The International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) seeks to balance safeguarding academic integrity with proactively contending with both the opportunities and threats of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to higher education.
While AI anecdotally appears to have burst onto the scene in 2023, particularly given the massive uptake of sophisticated chatbot ChatGPT in recent months, ICMS has been aware of the growth in AI for a while and has put in measures to acknowledge the risks (such as plagiarism), while harnessing the benefits with regard to learning and teaching.
“ICMS considered the academic integrity response to artificial intelligence (AI) tools last year and now it’s timely,” ICMS DVC Dr Heidi Le Sueur said.
“We revised our academic integrity policies and procedures and tested a new model in 2022. It’s now part of business as usual to ensure the integrity of our degrees. As our context is constantly evolving, we are staying up to date and will implement further meaningful measures as and when needed.”
The ICMS Academic Integrity Partnership model is an “all institution approach” to the maintenance and protection of academic integrity where all of ICMS has a part to play in upholding academic integrity and the reputation of ICMS degrees, including students, lecturers, management, and all student support departments.
“There have been substantial increases in the use of tools available to students, especially in the forms of generative artificial intelligence and in services for contract cheating. Consequently ICMS has pro-actively updated the Academic Integrity Policy & Procedures which had been formulated and piloted in selected subjects throughout 2022, prior to being implemented Institution-wide,” ICMS Learning, Teaching and Innovation Manager Katrina Denoux said.
Practical examples of proactive actions taken by ICMS include the following:
* The Learning Teaching & Innovation department has developed two learning modules designed to help staff build skills and confidence in promoting academic integrity values and a keen awareness when marking assessments.
* Students were informed clearly at the beginning of 2023 what ICMS’ institutional approach to recent developments regarding AI entails, and were given direct access to the ICMS Academic Integrity Policy.
*. For the purpose of learning, in some classes, students may use generative AI tools during class activities to deepen their understanding of content and also to critically reflect on the limitations and the ethical and responsible use of these tools.
* Currently, unless otherwise stated in an assessment brief, the use of AI is not authorised at ICMS for assessment submissions that require student’s demonstrating their own original work. If a potential breach is found, there is a clear path of action to follow as stated in the Academic Integrity Policy & Procedures.
* The introduction of the new role of Academic Integrity Officers to facilitate viva-voce interviews with a student who may potentially have breached AI regulations to give them opportunity to demonstrate how they developed their assessment, and as support for lecturers.
“Our innovative practice is that generative AI is already becoming a valuable part of learning and teaching here at ICMS, and we’re excited to be part of how technologies will transform higher education into the future, extending beyond academic integrity,” Denoux said.
ICMS, located in Northern Beaches, Sydney, NSW, and in the city of Sydney, is a career-focused higher education institution offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The college prides itself on a nurturing and mentoring ethos, and an educational offering that prepares students to be industry leaders in their chosen field.
In line with this, the ICMS curricula is designed around developing 21st Century Graduate Capabilities where students apply theoretical knowledge within industry settings through work placement opportunities and internships.
Having historically leant on fostering critical thinking and student-centric learning, this may go a long way towards ICMS students using, rather than abusing, AI as an enhancement of their learning process rather than a replacement of student knowledge.
“AI does have an increasingly important place in the workplace, as well as in formative activities in education, though the main goal from a learning and teaching perspective is to reliably assess student capability. The personalised approach at ICMS champions human skills and the development of industry readiness – these skills cannot be replaced by AI,” Denoux said.
Jonathan Hvaal (SFHEA), who is Head of Learning, Teaching and Innovation at ICMS, believes that while there are many exciting opportunities related to rapid emergence and uptake of AI, the risks are not insignificant and will need to be managed carefully.
* Ethical Concerns
“With generative AI, there are ethical concerns particularly with regards to any bias in the data it has been trained upon. If students use this bias material without adequate critique, it could perpetuate and amplify these existing biases, in a similar way that social media ‘echo chambers’ do this in social media.”
* Privacy Concerns
“Students enter a large amount of data into the AI tools and some will end up inevitably entering personal details which are openly tracked. While Open AI state that their data is secure, can this be fully guaranteed?”
* Integrity of Assessment Concerns
“Perhaps most importantly for a Higher Education institution like ICMS, there are issues in maintaining the integrity of assessment. If students would use ChatGPT for written assessments and use the responses it generates without understanding and truly achieving the learning outcomes, we will not be able to assure the quality of student learning at the level accredited by our regulator. This is deemed cheating and is difficult to detect.”
Because responses provided by generative AI are, by and large, unique, detecting the use of AI in the submission of assessments is difficult.
While at this stage detection tools using AI are in their infancy, Hvaal reckons there will no doubt be an ‘arms race’ between generative AI advances and detection tools seeking to be able to accurately pinpoint the difference between human and computer generated text.
“Tools such as GPTZero allow us to add suspected student writing into a detector, but the results are not always accurate, particularly as students can use other tools to easily paraphrase responses from ChatGPT to act as a mask. In some cases these tools can request student information which can lead to further privacy issues being breached,” Hvaal said.
ICMS uses Turnitin to assist in detecting plagiarism. Turnitin have been working on generative AI detection for the past few years and are developing tools that will help not only highlight directly submitted ChatGPT responses, but suspected text that has been paraphrased.
As noted earlier, “generative AI tools such as ChatGPT present a number of opportunities that can enhance the learning experience for students at ICMS,” Hvaal agreed.
Much like the introduction of a calculator transformed the teaching and learning of mathematics, there are elements of AI that can be retained in the training of students who will operate in a work environment where these technologies are present.
* AI can personalise learning
AI can be used inside and outside the classroom to help personalise learning. Given that student motivations to study a particular subject can vary tremendously, it is important that students are able to ask their own unique questions of the learning materials and receive answers that are meaningful to them. Traditionally, there has been a one-size fits all approach where the lecturer imparts knowledge and takes questions at specific points in the class, but with ChatGPT students at ICMS are now receiving immediate responses, making learning not only personal but more efficient and engaging.
* Teachers can use AI to support delivery of teaching and learning
Not only are there innovative and engaging uses of the tool that they can use with students, some ICMS lecturers are using ChatGPT responses to assess and critique with the class. For example, ChatGPT might provide the pros and cons of approaches to marketing environmental analysis. Our lecturers are using this material and asking students to assess and critique its validity within a specific given context. This advances higher order thinking skills and mimics how many are beginning to use the tool in their workplaces.
Institutional solidarity: ICMS stands with Higher Education, supported by TEQSA
Independent national quality assurance and regulatory agency for higher education TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency) has recognised the emergence of AI and the rapid progression of technology such as AI chatbots like ChatGPT.
TEQSA has issued guidelines for students around the usage of generative AI or AI, and supports higher education institutions, such as ICMS, in the appropriate response aimed at safeguarding academic integrity.
Webinars series initiated by TEQSA are ongoing as the higher education sector grapples with understanding the impact of generative AI on learning, teaching and assessment. Ethical, policy and management challenges are examined as the sector takes on a collaborative response to what is the biggest technology disruptor in recent history.
Representatives of ICMS are members of the Australian Academic Integrity Network and other sector-wide initiatives by which practices and responses are benchmarked. Learning and sharing with other institutions is valuable as ICMS updates institutional practices for the benefit of our students.
For more information on ICMS, click here.