Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton recently wrote about the 6 Tenets of Postplagiarism: Writing in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and how Human-AI writing will become normal. She states, “Trying to determine where the human ends and where the artificial intelligence begins is pointless and futile.”. When I shared the first draft of Peninsula School District’s Principles and Beliefs around Artificial Intelligence with a group of our teachers working together all spring exploring AI in their classrooms, their first question was, “Did you write this, or did ChatGPT?”.  Answering that question has become challenging because I can’t credit ChatGPT for it nor claim full authorship of the document. 

The citations on our principles document show my interactions with ChatGPT to generate the document’s first draft. I was the person who sat down and read the US Department of Education’s: “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching and Learning” report as well as CoSN’s “Artificial Intelligence (AI) In K-12 – Spring 2023” report and found the highlights in those documents which were most applicable to our school district. Highlighting and summarization is a task I might now try to do with Anthropic’s Claude, but at the time, I didn’t have access to that tool. I did feed all of those highlights into ChatGPT and, through some back and forth, came up with a rough start to the document. It wouldn’t have been a quality document if I had stopped there. In the citations, you can see that there was back and forth around the content and structure of the paper. glenn carstens peters btqqjshopxw unsplash

When I got to a point where I was moderately happy with the document, I decided it still didn’t sound like something we would put out in our district and asked ChatGPT to help again. I submitted four samples of my previous writing for ChatGPT to analyze for style and tone and then rewrite the document using my style and tone. Finally, it was getting somewhere that I was starting to feel good about. I then realized that we had no comments about plagiarism detection tools. Having done enough research and reading about the problems with plagiarism detection tools, I felt it was important enough to get into the document. Of course, ChatGPT was a perfect partner for this task with the following prompt:

Below I will provide you a final draft version of a school district philosophy statement on the use of AI the classroom. It is missing a statement about how AI detection tools are unreliable and should not be used. Take the current tone of the document and suggest a place we could add a paragraph and generate the paragraph we should use.

ChatGPT then proceeded to drop a perfect paragraph right where it should be in the document.

john schnobrich 2fpjlaymqta unsplashThrough my interactive work with ChatGPT up to this point, I’ve produced a document ready for human feedback. I then sent it to our Teaching and Learning team for their insights. As a district team, we have spent the last few weeks looking at it to ensure it is what we want for our community for the coming year and are putting the final touches on it now. 

This process has left me pondering how we start these conversations with our staff, parents, and community. The teachers we had worked with all spring had spent significant time thinking about these ideas, but that is only around 40 of our 600 teachers, and we have yet to engage our parents seriously. We must expand this conversation because plagiarism is no longer a cut-and-dry topic. I could never have gone through this exercise without significant background knowledge. So, considering a final quote from Dr. Eaton, “Although humans can relinquish control, they do not relinquish responsibility for what is written. Humans can – and must – remain accountable for fact-checking, verification procedures, and truth-telling.” this post-plagiarism world is now our new normal. We must embrace it, and we have to do so in a way that our communities embrace and build on the power of these new AI assistants in our lives.

Join our new AI in Education community in the CoSN Network to continue the conversation.

AUTHOR: Kris Hagel, Executive Director of Digital Learning at Peninsula School District, Washington State University Tacoma (WA)
CoSN EdTech Innovation Committee Member

Published on: July 25th, 2023

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