Why do students choose to use AI?

One of the first things I hear about AI and systems like ChatGPT is that students are using this to cheat. Cheating is a large concern for most teachers but it begs the question, why is cheating a hot button topic for the teacher?

Personally, cheating makes me frustrated since I work hard to create courses, assignments, assessments, etc. that are fair and can be easily completed if the students are following the structure of my course and completing the tasks along the way. I build my course and content with the intent for my students to pass my course which is why it is frustrating to find a student cheating in my course.

When I see this I start to ask more questions of the student, like:
— How are you managing the time commitment of this course with the rest of your responsibilities?
— Do you feel overwhelmed with the content in this course?
— Are there any areas that I can help support you and your success in this course?

Finding out the answers to even one of these questions, helps me to identify more of what the students need and how to help them be successful without the need or desperation to cheat.

If we can get past the cheating part of the AI systems, I have confidence that educators can find a positive use for the tool, such as:
— Helping to brainstorm solutions to a student conduct issue
— Creating more application problems relevant to students
— Building content that ties to future careers

The possibility of AI has yet to be discovered and I am interested in exploring the space with my colleagues and students.


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