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7 tips nurse educators can use for detecting cheating with AI: Part I

Jul 13, 2023, 12:51 PM
<7-min. read> You may be concerned about nursing student cheating with artificial intelligence (AI). But you should also understand the benefits of AI.

Can AI endanger academic integrity in nursing? Maybe, but it can also ease your job

Academic integrity in nursing - Top benefits of ChatGPTAcademic integrity in nursing education — as well as all higher education — has become more difficult to oversee as students gain access to continuously evolving artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Many education experts see these tools as an easy opportunity for nursing student cheating to occur. But the reality is that AI tools can enhance students’ education, too. Plus, AI resources can aid you in your job, easing tasks that might have taken hours of effort in the past.


Here, in a 2-part series of articles, we’ve gathered a list of 7 tips you can use for detecting cheating with AI, as well as advice you can use for taking advantage of AI yourself. Read on for Tips 1-3 to develop an understanding of the pros and cons of the models. In Part II of the series, we’ll delve into Tips 4-7 and show some more examples of exactly how AI works and go deeper into how you can help students understand its impact on academic integrity.

Tip 1) Detecting cheating with AI: Defend academic integrity in nursing by understanding what AI is.

Many companies have released AI applications, such as Google’s Bard, Jasper, and Claude. (Scroll down to see boxed information on other AI applications that students might access.) But, by far the one most used right now is ChatGPT. Released in late 2022, ChatGPT uses natural language processing to respond to user-generated prompts.

What’s a prompt? It’s simply a question. For example, “Describe natural language processing in 1 short, simple sentence.”

When you input that prompt into ChatGPT, the model provides a response. For this query, it replied, “Natural language processing (NLP) is the branch of artificial intelligence that helps computers understand and work with human language.”

(Editor’s note: ChatGPT was used to research the content for this article.)

Over time, ChatGPT adapts its responses to your questions based on user feedback and prompts. In other words, it gets smarter the more you use it.

Let’s look at another example:

Prompt: “What are you?”

ChatGPT response: “I am an artificial intelligence program designed to assist with answering questions and providing information on a wide range of topics. I do not have a physical form, but I am able to communicate with users through text or voice. Is there anything else you would like to know?”

Academic integrity in nursing - AI ChatGPT screen shot 1

Becoming familiar with the app is as easy as setting up an account (it’s free) and starting to ask questions. Try following up on responses you get with additional questions that narrow your original query. Or, you can add to your original query with new information to get a more refined response.

(In Part II, we’ll provide even more visual examples of how AI works.)

Tip 2) Recognize the positive and negative impacts of ChatGPT on students.

Can ChatGPT help students with their assignments? Yes, and in completely legitimate ways. Just a few examples of how ChatGPT — and applications like it — can aid students include:

  • Concept clarification. It can provide explanations and examples that help students better understand difficult subject matter.
  • Writing support. AI can guide students on how to structure essays, improve sentence construction, or generate ideas for writing projects, including term papers, essays, and even short answers. (This type of use can supplement the benefits offered by ATI solutions that aid with a lack of academic preparedness.)
  • Language learning. English language learners (ELLs) can use ChatGPT to practice their language skills by requesting translations or asking for grammar and vocabulary explanations.
  • Research assistance. Students can use AI to gather initial information on a topic, explore different perspectives, or seek recommendations for relevant sources. ChatGPT also can summarize articles, suggest keywords for further research, and assist in finding reputable academic resources.
  • Math solutions. AI can guide students through steps to arrive at a solution by explaining the concepts involved, providing formulas, and illustrating necessary calculations. This help can be especially advantageous for students struggling with understanding dosage calculation and safe medication administration.
  • Tutoring. Students can find qualified tutors in their specific location or who specialize in specific topics and contact them directly.

