Faced With ChatGPT, Teachers’ Response Is Organized

Faced With ChatGPT, Teachers’ Response Is Organized

The main problem for teachers and parents is that he can do the homework instead of the student. Given the revolution it represents, the Quebec Ministry of Education is evaluating the impact of this new tool, particularly with regard to the ministerial tests.

I really don’t see what it can be used for! , says Céline Michelutti, primary school teacher. She is about to test the capabilities of ChatGPT on her computer with her son William.

William, fourth grader, has been trying the app on his phone for a few weeks. Why might he be tempted to use it? As homework! […] In French, for example, to summarize a book, he replies with bright eyes, even if he has never done it.

Two people from behind in front of a screen

Céline Michelutti and her son William are testing the conversational robot ChatGPT.

Photo: Radio Canada / Alexis Gacon

Like other bots before it, ChatGPT answers questions. But he can also write essays in any subject, in an exact word count, solve math problems, or even summarize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1970 in three paragraphs (or 12 if you prefer).

He can even do a synopsis of a book that William’s school is asking for, the book No et moi by Delphine de Vigan. In two paragraphs? The robot is running. Only the first three chapters? rebel:

“In the first chapter we meet Lou, a 13-year-old girl who lives with her mother and grandmother. She is very intelligent but feels out of step with the other students in her class and has trouble making friends. She spends a lot of time reading and contemplating questions of life and death. In the second chapter, Lou meets No, a girl his own age who lives on the street. She is fascinated by her and decides to help her by bringing her food and clothes. She discovers that No has had a difficult past and that she is pregnant. »

— A quote from ChatGPT, excerpt from the answer to the question: “Can you summarize the first chapters of the book No and Me”, by Delphine de Vigan

William smiles. Your mother can’t believe it. I’m blown away! […] For me, it challenges me by what I say to myself, the youngster, the student, that is, he doesn’t think, he doesn’t construct his thoughts.

When asked, the little robot even adds a few spelling mistakes to look human. It goes far! , starts Celine Michelutti. For William it’s not cheating if we don’t copy everything.

Since its launch last November, chatbot ChatGPT has been the new darling of the artificial intelligence world. Director Chloé Sondervorst introduces this tool and some lessons to be learned from its power.

Towards the end of the remote assessments?

The diverse talents of this robot fascinate, but also frighten many teachers. Virginie Lambert-Pellerin teaches French at CEGEP: we see all the possibilities of plagiarism, fraud, fraud. It’s certain to fundamentally transform teaching at the college level.

She already sees students returning work to her using ChatGPT and is slightly aware of it. The best way to tell if the text wasn’t written by the student is if it’s too well written, she says.

Guillaume Couture, history teacher at Cégep de Saint-Laurent, says he managed to pinch one of his students, who took a long time to admit using the robot. I’ve been testing the thing enough for a month that I can feel the style of ChatGPT.

Martine Peeters, director of the University Partnership for Plagiarism Prevention and professor in the Department of Education at the University of Quebec in Outaouais, believes the tool is causing a stir at the university. It is very confusing. We will have to adapt our work.

For example, since the robot can create a course program for elementary school students, it will now instead ask its students to analyze the courses ChatGPT can create to see if they fit the program well and train their critical eye.

However, teachers and our tests confirm that the robot is often wrong and is not always able to identify its sources. He invents quotations from Molière and distorts works, stresses Virginie Lambert-Pellerin.

However, the robot’s artificial intelligence is getting better every day. She tweaks ChatGPT’s writing style and refines her answers. Several CEGEP teachers we spoke to therefore come to the same conclusion: ChatGPT will put an end to remote assessments.

“The simplest solution we could think of was to have everything done in class. Looks like we don’t have a choice […] It’s too easy to make the robot write a dissertation about such and such a play by Molière. »

— A quote from Virginie Lambert-Pellerin, teacher at the Collège Montmorency

A phone with the ChatGPT page open.

The conversational robot ChatGPT was made available to the general public on November 30th. (file photo)

Photo: Radio Canada / Erik Chouinard

Why still go to school?

In the Facebook group Chat GPT and IA in Education, which has more than 2000 members, teachers exchange views on this topic.

They discuss ways they can use the robot to help them in class, give each other tips on spotting the presence of ChatGPT in the work they are given, and discuss the future of education.

Alexandre Gagné, teacher and moderator of the group, writes that robots and artificial intelligence in general are threatening traditional schools. Why go to school when the AI ​​can answer my questions and train me? Why write when the AI ​​can already do it better than the majority of students? he says.

He asks Quebec to act.

The Quebec Ministry of Education says it is in the process of evaluating the tool’s impact on students’ learning methods and teachers’ work, particularly with regard to ministry tests.

The Autonomous Education Association calls on Facebook to monitor the phenomenon very closely. For its part, the Center de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM) recognizes that these applications can question, even worry, educational actors, but claims that they can also offer opportunities. A spokesperson writes that the organization is working hard to reflect on the educational use of this tool.

Schools in New York have decided: ChatGPT will be banned on all public school devices and networks. According to Jenna Lyle, spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Education, the move stems from concerns about negative impacts on learning, as well as content safety and accuracy.

With William and Céline, the robot has managed to find commonalities across generations beyond the homework. William asked him to create a menu that would include a week of balanced recipes for a 14-year-old teenager. As the grocery list appears scattered across the screen, Celine begins to see the robot in a good light: it can do a lot of things for us!

In collaboration with Jacaudrey Charbonneau