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Potentials and Challenges of Chatbot-Supported Thesis Writing: An Autoethnography

  • The release of the large language model-based chatbot ChatGPT 3.5 in November 2022 has brought considerable attention to the subject of artificial intelligence, not only to the public. From the perspective of higher education, ChatGPT challenges various learning and assessment formats as it significantly reduces the effectiveness of their learning and assessment functionalities. In particular,The release of the large language model-based chatbot ChatGPT 3.5 in November 2022 has brought considerable attention to the subject of artificial intelligence, not only to the public. From the perspective of higher education, ChatGPT challenges various learning and assessment formats as it significantly reduces the effectiveness of their learning and assessment functionalities. In particular, ChatGPT might be applied to formats that require learners to generate text, such as bachelor theses or student research papers. Accordingly, the research question arises to what extent writing of bachelor theses is still a valid learning and assessment format. Correspondingly, in this exploratory study, the first author was asked to write his bachelor’s thesis exploiting ChatGPT. For tracing the impact of ChatGPT methodically, an autoethnographic approach was used. First, all considerations on the potential use of ChatGPT were documented in logs, and second, all ChatGPT chats were logged. Both logs and chat histories were analyzed and are presented along with the recommendations for students regarding the use of ChatGPT suggested by a common framework. In conclusion, ChatGPT is beneficial for thesis writing during various activities, such as brainstorming, structuring, and text revision. However, there are limitations that arise, e.g., in referencing. Thus, ChatGPT requires continuous validation of the outcomes generated and thus fosters learning. Currently, ChatGPT is valued as a beneficial tool in thesis writing. However, writing a conclusive thesis still requires the learner’s meaningful engagement. Accordingly, writing a thesis is still a valid learning and assessment format. With further releases of ChatGPT, an increase in capabilities is to be expected, and the research question needs to be reevaluated from time to time.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Article
Author: Nicolas Schwenke, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinrich SöbkeORCiDGND, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eckhard KraftGND
DOI (Cite-Link):https://doi.org/10.3390/higheredu2040037Cite-Link
URN (Cite-Link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-20231207-65016Cite-Link
URL:https://www.mdpi.com/2813-4346/2/4/37
Parent Title (English):Trends in Higher Education
Publisher:MDPI
Place of publication:Basel
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2023/12/06
Date of first Publication:2023/11/28
Release Date:2023/12/07
Publishing Institution:Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Institutes and partner institutions:Fakultät Bauingenieurwesen / Professur Siedlungswasserwirtschaft
Volume:2023
Issue:Volume 2, issue 4
Pagenumber:25
First Page:611
Last Page:635
Tag:AIEd; ChatGPT; academic writing; artificial intelligence; education
GND Keyword:Chatbot; Künstliche Intelligenz; Hochschulbildung
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke
BKL-Classification:54 Informatik
80 Pädagogik
Licence (German):License Logo Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung (CC BY 4.0)