The use of ChatGPT is causing concern among educators, with some schools outrightly banning the AI-powered tool from their networks. Such bans have been implemented in K-12 schools in the US, with some districts taking action to protect academic honesty by prohibiting the use of ChatGPT.
In Seattle Public Schools, for example, a representative revealed that the district has banned the tool from all school devices, citing the need for original thought and work from students. Similarly, the Los Angeles Unified School District blocked the site on December 12, 2023, to safeguard academic integrity.
Educators in higher education institutions have also voiced their opinions on the matter, with a spokesperson from the University of Bristol stating that the unauthorized use of ChatGPT and other chatbots or AI software would be considered cheating under their assessment regulations. The concern arises from the long-standing belief that studying entails conducting research, gathering information, and writing one’s thoughts based on them.
The use of a chatbot to complete such tasks would constitute plagiarism, where one copies information from the Internet without citing sources, which could result in failing a paper or course.
Moreover, the consequences of being caught using ChatGPT could be severe for international students with F-1 and J-1 visas. If an F-1 or J-1 student is academically dismissed during or after the semester, resulting in the inability to enrol in classes, there could be severe immigration consequences. The International Student and Scholar Office could terminate the student’s SEVIS record, which is a federal law requirement. This could result in the student being considered “Out of Status,” and they would be required to leave the US immediately or request reinstatement from the Department of Homeland Security.
In conclusion, the use of ChatGPT has become a contentious issue among educators, with some outrightly banning the tool to protect academic honesty. While the AI-powered tool may be useful for certain tasks, using it for academic purposes could lead to severe consequences, such as academic dismissal, failing a course or paper, and potentially losing one’s study visa. Students should be aware of the risks associated with using such tools and the importance of conducting research and producing original work.