More than a third of Swedish students use ChatGPT – but is it cheating?
Alec Fenn
A new study reveals more than a third of respondents use ChatGPT on a regular basis. /Richard A Brooks/AFP
A new study reveals more than a third of respondents use ChatGPT on a regular basis. /Richard A Brooks/AFP

A new study reveals more than a third of respondents use ChatGPT on a regular basis. /Richard A Brooks/AFP

ChatGPT is still in its infancy but it's already helping university students in Sweden to boost their learning and potentially their grades.

A new study of 5,894 students carried out by Chalmers University of Technology, has revealed that more than a third (35 percent) of those surveyed are using the artificial intelligence (AI) tool on a regular basis.

The survey queried students' use of the chatbot and attitudes towards other AI tools, such as Grammarly, for learning purposes, with most of the respondents admitting they are aware of or have used ChatGPT as part of their studies.

But with regulation of AI still limited, many students admitted they're concerned that using ChatGPT could be a form of plagiarism – with 62 percent firm in their belief that using it in an exam would be a form of cheating.


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Despite those concerns, ChatGPT seems to be having a positive impact. The majority of students surveyed believe ChatGPT makes them more efficient and has improved their learning and communication skills.

Students were also invited to give their feedback on AI rules within academia, with many calling for more guidance from universities about whether they should be using the chatbot and the blurred lines between using it as a learning aid and cheating.


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Hans Malmström, Professor at the Department of Communication and Learning in Science at Chalmers University of technology, conducted the study alongside his colleagues, Christian Stöhr and Amy Wanyu Ou, says the feedback has sparked a number of important talking points.

Most students have no idea whether their educational institution has any rules or guidelines for using AI responsibly. At the same time, an overwhelming majority is against a ban on AI in educational contexts.

If chatbots are permitted to be used by students in the long term – how exactly should they be used? Swedish students say they should take the role of a mentor, teaching assistant or educational aid to improve their understanding of topics and summarize complex ideas, which could accelerate learning.

One student said: "You should be able to do the same things as the AI, but it should help you do it. You shouldn't use a calculator if you don't know what the plus sign on it does."

The survey also revealed how AI could improve the learning experience of those suffering from dyslexia and other disabilities. 

A student with ADD and dyslexia described how they had spent 20 minutes writing down their answer in the survey and then improved it by inputting the text into ChatGPT: "It's like being color blind and suddenly being able to see all the beautiful colors."


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