Another heart-breaking story from Reddit highlighting the urgent need for bringing in certain standards into AI-writing issues.
A student shared his experience on Reddit saying he was recently accused of cheating on an essay by their professor, who relied on guest AI software for detecting academic dishonesty. The diligent student, who had completed his essay ahead of schedule, found himself in the crosshairs of their professor’s unfounded suspicions.
Despite trying to discuss the issue with the professor, the student was met with disbelief. Taking matters into his own hands, the student contacted the dean and arranged a meeting with both the dean and the professor to present his work history and give a presentation on his essay.
After proving his understanding and innocence, the student’s grade was changed, but the time-consuming process left him frustrated. The professor, still relying on the AI software’s results, continued to believe the student had cheated. This incident has raised concerns about the reliability of AI software in detecting academic dishonesty and the irony of professors relying on AI to combat AI-assisted cheating.
The student’s experience has shed light on the anxiety and paranoia that can result from the use of AI software in academia, and it highlights the need for a more nuanced approach to preventing and detecting academic dishonesty.
Other Redditors supported this student and shared their experiences.
Dealing with False Accusations and Documenting Your Work
Many students face challenges when navigating academic bureaucracy and dealing with issues such as false accusations of plagiarism. One helpful tip is to use extensions like Draftback for Google Docs or the version history feature in Office 365 with OneDrive. These tools allow students to show a time-lapse of their work and prove their work’s originality.
“I encourage everyone to get the extension draftback for google docs. It will show you a time lapse of your work and you can see when something is copy pasted in, like a huge chunk of text or something.”
“If you use Office 365 and save your MS word document to OneDrive, there is a version history feature similar to Google Docs. It does exactly the same thing and shows the last edited document versions. These can be opened for viewing previous versions of a document and the file name includes a corresponding date/time stamp.”
Equally important is learning to document and date your work, whether it’s for school, a job, or even mailing a package. Taking the time to ensure that everything is properly documented can save you from future headaches when things go awry.
Navigating College Bureaucracy
College bureaucracy can be frustrating, with many students sharing stories of being sent from one department to another, with some even writing petitions over 90 pages long to resolve their issues. However, the key to successfully dealing with bureaucracy is learning the process, preparing for it, and patiently following through.
- The person telling you the rules is rarely the one who made them or can change them, but going up the ladder means taking the time to learn the process, prepare for it, then deal it.
- Documenting your work. It doesn’t matter if it’s schoolwork, job work, or mailing something for Ebay, document and date so you can prove you did it.
“The bureaucracy is awful. I had a situation I dealt with where I was sent to fifteen different people, some multiple times, with many who couldn’t meet with me for several weeks because their department had not enough people at too many meetings. I had to write out two different petitions, one that was nearly 40 pages long, and one that was over 90 pages long. The whole process took a year.”
AI Detection Software Limitations
AI detection software, like those used to detect plagiarism, can sometimes produce confusing results due to their inherent design. AI models like ChatGPT are created to mimic human responses, and thus their writing patterns are based on human writing. As a result, it’s not surprising if a human’s writing occasionally resembles an AI-generated text. Some students have even found inconsistencies in AI detection software when comparing their own work to that of ChatGPT.
“Anti-plagiarism tools are so stupid. Chatgpt and similar were created to recreate human responses. How is a software capable of detecting if something is “mimicking” a human? It’s dumb. Yes, I know the software works by “picking up patterns common in AI writing.” However, those patterns were created BECAUSE of what it learned from observing human writing! I hope I’m making sense here. Basically, it’s not that weird if a human “writes like an AI” because an AI is trying to “write as a human.”
Adapting to AI in Education
Both students and professors are grappling with the increasing presence of AI in academia. While some professors acknowledge the usefulness of AI, others are struggling to adapt to its impact on education. It’s essential for the academic community to learn how to handle AI and integrate it into the learning process effectively.
Strategies for Writing Papers and Providing Evidence
When writing a paper, having a structured approach can be helpful in case you need to provide evidence of your work’s originality. One suggested method includes:
- Brainstorming relevant ideas or concepts to include in the paper, usually through a handwritten map.
- Listing potential articles and sources to use, by saving their URLs in a document.
- Printing the articles, highlighting specific quotes or ideas to include in the paper.
- Creating an outline in a word document, organizing ideas and incorporating quotes or concepts from the sources.
Having these separate pieces of evidence on hand can help you present a compelling case to your professor if your work is ever questioned.
Navigating the challenges of academic bureaucracy and adapting to AI in education can be daunting. However, by documenting your work, understanding the limitations of AI detection software, and employing effective writing strategies, students can successfully overcome these hurdles and excel in their academic pursuits.
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