) writing programs such as ChatGPT or Sudowrite.com that claim to help write code, poems or documents. When I first heard about these tools, I was instantly curious. I wanted to learn more. I put in some prompts and within a few minutes, I had a decently written document about the differences between the Bolshevik Revolution and the American Revolution using three cited resources. I was amazed at the power of AI, which has come a long way.

A few minutes later, it dawned on me the implications of this technology in our academic misconduct work. Students could avoid a lot of coursework and research by using these tools. These programs could help students meet deadlines and figure out ways to avoid stress and losing free time to write papers for class. This route would also help them avoid plagiarism because all the work is originally written. I decided to ask ChatGPT the following question, “Should university students use ChatGPT for assignments?” This is what the ChatGPT bot said,

“It is generally not appropriate for university students to use GPT or any other AI-based tool to write their assignments. This is because academic integrity requires that students do their own work and not plagiarize or cheat. Using GPT or similar tools to generate text for assignments would likely be considered a violation of academic integrity. It's important for university students to understand and follow the academic integrity guidelines of their institutions to avoid any potential issues.”

Even the generative AI program knew about academic integrity policies and the importance of university expectations. If you have not looked into our academic misconduct policies, I encourage you review them. Essentially, the policies direct students to submit their own work and maintain their integrity (humanity). You can check out the following MSU policies and resources below:

As you review these expectations, I am appealing to all students, as you study, research, write, code, design and create, please be diligent and keep your humanity. Learning and growing is what makes us human. If students use generative AI for any coursework, students are robbing themselves of the opportunity to learn, grow and maintain integrity. It is important to view coursework not as a task to accomplish but rather as an opportunity to learn information. It is the instructor’s duty to carefully select how they will assess learning in their classrooms. They want to confirm all students are learning the material; not whether or not students know how to complete tasks. 

In closing, technology will continue to morph into newer tricks and hacks to make human lives easier. It is essential to keep your humanity and lean into your learning. Look at technology as tools, not as your learning hack. Remember your purpose of being at MSU: to learn and grow. 
Jake Kasper
Assistant Director
Office of Student Support & Accountability

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