Students rely heavily on AI to excel in coursework

PETALING JAYA: The use of artificial intelligence (AI) writing tools such as ChatGPT has become increasingly popular among students. They find that it is quick to provide and compile information as well as simple to use.

Software engineering diploma student Vincent Ong, 21, said the use of AI writing tools for research has become the norm among most of his friends and peers.

“We mainly use it as a research model to find information, but I personally still find information from actual sources for comparison. The use of AI just makes all the tedious work of finding information from various sources and summarising it so much faster while also providing details that I was not aware of before,” he said.

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Ong added that while useful, AI writing tools should not be used to do an entire assignment or coursework.

Information and communication technology (ICT) diploma student Jordan Lim, 20, said the use of AI is becoming popular just like the search engine Google among his classmates.

“We use it very frequently and pretty much for everything as the explicit answers and information it provides are usually more thorough than those found in individual articles online. It helps explain certain parts or derive answers for topics that I struggle in, though we do not copy an entire assignment based on the answers it provides,” Lim said.

Journalism degree student Christian Chung, 21, said using AI has become common among his peers and friends to generate ideas for their coursework.

“AI writing tools give a good starting point for us to build on as they are much faster at finding and compiling relevant information. They also help me to identify informative relevant links to what I’m writing on,” he said.

Chung added that while using AI writing tools for an entire assignment would be unethical, the generated content and information from such tools are fair game as long as they meet assignment requirements.

However, a 22-year old ICT student, Hazeeq, expressed concern over AI as some of his coursemates use it during exams.

“Using ChatGPT has become a daily routine for them when it comes to all coursework, from assignments to quizzes and even during exams at times.

“I’m worried that some of my friends could become lazy and just depend entirely on AI writing tools to solve not just their coursework, but also other matters,” he said.

Hazeeq said while he does not use AI to that extreme, he uses it often to help him learn better. He said AI helps to generate ideas and identify issues in his coding coursework.

“When I run out of ideas for a website, ChatGPT helps generate sample code ideas for me to start from, while highlighting and explaining my coding errors clearly so I don’t make the same mistakes again,” he added.

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