How generative artificial intelligence has blurred notions of authorial identity and academic norms in higher education, necessitating clear university usage policies

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Abstract

Purpose
This study examines the impact of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), particularly ChatGPT, on higher education (HE). The ease with which content can be generated using GenAI has raised concerns across academia regarding its role in academic contexts, particularly regarding summative assessments. This research makes a unique contribution to the literature by examining university student and staff perceptions of current and future issues pertaining to the role of GenAI in universities.

Design/methodology/approach
A qualitative method involving five one-to-one semi-structured interviews with four students and a lecturer explored the ethical and practical issues of GenAI text generation in academia. An inductive thematic analysis was chosen as it provided nuanced insights aligned with the study’s goals.

Findings
Use of GenAI was discussed within the context of a range of topics, including perceptions of academic misconduct, authorial integrity and issues pertaining to university policies. Participants universally defined traditional classifications of academic misconduct but were unable to provide clear definitions where the use of GenAI was included for writing summative assessments. Students showed a more open engagement with GenAI, considering it a tool for overcoming obstacles rather than a means to plagiarise. Educators were generally more cautious and less optimistic about the academic role of GenAI. Lack of clear institutional policies surrounding such tools also contributed to ethical ambiguities.

Originality/value
The study highlights diverging perspectives between students and academics, which necessitate a forum for dialogue, ensuring the need to develop clear policies to steer the integration of GenAI in a manner that is beneficial for students and academics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-193
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Information and Learning Technology
Volume41
Issue number2
Early online date19 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Students
  • Universities
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Artificial Intelligence

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