Addressing Student Use of ChatGPT for Cheating

ChatGPT is a thing now, and teachers of every level and discipline that ask students to write papers are trying to figure out how to stop students from just having the computer do their homework for them. My way is to look at the sources first, because ChatGPT will generate bibliographies that look real but contain entries that don’t actually exist.

Aren’t we supposed to know the literature on what we’re teaching? A fake bibliography should be identifiable by looking. If a student comes up with a bunch of sources I never heard of, then either I have some reading to do or they’re cheating. Either way, I’m looking up the sources.

Also, to address the obvious objection that this requires time that teachers already don’t have, by changing the grading process to look at sources first, it doesn’t change the total time needed for honest papers, just rearranges how it’s used, and it saves time on dishonest papers because as soon as a fake source is identified, it can be marked as fake and the whole paper doesn’t even have to be looked at. Additionally, I’ve always got the best results by explicitly telling my students the most effective ways to cheat and then how I will catch them anyway. It deters almost all of them from trying because they already know why their plans won’t work.

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