Should Regulators Allow the Integration of ChatGPT in Education Sector?

Let us weigh the pros and the cons, the advantages and disadvantages, and the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing ChatGPT in the industry.

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  • A study stressed that ChatGPT has the potential to be utilized in the education sector by providing personalized, interactive, and engaging learning experiences for both students and teachers. 
  • However, three studies collectively agreed that ChatGPT sometimes provides inaccurate information.
  • Another study also called for policymakers to promote the incorporation of ChatGPT into the educational system because they found out that ChatGPT helps increase student motivation and engagement in the learning process.

Recently, the University of the Philippines, the country’s top university, announced in an interview that it is developing guidelines for the “responsible” use of AI.

The term responsible was highlighted because, though ChatGPT has only been about nine months old in this space, 26%, or one out of four U.S.-based K-12 teachers, has already caught a student cheating using the chatbot, according to a recent survey by Study.com.

If there are about 300,00 K-12 teachers, this means that about 78,000 of them caught a student using ChatGPT during exams. Alarming, right? 

Is ChatGPT truly a devil or a guardian angel in the education sector? In this article, let us weigh the pros and the cons, the advantages and disadvantages, and the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing ChatGPT in the industry. Or is there a way these two co-exist?

Check out more AI News:

ChatGPT in Education Sector, A Beneficial Tool?

A study entitled “What if the devil is my guardian angel: ChatGPT as a case study of using chatbots in education” by researchers from Smart Learning Environment (SLE) stressed that ChatGPT has the potential to be utilized in the education sector by providing personalized, interactive, and engaging learning experiences for both students and teachers. 

The study further noted that the chatbot could be useful for language learning students as a language model and can also offer writing assistance, knowledge construction, and peer feedback.

“The specificity and relevant information provided by ChatGPT on diverse disciplines (e.g. science, history, business, health, technology, etc.) or topics made many of the users in the study perceive it as useful,” the study emphasized.

The same idea was presented by Kevin Roose in his article published in The New York Times, who argued that ChatGPT could indeed help schools increase student engagement and help students enhance critical thinking. 

Roose also highlighted that there are a number of teachers who are now using ChatGPT to support them in their teaching tasks in an innovative way:

“Creating outlines is just one of the many ways that ChatGPT could be used in class. It could write personalized lesson plans for each student and generate ideas for classroom activities. It could serve as an after-hours tutor or a debate sparring partner. It could be used as a starting point for in-class exercises, or a tool for English language learners to improve their basic writing skills.”

On the other hand, a paper written by Chung Kwan Lo from The Education University of Hong Kong concluded that ChatGPT has the potential to serve as a personal assistant for teachers, by using it to generate course materials, and as a tutor for students, by using it to answer questions.

“ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for instructors, providing a starting point for creating course syllabi, teaching materials, and assessment tasks. ChatGPT can also enhance active learning approaches. This instructional approach can free up class time for interactive learning activities, such as group discussions,” Lo stressed. 

ChatGPT in Education Sector, A Tool for Cheating? 

One of the issues that ChatGPT has been experiencing as a language model, is that it sometimes provides inaccurate information. In fact, its accuracy is only 81.5%. This means that eight out of 10 answers of ChatGPT could be inaccurate. 

(Read more: AI Chatbot Showdown: ChatGPT vs Competitors – A Comparative Analysis for 2023)

This was collectively agreed upon by the authors mentioned above: SLE said that ChatGPT may not always provide ethical responses, Roose said it produces biased or harmful content, while Lo said it generates incorrect information. 

In addition, for SLE researchers, students who use ChatGPT could be exposed to some risks in education, such as cheating, dishonesty, and manipulation. 

But one of the twists that the study found out, is that though ChatGPT is just a chatbot with no feelings and emotions, it can still negatively influence the users’ emotions, behaviors, and motivation.

This was seconded by Lo, who expressed that “From the study by Bašić et al., for example, we learned that using ChatGPT to support student writing might not improve performance but could instead lead to more plagiarism issues.”

ChatGPT in Education Sector, a Win-Win Situation! 

Conjointly, the three authors concluded that utilizing ChatGPT is indeed beneficial to the education sector. However, it should be adopted carefully and implemented responsibly. 

The SLE researchers also suggested that teachers and school administrators should be aware of the pros and cons of ChatGPT and use it with caution and supervision. 

Meanwhile, speaking about regulation, both SLE and Roose called for a more ethical and legal regulation for using generative AI tools in the industry. 

Further, UP AI Program Assistant Professor Miguel Francisco Remolona also discussed that what is needed right now are “soft regulations” on this emerging technology, as strict rules may only restrict, rather than enhance, the capabilities of both students and teachers.

In fact, a study published by Przestrzeń Społeczna last May also called for policymakers to promote the incorporation of ChatGPT into the educational system because they found out that ChatGPT helps increase student motivation and engagement in the learning process. 

It is after they surveyed 350 students and instructors and concluded that ChatGPT substantially impacted student motivation and engagement.

In this era where technology has definitely become part of our daily lives, we cannot deny that AI tools have been helpful to us. 

However, let us remind ourselves that they are called tools for a reason. May we not purely rely on these tools, but rather use them as tools that share their knowledge and abilities. 

For you, is it ethical to integrate ChatGPT in the education sector? Should teachers and students use it with guidance from regulators? 

If you want to weigh more about the benefits of AI in the education industry, you might want to read our Seven Ways AI is Transforming the Education Sector: A Comprehensive Look.

This article is published on BitPinas: Should Regulators Allow the Integration of ChatGPT in Education Sector?

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