The digital age has ushered in a plethora of technological advancements, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) leading the charge. As various sectors adapt to this new wave of innovation, academia finds itself at a crossroads. ChatGPT, an AI tool, offers promising solutions for academic tasks, but its integration is not without challenges, especially when it comes to upholding the revered principle of academic integrity.
Dr. Saeed Awadh Bin-Nashwan from Curtin University, Dr. Mouad Sadallah from Universiti Utara, and Dr. Mohamed Bouteraa from Universiti Malaysia Sabah have taken a deep dive into this matter. Their groundbreaking study, featured in the “Technology in Society” journal, meticulously examines the motivations, benefits, and potential pitfalls of incorporating ChatGPT into academic environments.
The capabilities of ChatGPT are vast. From aiding in idea generation and literature summarization to assisting in intricate research queries, its potential is immense. However, the very strengths that make it appealing also raise concerns. There’s a looming threat of its misuse in tasks like essay writing, which could inadvertently erode the foundations of academic integrity.
To shed light on this, the research trio conducted an exhaustive study, sourcing insights from academic professionals on platforms like ResearchGate and Academia.edu. The results were enlightening. While ChatGPT’s efficiency and time-saving attributes were universally acknowledged, its appeal extended beyond mere convenience. Factors such as academic self-efficacy, bolstered self-esteem, and reduced perceived stress were also significant contributors to its allure. Yet, the specter of academic integrity concerns and the influence of peers acted as deterrents for a considerable segment of the academic community.
One of the standout revelations from their research was the intricate interplay between academic integrity and perceptions about ChatGPT. Dr. Bin-Nashwan remarked, “The relationship between academic values and new technological tools is complex. While there’s undeniable potential, there’s also a responsibility to uphold the core principles of academia.”
The research also highlighted a broader dilemma facing the academic community. On one hand, there’s the undeniable pull of AI tools, with their unmatched efficiency and capabilities. On the other, there’s the unwavering commitment to academic values—integrity, fairness, and original thought.
In wrapping up their findings, Dr. Sadallah noted, “It’s a balance between embracing the future and preserving the sanctity of academic endeavors. The path forward requires both innovation and introspection.” Their work underscores the pressing need for comprehensive guidelines on the ethical use of AI tools in academia. As the academic landscape evolves in this AI-driven era, the onus is on institutions, educators, and students to ensure that technological innovation is harmoniously balanced with unwavering ethical standards.
Reference: Saeed Awadh Bin-Nashwan, Mouad Sadallah, Mohamed Bouteraa, “Use of ChatGPT in academia: Academic integrity hangs in the balance”, Technology in Society, 2023. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2023.102370
About the Author
Dr. Saeed Awadh Bin-Nashwan, currently a Senior Lecturer at Curtin University Malaysia, specializes in Accounting, Islamic Accounting, and Taxation. He pursued a B.Sc. in Accounting from Hadhramout University, Yemen, followed by an M.Sc. in International Accounting and a Ph.D. in Accounting from Universiti Utara Malaysia. His teaching domains include Academic Writing, Islamic Accounting, and Islamic Investment. Dr. Bin-Nashwan has contributed to research on various topics like tax compliance, Zakat payment from cryptocurrencies, and integrated reporting trends, reflecting his expertise in blending theoretical and practical aspects of accounting, particularly within the Islamic context