Artificial Intelligence - The Good News and Bad News

Proud to Be a Chemist - Using ChatGPT's

Artificial Intelligence continues to make an impact on the world of education. For those of you who may not be familiar with ChatGPT, it is so much more than  looking items up on the internet. Searching for items in a search engine simply finds the sites and lists them. Artificial intelligence by the use of ChatGPT does much more. Artificial inteligence or ChatGPT examines everything it can find on the internet about a question, examines patterns in the information and then responds similar to the way a human would respond. The response usually has a higher depth of knowledge than just an answer from a web site or search engine. The tricky part is students have figured out ways to use ChatGPT and paraphrase the answers it provides. I have used several "ChatGPT checkers" that supposedly can see if the response is real or AI generated. None of them successfully identified the responses that were generated through artificial intelligence.  However, there is some good news.   

The good news started with a ChemEd X blog post on the topic written by Josh Kenney and Ben Meacham: Revolutionizing Chemistry Education: 10 Ways to Use ChatGPT in Your Classroom. It is outstanding. I decided to try to use a version of their ideas on the final exam for a chemistry course. First, I used ChatGPT to write a multi part free response exam question. The question involved multiple topics such as gas laws, acid base chemistry, molarity and stoichiometry. Next, I developed a rubric with the help of ChatGPT. I then asked ChatGPT to answer the question. The results were interesting. Generally, ChatGPT gave the wrong answer. I tried other questions and found the artificial intelligence may not be as good at chemistry as I had assumed. This was helpful to know. I was honestly able to share my experience with students and tell them to be careful if they are going to depend on this method for doing all of their work. They still need to be able to think.  

Back to the exam question.....I modified the answer provided by ChatGPT for the chemistry exam question. Students were instructed to read the question, look at the rubric, examine the answer from the "Chat GPT student" and then grade the answer based on the rubric. I was able to easily come up with many questions and faulty answers for different classes. Most of the time ChatGPT was able to provide the mistakes without me asking for the mistakes in the answer. The students provided interesting feedback. One student turned in his exam and asked, "Is this what you do when you grade our papers? It must suck to be you...". I had to smile.

Overall, I think ChatGPT is helpful, can save time but buyer beware! Make sure never to assume the answers are 100% correct. Always check them first. I have attached the question, answer and rubric to one of the exams. Enjoy! Please check out Josh's blog and do not hesitate to post something if you find an interesting way to use artificial intelligence.

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