ChatGPT boon or bane? Universities prefer handwritten examination to avoid abuse of technology
It appears that ChatGPT has not only alarmed many professionals, but also university professors who feel that students may utilise ChatGPT during online examinations
HYDERABAD: ChatGPT is the talk of the town at the moment for a lot of reasons, including inciting fear of replacing hundreds of jobs or writing anything with just one keystroke. It appears that ChatGPT has not only alarmed many professionals, but also university professors who feel that students may utilise ChatGPT during online examinations.
OpenAI's ChatGPT, which is being improved on a daily basis, reportedly achieved the top score on an AP Biology exam and completed its first year at Harvard with a 3.34 GPA. Professors at international universities are apparently planning to return to handwritten assignments and viva exams in order to avoid students using generative AI during exams.
Despite the fact that Indian universities still support conducting and taking written tests during semester examinations, a majority of universities were forced to postpone or conduct online examinations during COVID-19 in order to comply with social distancing rules and regulations.
However, Indian institutions only conduct online tests for competitive exams or prefer to ask primarily objective assessments during online examinations. They still prefer to administer written examinations for main semester exams.
UGC Chairman Prof. Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar said, "Outright banning any new technology is not desirable because such technologies will keep coming. Universities could provide guidelines on the responsible use of AI tools, including GPT-like models. This could include discussions on ethics, critical thinking, and proper citation. Implementing oversight and monitoring mechanisms for AI-generated content within the university environment can help prevent misuse. There could be reasonable restrictions on using AI tools in specific contexts, such as assessments or formal academic submissions while allowing their use for exploratory purposes."
Principal of Osmania University Engineering College and former Controller of Examinations at Osmania University Prof Sriram Venkatesh said, "ChatGPT or Google does not work without the internet, so we must ensure that the internet is turned off during the online exams. A majority of semester exams in India are conducted solely through written medium, however whenever we conduct online exams, we ensure that the internet is turned off during the exams. So we provide the internet for five minutes to download the question paper, then turn it off, and then let the students use the internet to upload their answers. However, these things are only feasible if students take the online exam on our campus, not if they take the online exam elsewhere.
"We should give them University tabs or Laptops to monitor them; these things can only happen in small numbers. We can deal with ChatGPT because electronic devices are not permitted during online exams at the university. Online exams are preferable for rapid results in competitive exams like EAMCET and class tests since they save a lot of time and are environmentally friendly, but paper exams are always better for semester exams because they also strengthen the students' written skills, " he added.
Registrar of Nalsar University Hyderabad Prof. Dr. V. Balakista Reddy stated, "Earlier, we spoke about distance education, but now we talk about online education, which is definitely the present and future. We at Nalsar University conduct online tests and online projects submissions, but students must come in to write the pen and paper exams. Even distance education students are required to take pen and paper exams at Nalsar. The National Education Policy (NEP) and the UGC both favour online education, but we still have a long way to go in India before we can have complete online examinations and use of ChatGPT during exams. If we have to administer online tests, we can readily find faculty members who are well-versed in the subject can spot plagiarism in the answer copies.Technology always has advantages and disadvantages, and we must use it wisely."