by Dwayne Phillips
In the past month or two, many have bemoaned the appearance of software that can write essays for students. I have yet to read concerns about software that teachers can use to write essay assignments.
ChatGPT is ruining the world. Well, at least some folks think it is ruining their world. The software writes essays. Students won’t write their essays any more. How will teachers know if the students are “doing their own work?”
First, ChatGPT doesn’t write essays. Give it a prompt like, “Write an essay about the drafting of the Declaration of Independence,” and the software will access the the world’s memory banks (we used to say things like “memory bank”) and mimic what is found. Not too exciting when you think of it.
Second, I have read many essays and posts by teachers at many levels of education bemoaning this software. What is a teacher to do? How will the teacher know if the student “did their own work?” Well, if a teacher cannot tell… Never mind that.
Finally, what I have not read is a single post or essay about how the teachers will use such software. Will the teacher be creating their own assignment or using ChatGPT. “Write a one-sentence assignment for college freshmen writers in English 102.” Ooooh, aaaaaah. Wait. Is that okay? Wait.
Why aren’t any of the teachers questioning their fellow teachers?
Perhaps we could ask that last question of ChatGPT. Well, maybe we don’t want to hear any answers.