What Do AI Chatbots Mean for Students and Cheating?

However, as we embrace new technologies like AI, we must consider their ethical impacts on learning. AI chatbots not only provide students and educators with incredible access to information and other means to improve the learning and teaching process, but also raise significant concerns about cheating rates and the overall effectiveness of traditional education.

In this article, we will examine the potential of AI in the classroom. We will explore its ethical and unethical applications in the educational context, how it can help students achieve better academic results, and how teachers can reorganize their courses, programs and assessments to uphold integrity and improve the effectiveness of the learning process.

Ethical and Unethical Use of AI

Artificial intelligence in classroom settings brings both opportunities and ethical dilemmas. AI offers personalized assessments, administrative efficiency, and enhanced accessibility — tools that could revolutionize how students engage with knowledge. However, we must thoughtfully integrate this technology in order to champion academic growth grounded in equity and wisdom. In this section, we will have a closer look at how AI tools can be used to cheat and, in contrast, how they can help improve the efficiency of traditional education.

What using AI unethically looks like

The unethical use of AI in education undermines the very essence of learning and academic honesty. Teachers should be aware of the following use cases of AI tools for cheating:

  1. Completing assignments. Students can ask the help of an AI chatbot to complete homework, essays, dissertations, or projects. This way, they circumvent critical thinking and problem-solving processes, leaving everything to AI.
  2. Finding answers to test questions. Students feed exam questions to an AI, which generates responses or solutions, undermining the equity and integrity of the assessment.
  3. Copying content. Using AI tools to mimic or replicate existing works, or passing off AI-generated text as one’s own also violates academic honesty policies.
  4. Skipping learning. This type of misconduct implies employing AI chatbots to shortcut lessons and concepts without genuinely acquiring knowledge or skills. Although it seems like it doesn’t have instant damage, this type of AI cheating erodes the learning process at schools as students start to miss out on critical analysis and thinking skills.

What using AI for school the right way looks like

AI, when used ethically, can significantly enhance the educational experience. Here are some ways to use it properly.

  1. Research. AI can mine data, identify patterns, and conduct complex analyses to accelerate academic research. This expands knowledge for students and educators alike.
  2. Writing assistance. Automated writing tools offer grammar help, style suggestions, and organizational guidance. Used responsibly under teacher supervision, they can help develop students’ composition skills.
  3. Creativity tools. For creative school subjects, AI can offer students a wide choice of examples, simulations, and virtual environments to experiment and bring their ideas to life.
  4. Revision tools. Personalized chatbots can explain concepts one-on-one to reinforce classroom lessons. They provide practice quizzes, flashcards, and other materials to help students prepare for assessments.
  5. New skills attainment. Using AI technology, students can develop new skills faster, from languages to coding, through interactive and adaptive platforms that cater to the pace and level of each learner.

How to use AI chatbots to help students study

Artificial intelligence chatbots are emerging as personalized and accessible tutors that can empower students to study more effectively. Unlike human teachers, AI chatbots scale to provide 24/7 support tailored to each learner's level and needs. Let’s consider how AI tools can help students in three main spheres of the learning process: researching, studying, and reviewing.

Researching is usually a time-consuming and daunting process. However, AI chatbots can make it much easier. College students can upload entire scientific papers and ask AI assistants to summarize the text or find specific information by asking necessary questions.

Regarding the learning process, chatbots can help students plan study schedules, chunk learning objectives into manageable pieces, and suggest useful study techniques based on proven learning science. Moreover, AI tools can generate flashcard reviews to boost memorization of key facts, terms, and formulas. Throughout these personalized interactions, AI chatbots motivate high school students, provide real-time feedback on progress, and encourage self-reflection — all essential drivers of effective independent studying.

When it comes to reviewing and assessment, chatbots can evaluate a student's baseline knowledge on a topic through interactive quizzes. They then target unmastered concepts with explanations and study materials that build understanding incrementally. If a student struggles with a certain area, the chatbot adjusts by assigning supplementary drills for practice. As learners demonstrate proficiency, the AI chatbot issues progressively harder questions to test and consolidate new skills.

