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Students Pitted Against ChatGPT to Improve Writing

Students Pitted Against ChatGPT to Improve Writing

Inside Higher Ed

Lauren Coffey
May 15, 2024
Amid the swirl of concern about generative artificial intelligence in the classroom, a Nevada university is trying a different tactic by having students compete against ChatGPT in writing assignments.
Students in two courses at the University of Nevada, Reno, are going head-to-head with ChatGPT by answering the same prompts as the AI and aiming to get a higher grade.
“ChatGPT comes out and everyone is using it, talking about it, whether or not we’d like them to,” said Leping Liu, professor of information technology and statistics at the University of Nevada at Reno. “We have to deal with it, so we [wanted to] find a way to augment our teaching and learning and not just focus on cheating [concerns].”
Liu and Rod Case, associate professor in the department of educational study, began discussing in the summer of 2023 how to harness the then-new ChatGPT. They sought to combine Liu’s expertise in information technology with Case’s experience in educational studies.
The duo settled on a mashup of gamification, analysis and competition in two courses for education majors—Second Language Acquisition and a course focused on teaching methods for English learners. In the resulting assignments, students must complete a writing prompt and try to earn a higher grade than ChatGPT, which answers the same prompt.
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