Artificial intelligence and academic integrity: A survey of students’ perceptions and behaviors, case ChatGPT

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Information and Service Management (ISM)
Dishonest behavior has been a looming problem in academia for decades and academic institutions have been combatting it ever since. In recent years, academic dishonesty has become more prevalent due to the increased accessibility of technology and the internet. This is compounded by AI-based tools that can generate human-like text and entire research papers, making it harder for educators to detect and prevent such behavior. The sudden shift from face-to-face to online delivery due to COVID-19 has also created an environment conducive to academic dishonesty. The novelty of the subject and the grey area where ChatGPT still falls to motivated us to conduct the study. Understanding the widespread impact of AI tools like ChatGPT is crucial for institutions to further adjust the educational system to match the digital era or combat against it. The study contains five research questions and three main research objectives to broaden the understanding on how the digital age affects the studies from different perspectives. An online survey was conducted to further understand both the prevalence and ethical implications of using AI systems like ChatGPT in academics, due to the growing reliance on these systems by students for learning and assessment. Understanding the potential impacts of these systems on student behavior and perceptions is crucial and can aid institutions in developing policies and programs to ensure academic integrity in the long run. This research not only contributes to existing literature, but also has practical implications for academic institutions. Based on the 104 answers collected from the survey, the empirical chapter show cases how different factors influence the perceptions towards academic dishonesty and the use of AI tools in the context of studies. The thesis provides a thorough quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data collected and in addition, two conceptual models are proposed to further compartmentalize different use cases related to the use of AI tools in a fraudulent way and clarify the possible impact which these tools might have. In addition to analyzing student perceptions, the thesis also discusses potential strategies for academic institutions to address the rise of AI tools and how could the institutions ensure academic integrity in the future.
Thesis advisor
Tuunainen, Virpi
academic integrity, AI tools, ChatGPT, artificial intelligence, online studies, dishonesty, academic institutions, digital age
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