Students' perception and experience using ChatGPT

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Michael Dunlop
Nicole O'Brien


Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, have impacted the higher education environment.  The future expectation is that LLMs/ChatGPT will pose significant challenges and opportunities.  This study addressed students’ perception and experience using ChatGPT in a course assignment administered in an undergraduate data and decisions analysis course.  A sample of 18 students (n=18) was included in the study.  Although ChatGPT, and other LLMs, were previously used by 94% of students, this study found mixed results on the accuracy and time saving benefits when using these types of AI.  Students reported using ChatGPT in a number of academic areas, including idea generation, structuring outlines, obtaining data/information, fact checking, coding, as well as for spelling and grammar in a written document.  The results in this study found that ChatGPT met expectations from 61% of students, whereas the other 39% did not have their expectations met.  The accuracy and time to fact check the output of ChatGPT were polarized based on student responses.  Further research is recommended in the perception, use, and expectations using LLMs/ChatGPT in the classroom.  Student integrity, academic dishonesty, and off-loading to AI are other areas also needing further investigation.

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