Academic integrity in nursing - AI tools students useOf course, a flip side to these positives also exists. Some of the impacts of AI that impact academic integrity in nursing include:

  • Too much dependence. Students who use AI too often can diminish their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Remind students that they must learn to independently analyze situations and problems because those skills are critical to their future work as a nurse. Similarly, interacting too often with AI can interfere with students’ development of interpersonal communication skills, another critical component of being a competent nurse.
  • Inaccurate or misleading information. AI isn’t perfect or all-knowing. It can provide incorrect information, so students should doublecheck and evaluate the responses they receive to their prompts.
  • Ethical considerations. AI may be able to provide information, but it can’t interpret the moral issues and ethical nuances that nurses face in real-life situations. Students need to rely on educators, preceptors, and other mentors to understand these distinctions as they apply to healthcare.
  • Plagiarism and cheating. With answers to questions immediately at their fingertips, students can be tempted to simply copy and paste the information without considering the impact that such actions can have on academic integrity in nursing, including on their future careers.
  • Integrity breaches. Outside of plagiarism and cheating, other ways in which students can breach institutional integrity policies by using AI include generating false data, seeking assistance/collaboration that violates academic policies, and misrepresenting their skills and knowledge.
  • Privacy and security concerns. Students need to understand that any queries they enter into an AI system could impact the privacy and security of their data. Similarly, they could inadvertently violate compliance with institutional policies, such as those they agree to in using ATI’s solutions. For example, if they type an ATI exam question into any search or AI engine, they violate the terms and conditions to which they agreed when creating their ATI account.
  • Noted biases. Confirmation bias is a risk of AI use when students’ prompts inadvertently align with their preconceived notions, which can lead to biased responses. Similarly, use of AI can lead to authority bias (when students identify the system as a trustworthy source due to its sophisticated language skills). Other biases can also creep in, such as algorithmic biases (due to the large datasets on which AI relies that can include inherent biases), as well as cultural or linguistic biases.

Tip 3) Discover the benefits of ChatGPT in easing your efforts as an educator.

AI offers multiple benefits that can make your work as an educator easier or free up time so you can focus on other aspects of teaching. Consider using the model to:

  • Perform automated grading and offer feedback. You can use ChatGPT to assess and score written assignments when you ask the AI system to compare students’ work against predefined criteria or sample responses. Then, you need only request an evaluation of students’ work based on concepts you define such as grammar, vocabulary, and overall structure. Additionally, you can prompt the model for feedback to help the student improve. Even on multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank questions, you can ask ChatGPT to analyze responses by providing the correct answers and asking the system to compare and then score student responses.
  • Provide coaching and tutoring. For students who need help understanding difficult concepts, you can use ChatGPT to break down the ideas into simpler language. Or you can use it to scaffold learning by walking students through problem-solving processes. The model can improve critical thinking by providing hints and asking probing questions.
  • Act as a study aid. Use ChatGPT for information retrieval (quickly accessing information on specific topics and requesting specific examples, related information, definitions, and sources); lesson planning (prompt for activities, teaching strategies, or active-learning ideas to effectively engage students); curriculum enhancement (request aid with insights, supplementary resources, new perspectives, related concepts, or interdisciplinary connections); assessment preparation (request a grading rubric or feedback on an assessment’s difficult level); professional development (engage ChatGPT to discover research articles or pedagogical strategies, recommend readings, or provide insights into best practices or current trends in teaching); and get student support (address common questions, clarify concepts, and direct students to relevant resources).
  • Support group projects. Encourage groups of students to use AI to suggest and schedule meeting times, set deadlines, track progress, and organize activities. Suggest AI as a tool for brainstorming and problem-solving when students encounter roadblocks in their thinking. Input a collection of resources for students to use (such as articles, websites, or research papers) and then let students use the model to retrieve specific information. You can even use AI to provide feedback and identify areas for improvement. If discord arises, ask AI to provide communication tips, negotiation techniques, or conflict-resolution strategies.
  • Serve as a presentation tool. ChatGPT can create a collaborative atmosphere when you use it during a presentation for interactive Q&A sessions, to demonstrate or clarify complex concepts, assist with language translation for ELL (English Language Learner) students, generate visual aids (you describe the visual you want, and ChatGPT can suggest or generate simple visual representations), fact-check your information, and poll your students by collecting and analyzing their responses in real time.

AI tools show promise on multiple levels in providing new options for improving your teaching, along with known pitfalls. In Part II of this series, we’ll dig deeper into those negative aspects so you can be prepared to recognize them.

Read Part II of this series to learn more.
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