Rethink how you assess learning

As artificial intelligence tools become more advanced, educators must rethink how they assess student learning to uphold academic integrity. Traditional multiple-choice testing leaves openings for AI assistance. Therefore, to ensure that assessments truly reflect the knowledge of the students, it’s crucial to create more authentic, dynamic evaluation methods.

Incorporate questions with visual or interactive elements

Assessments that include images, graphics, videos, or hands-on simulations cannot be easily solved by AI; they usually require much deeper comprehension. Moreover, such elements make assessments at schools and colleges more engaging, while interactive questions offer hands-on learning experiences. Overall, visual formats don’t let students cheat so easily, and also enhance learning by doing.

Assign projects

Projects are an excellent way to assess learning at schools and other educational institutions. They require students to apply their knowledge in practical scenarios, fostering critical thinking skills. Unlike standard tests, projects demand a deep understanding, which AI can't replicate. This approach pushes students to think critically and creatively.

Leverage open-ended questions

Broad, subjective prompts like “Explain the key themes in this poem” force students to show personal understanding that AI cannot mimic reliably. Open-ended questions promote deeper learning and critical thinking over simple memorization. It can be also useful to create personalized questions for each student to deter collaboration and illicit sharing.

Ask students to upload their work

Require students to upload their work, especially when it involves multiple steps. This is a helpful tool in deterring AI cheating. It forces them to document their thought process, making it difficult to bypass with AI. Clear instructions should emphasize the importance of showing work through required uploads, ensuring a fair assessment of their understanding and abilities.

New ways to deliver assignments to students

As AI technologies evolve, teachers need to adapt their methods to ensure assessments accurately measure student learning and understanding. Thoughtfully incorporating time constraints, as well as adjusting the frequency of school exams and the format of the assignments can be really helpful in improving the educational system to adapt to the new realities.

Use timed assignments

Timed assignments are a strategic tool in the educator's arsenal. By allocating a specific duration for task completion, students are compelled to focus and apply their knowledge efficiently. This approach minimizes the window in which learners can seek AI assistance, pushes them to rely on their understanding, and fosters them to think faster. The great benefit of timed assignments is not only the challenge that they pose to students, but also their ability to prepare learners for real-world scenarios where time is often limited.

Schedule frequent assessments

Instructors can also deter misconduct and promote engagement by continuously implementing varied, low-stakes assessments. Rather than a single high-stakes final exam, frequent short quizzes, reflective writing assignments, presentations, and/or group discussions spaced throughout a term can shape better study habits. Moreover, it can be helpful to mix up various formats of assessments, such as verbal, written, creative, and interactive, to reduce potential AI usage while allowing students at schools to showcase understanding across modalities.


As artificial intelligence enters classrooms, it brings both great promise and significant risks. Chatbots and similar AI tools open new doors for personalized and engaging education, yet the same technologies allow students to cheat more easily in unprecedented ways.

To maintain integrity in the classroom, educators should stay informed about AI advancements, and develop strategies to improve AI detection and prevent its misuse. This requires establishing clear academic integrity standards around AI assistance, reevaluation of assessment methods, and a focus on nurturing ethical, intellectually and curious learners. With a conscious and flexible approach, human teachers and automated tools can efficiently coexist to bring education to new heights.


Is using AI considered cheating?

Leveraging AI to complete assignments at schools can violate academic integrity if it circumvents the learning process. It's crucial to distinguish between using AI as a tool for understanding, and using it to bypass genuine student effort. Cheating examples include completing whole assignments, copying content, finding answers to tests and exams, etc.

How to spot an AI cheater?

While no perfect detections exist, some indicators of AI-assisted cheating include unusually sophisticated vocabulary, mismatched writing style compared to previous work, and content that may not fully align with the assignment's specific context. AI detection tools can also highlight inconsistencies typical of AI-generated content.

Is using AI plagiarism?

While AI tools generate unique content, thus not technically constituting plagiarism in the traditional sense, presenting AI-generated work as one's own without proper attribution still violates academic standards. Completing school assignments and copying all the content from AI chatbots can be considered academic misconduct.

Is using AI academic dishonesty?

Using AI in academic tasks is dishonest when it's done without transparency or against institutional guidelines. However, it can be used ethically to help students and school teachers make the learning process more efficient and engaging. It's important to disclose AI usage and ensure it aligns with education standards to maintain academic integrity.