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A conversation among Duke Thompson Writing Program Faculty about ChatGPT

In a recent (TWP) faculty meeting, writing faculty members discussed their concerns and opinions about ChatGPT. What follows is a summary of the main themes of that discussion. In general, the discussion was colored by concern but highlighted with hope. Please note this narrative is a summary of the TWP faculty discussion and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of all TWP faculty. Concerns with ChatGPT Many concerns exist with ChatGPT, a new artificial intelligence tool created by OpenAI, which uses a powerful language model that can perform any number of tasks from writing essays to writing and debugging code. Prime among them for instructors is that students will not learn if they rely on a bot to do their work. Communication, including writing, is a skill that students have to learn and practice so that they can be effective change agents and leaders in the future. More specifically in our Writing 101 classes at Duke, we aim “to provide students with a foundation to learn new kinds of writing, prepare them to identify relevant questions, and articulate sophisticated arguments in their future work, both inside and outside the university.”

Writing cannot be mastered if it is not done.

Another obvious concern is plagiarism. This year Duke required all first-year students to complete an “Academic Integrity” online learning module to help students navigate plagiarism among other infringements. Relying on ChatGPT and using language directly from it may qualify as plagiarism and professors will […]

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