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AI in College: The New Rules

Like it or not, the age of artificial intelligence is here. This is a guide for students and professors on how AI is being used in college classes and for writing in college right now.

By David WyldPublished 4 months ago 6 min read
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AI in College: The New Rules
Photo by Hitesh Choudhary on Unsplash

Overview

As a professor, I know that college students are always ahead of their instructors when it comes to the use of technology. They are always looking to new tech for ways to improve their academic performance and make their lives easier. One of the latest tools they are turning to is artificial intelligence (AI). AI is being used in various ways by students today, from proofreading and editing their writing to writing (well, pretty much writing) at least drafts of papers and essays for them.

This article examines the use of artificial intelligence in colleges and among college students today, examining how and why AI is rapidly increasing in use and then looking at a huge question in higher education today: Is AI use cheating? We conclude with a look ahead at where all of this is headed and toward a very different way of teaching and learning in the very near future.

By Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Artificial Intelligence and Higher Education

With the advent of new technologies and advancements in machine learning, AI is transforming the way students learn and interact with their peers and professors, and even the very structure of higher education institutions.

One of the most significant changes that AI is bringing to college education is the way in which students learn. AI-powered tools such as adaptive learning software, virtual tutors, and intelligent assistants can personalize the learning experience for each student, providing customized feedback and guidance based on their strengths and weaknesses. This approach can help students better understand and retain information, as well as identify areas where they need to focus more attention.

AI is also changing the way that students interact with their professors and peers. Chatbots and virtual assistants can provide students with instant access to information and support, helping them to navigate complex course materials and assignments. This technology can also help students build stronger relationships with their professors, as virtual assistants can provide personalized feedback and guidance on assignments and projects.

In addition to changing how students learn and interact with their professors, AI is also transforming the very structure of higher education institutions. Many universities are using AI-powered analytics to identify patterns in student data and improve academic outcomes. This technology can help professors identify students who may be struggling and provide them with the support they need to succeed. AI can also help universities optimize course offerings and scheduling, making it easier for students to complete their degrees on time and with fewer obstacles.

Another way that AI is changing college education is by making it more accessible and affordable. Online learning platforms powered by AI can offer students a flexible and convenient way to earn a degree, without having to attend traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. These platforms can also provide students with more affordable options for education, as they often have lower tuition costs than traditional universities.

Despite the many benefits that AI is bringing to college education, there are also concerns about the potential negative impacts of this technology. One concern is that AI-powered tools may replace the need for human interaction, which is essential for building strong relationships between students and professors. Another concern is that AI may reinforce existing biases and inequalities, as algorithms may be trained on biased data and perpetuate discriminatory outcomes.

To ensure that AI is used in a responsible and ethical way in college education, it is essential that institutions and educators understand the potential risks and benefits of this technology. This means investing in training and professional development for teachers and administrators, as well as implementing policies and regulations to ensure that AI is used in a fair and equitable way.

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Using AI to Make Your Writing Better

There is no bigger subject in higher education today than the use of AI in student writing. AI-powered writing assistants are becoming increasingly popular among college students. These tools use natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to analyze text and provide suggestions for improvements. They can help with everything from grammar and spelling to sentence structure and tone.

One popular AI writing assistant is Grammarly. It can be used as a browser extension or as a stand-alone desktop app. Grammarly provides real-time feedback on grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style. It also offers suggestions for improving the overall clarity and readability of the text.

Another popular AI writing assistant is ProWritingAid. It offers similar features to Grammarly but with some additional functionality. ProWritingAid can analyze the text's tone and suggest changes to make it more engaging or persuasive. It also summarizes critical metrics such as sentence length and readability score.

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Using Generative AI for Ideas…and for Entire Papers

AI is also being used to generate content for essays and research papers. Tools like EssayBot and Article Forge use AI algorithms to generate content based on a user's input. While these tools can be helpful for generating ideas and getting started, they should not be relied upon to write an entire paper. These tools can often produce content that is plagiarized or of poor quality. As such, students should avoid having a reliance on such tools for anything beyond generating an initial draft that can be used to stimulate their thinking toward their own writing on a subject.

By John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Using AI for Proofreading and Editing

Students are also using AI for proofreading and editing. One popular tool is Hemingway Editor. This tool analyzes text and provides suggestions for improving clarity and readability. It can help identify complex sentences, passive voice, and adverbs that can be eliminated to improve the overall quality of the writing.

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Is Using AI Cheating?

The use of AI-powered writing tools in college writing has sparked a debate about whether it is considered cheating. Some argue that using AI is a form of cheating because it allows students to produce better quality work without putting in the same amount of effort as those who do not use these tools. Others argue that AI is simply a tool that can be used to improve the quality of writing and that it is not cheating.

The truth is that the use of AI in college writing is that it is not inherently cheating. These tools are designed to help students improve their writing skills and produce better-quality work. AI-powered writing tools can help students identify and correct errors in their writing, improve the overall clarity and readability of their work, and provide suggestions for improving tone and style.

However, it is important to note that AI should not be relied upon exclusively. Students should still put in the effort to develop their own writing skills and learn how to identify and correct errors on their own. AI can be a useful tool to help students improve their writing, but it should not replace critical thinking and analysis.

Additionally, students need to understand the limitations of AI. While these tools can be helpful for identifying errors and improving the overall quality of writing, they cannot replace the creativity and originality that is expected in college writing. Students should still be expected to produce original work and to think critically about the topics they are writing about.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, AI-powered writing tools are becoming increasingly popular among college students. They offer a variety of features that can help students improve their writing skills, from grammar and spelling to tone and style. AI can - and really should - be utilized today as a tool to help you edit your work - as a “backstop” for your own writing, as even the best writers can benefit from having a “second look” at their drafts.

While AI-powered writing tools can be helpful for students, they should not be relied upon exclusively. It is essential for students to develop their own writing skills and to learn how to identify and correct errors on their own. AI can be a valuable tool to help students improve their writing, but it should not replace critical thinking and analysis.

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Professor David C. Wyld

About David Wyld

David C. Wyld is a Professor of Strategic Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, publisher, executive educator, and experienced expert witness. You can view all of his work at https://authory.com/DavidWyld. You can subscribe to his Medium article feed at https://davidwyld.medium.com/subscribe.

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About the Creator

David Wyld

Professor, Consultant, Doer. Founder/Publisher of The IDEA Publishing (http://www.theideapublishing.com/) & Modern Business Press (http://www.modernbusinesspress.com)

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  • Mark Graham3 months ago

    Great article hope more teachers and professors read this and remember.

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