Has AI changed the way students cheat?

As technology continues to advance, the way that students do schoolwork changes. With it being easier to access online sources like Quizlet and Brainly, the definition of cheating may have changed in the minds of students. For many years students and teachers have disagreed with what the definition of cheating really is, as students believe that there is a looser definition, with peer collaboration playing a big part, many students believe that collaboration isn’t considered cheating. 

Whether it is out of pure laziness or they stayed up too late, is there an underlying issue as to why students cheat? The amount of stress students have to get decent grades, play sports, participate in volunteer activities, and complete college prep can make the school year difficult. 

“There’s a lot of pressure to succeed, especially in school,” senior Emily Ammerman said. “You just want to impress, or your parents are putting so much pressure on you, that the only thing you feel like you can do is cheat.”

Technology advancements have allowed the internet to be more accessible than ever before. Nowadays, people can obtain access to Google through their smartwatches. Advancements in technology allow phones to be on watches, with the ability to text, call and even get to the internet. Should this be considered cheating when adults are allowed to look up their answers on Google all the time?

“I don’t mind utilizing Google, because I have to use it for a lot of things in my life,”  E-Learning teacher Christa Felker said.

The repercussions of cheating vary depending on the type of cheating that has occurred. Some teachers believe that no matter what the situation is, it should result in a failure for both parties involved, whereas some teachers believe that as there is no claim to the work, and it is cited, using outside resources are fine.

“The person who gives the paper to someone, you are cheating just as bad as the person who’s using it,” math teacher Garret Turner said. 

All that being said, more concerns are popping up as technology begins to advance. A new computer program called ChatGTP was launched in Nov. 2022. The program is used to create realistic essay responses to prompts or questions the program is given. Many people have talked about the downsides to having free access to an essay generator and have expressed worry about how far AI-generated work will go. Teachers wonder how they will be able to tell if work is actually from students or generated from the computer.

“I think technology has made it a lot easier to cheat because you can do it a lot more secretly without teachers finding out as much,” junior Breanna Emrick said. 

No one knows how far technological advancement will go in the future or even in the upcoming years. Who knows how different cheating will look in the future? Especially with how technology is now, with the ability to get to the internet on a smartwatch. Some teachers, however, stay the same on what the consequences should be.

“If you’re caught cheating I think it should be worth a zero,” Turner said.

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Rachael Cain and Danielle Wallace

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