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Teachers Assigning Handwritten Work in Light of ChatGPT

A survey by Intelligent.com found that about 66 percent of educators are requiring assignments to be handwritten, typed in class without WiFi, or complemented by oral assessments so that students won't rely on ChatGPT.

A student sitting at a desk writing with a pencil. The image cuts off just below their neck.
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(TNS) — To try to curb students' misuse of AI tools like ChatGPT, teachers are putting more focus on written assignments.

A survey reported by Intelligent.com highlighted educators' perceptions of how ChatGPT affects students' learning abilities. It found that about 66 percent of educators already have made or plan to make changes to written assignments to make it harder for students to use ChatGPT.

Of this group, around 76 percent require or will require handwritten essays, while 65 percent have or will have students type assignments during class with no WiFi access, and 87 percent have or will have students complete oral assessments along with written assignments.

Although this shift is occurring, reporting by The Modesto Bee last month found this change can add to teacher's workloads. One teacher said that because she has over 200 students in total, she could not require a handwritten submission for every in-class assignment due to the sheer number of drafts she would receive.

A survey conducted by BestColleges earlier this year found a little less than half of college students have used ChatGPT or a similar artificial intelligence application.

"It's important to remember that ChatGPT will evolve and is only one of many large language models that can generate text or find resources," said Diane Gayeski, an Ithaca College professor and higher education adviser at Intelligent.com. "Since AI tools will certainly be used in most professional contexts, it makes sense for teachers and professors to introduce their use as well as their limitations, just as they have with other automated aids like spreadsheets."

Unfamiliar with ChatGPT? It is a computer program powered by artificial intelligence that can quickly answer questions. As an Atlanta Journal-Consitution article put it, it's a chatbot that can go back-and-forth with the user in text.

©2023 The Modesto Bee (Modesto, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.