Can Universities Balance ChatGPT’s Impact with Ethics Curriculum?

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ChatGPT, one of the most famous artificial intelligence chatbots, can now write college-level sentences with some great prompts. His essays have passed tests from top business and law schools.

The steep rise in the months since the program launched has forced higher education institutions to grapple with concerns about academic integrity and the use of AI in the classroom.

But according to Sarah Cabral, a senior business ethicist at the University of Santa Clara’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the conversation about cheating using generative AI is nothing new. Even if the technology itself is new.

In a recent conversation with Higher Ed Dive, she explained how ChatGPT surprised educators and why incorporating character education into the curriculum is as important as teaching biology or world history. I shared a

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

HIGHER ED DIVE: Generative artificial intelligence has skyrocketed in popularity since ChatGPT launched in November. Are you ready teacher?

Head shot of smiling woman with long brown hair in pink blouse.

Sarah Cabral, Senior Business Ethicist at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University

Permission by Sara Cabral

Sarah Cabral: I’m not sure most educators were actually discussing this until ChatGPT became a reality.

When my students started seeing what ChatGPT can do, I was personally amazed at the power of AI. I don’t know why. Because in a way it’s not surprising. Sounds like the next logical iteration for AI. But personally, I was still caught off guard.

Most universities have not issued proclamations about ChatGPT and whether or how it should be used in an academic setting. Have you seen how individual teachers react to technology?

To avoid the temptation altogether, many educators I’ve spoken to go back to basics and have students handwrite in-class assessments. Until you find the best way to do this, there are relatively easy workarounds.

As a long-term approach, we’re looking at having students create a first draft in ChatGPT and submit that along with the final draft to show how we were able to build the initial work of the bot. Some people

I’m not sure if there is one best practice to keep. But my colleague’s view is that banning ChatGPT makes no sense.

Of course, students secretly using ChatGPT still come with consequences. He knows one colleague who read an essay that doesn’t sound like a student’s voice. When the student was pressured, she admitted that she had used ChatGPT to write an essay, and that there were consequences. You may not falsely claim to be a work and submit it as such.

If programs like ChatGPT are not banned, what can universities do to ensure that students can use them properly?

This is a great question. What intrigues me is that even if a student manages to get around her ChatGPT, it could be the cause of not using ChatGPT. This is because there are not many teachers who can catch it. One student I mentioned was arrested because she eventually self-disclosed.

This emphasizes the need to have conversations with students about personality. For example, who are you and how do you feel about being dishonest? Because if you practice dishonesty enough, it will become you.

I would like to know if it is a sufficient off-policy disincentive to discourage students from using ChatGPT.

How can faculty and universities incorporate ethics and character education into AI discussions?

I’m clearly a proponent of ethics education, but it doesn’t have to be confined to a separate ethics class. We can train faculty on how to conduct conversations that include values ​​and ethics in any subject, including English, history, and science. I don’t think you need a PhD in philosophy for that.

There is a lot of history supporting character education in schools, but I think it is not commonly practiced today and we are moving away from having such conversations.

My stance coincides with David Foster Wallace’s famous commencement speech at Kenyon College. He said that the purpose of education is not the acquisition of knowledge. Being aware of the fact that he has choices that determine what he should think.

The higher education sector offers many short-term qualifications and bootcamps, especially in technology. Can these programs provide the kind of holistic approach you describe?

Shortened programs, or programs where students really specialize in a particular field, need to cut something out of the curriculum. It shows you what you think brings value.

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