The International Baccalaureate Organization (OBI) announced that will allow students to use ChatGPT in their essays. Unlike other educational institutions, the foundation believes that this AI will become part of our daily life. That is why it revealed that it will not prohibit the use of the chatbot created by OpenAI; instead, it will work with schools to support their students in using technology ethically.
In a blog post titled Artificial intelligence in OBI assessment and education: a crisis or an opportunity?, Matt Glanville, director of Assessment Principles and Practices at the educational foundation, comments that it is necessary to adapt and transform educational programs to make way for AI. Glanville thinks that ChatGPT will become an everyday thing, like calculatorsspell checkers or translation software.
While the foundation will not prohibit the use of ChatGPT in essays, students will need to mention in the body that the text is from an AI and cite it in the bibliography. The OBI stated that work produced by AI tools cannot be considered as the student’s own, even if it is a small fragment. The rules imposed by the organization are for the student to understand that the chatbot is a tool that is governed by the principles of academic integrity.
OBI’s decision contrasts with other educational organizations. Following the explosion of ChatGPT, some schools anticipated that it would be impossible to differentiate an essay written by an AI or a human. The New York Department of Education went further and banned the use of the chatbot, as it would negatively impact critical thinking and problem solving skills in the students.
ChatGPT and other AI will push us to the edge of what is ethically permissible
Although ChatGPT will push some students to the edge of what is acceptable, blocking their access does not make sense to the OBI. Matt Glanville said the foundation will not only focus on addressing the ethical side, but also on explore the educational opportunities this software has created. In the first case, teachers will use four guidelines to confirm whether the work is from a student or an AI.
If the student has done the work for a considerable period of time, can explain it clearly, and is able to quote other people’s ideas or come to a conclusion to their project, the teacher would have a starting point. In his analysis, Glanville mentions that these guidelines also apply to those who delegate their tasks to someone else.
Before the arrival of ChatGPT, some students depended on pages where is it possible to hire someone to do your job. Some services, such as PaperHelp, GradeMiners, or EssayBox, offer essay writing services for a fixed fee. Others flatly opt for copy and paste from Wikipedia and other sourcesslightly altering the final content.
The OBI manager also considers the biases that generative AIs such as ChatGPT have. That is why students should prepare to identify errors and refine the message. In the same way, it is essential that they understand that they must think about solving problems, and not looking for the easy way out through a prompt.
The OBI considers thate AIs like ChatGPT are not a crisis in education, but an area of opportunity. In the short term, teachers will have to educate students about the ethical use of these tools, while in the medium or long term, educational practices will have to change.