April 22, 2024

I’ve been working on a document to gather my own thoughts about what’s happening with chatbot writing invading student writing and the automated countermeasures out there like Turnitin’s AI detector, which, by the way, dropped into my own classes uninvited in the spring semester.

I was planning to copy the whole document over to the blog, but I’ve decided I’m much too lazy for that. I don’t want to have to reformat a C&P job, and I don’t want to have to do updates in more than one place.

Read it here, if you will: Understanding Turnitin’s AI Reports, A Guide for Teachers and Students.

If you are a teacher, feel free to borrow, copy, tweak, share, etc. I’d also welcome feedback. I might even remember to check my comment filter to see if anyone takes me up on that.

Note: Because this is a work in progress, if you want to use it as it, I suggest making a copy of it.

Things I’m currently mulling over to add to the document:

  • My friend Dennis reminded me that both Word and Google are rolling out their own tools that will prompt writers with suggested edits for sentences. This is something I need to research and comment on in the document.
  • My friend Cynthia said that a bigger concern for her than the AI prompted sentence-level corrections is whether the writer has developed their own ideas. I definitely need to address this. In many of the articles I’ve seen about how to use AI, “generating ideas” has popped up again and again. But there is a difference in using ChatGPT as part of your initial brainstorming process and relying on it wholesale for the thinking of the piece. That’s something inexperienced writers will need to be taught.
  • I’ve seen some warnings about chatbots showing all sorts of bias, bigotry, and racism. I still need to research this and develop a statement about it.

No doubt there is more that needs to be addressed, but this is where I am so far. Once I’ve made my way through the most pressing issues in this document, I plan to go back and create instructional materials (slides, graphics, etc) that help to pare down individual concepts for students. I will share those for other teachers as well.

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