Since ChatGPT’s launch in November 2022, AI development and usage have been an increasingly prevalent topic within the education sector, prompting debates around its benefits and potential misuses.
Interested in learning more about how students use ChatGPT in their studies, The Knowledge Academy conducted a survey of 2,000 UK students in order to identify how many students use ChatGPT as well as the most common uses. Martha Folkes, Head of Apprenticeships at The Knowledge Academy, also provides expert comment on the findings.
- ChatGPT is most commonly used by students studying digital law and legal courses, with nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents saying they use the bot.
- The most common reason university students use ChatGPT is for exam preparation and testing themselves on questions, with a third (34%) giving this as their reason.
- Almost a third (32%) of university students use ChatGPT multiple times a week.
New data from The Knowledge Academy has revealed that almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents studying digital law or legal courses at university admit to utilising ChatGPT in their studies.
The bot is said to be able to help extract key facts and arguments from sources; however, some say the tool may fabricate content, making it important that those using it always independently verify their work.
Ranking in joint second place, almost seven in ten (68%) of those studying psychology, philosophy, religious studies, and English have also made use of ChatGPT in their studies.
But there has been speculation over whether AI algorithms are trained on biassed data, revealing ethical dilemmas.
Both Computer Science and Politics ranked joint third, with two-thirds (66%) of respondents on these courses stating that they use ChatGPT in their studies.
According to the findings, exam preparation, such as practice questions, is the most common reason for utilising ChatGPT, with over a third (34%) of university students stating this as their reason.
A third (33%) of university students also revealed that they use the bot for checking spelling and grammar, brainstorming and ideation, writing emails, or planning study timetables.
A third (33%) of university students say they make use of ChatGPT a few times a year, with just under a third (32%) using the bot a few times a week.
Interestingly, just over a tenth (13%) of university students admit to using ChatGPT every day in their studies.
Martha Folkes, Head of Apprenticeships at The Knowledge Academy, said: “The prevalence of AI has been growing recently and has prompted much debate in the education sector among students. With recent reports of students having their work disqualified for plagiarism reasons linked to the use of ChatGPT, it is crucial for students to ensure they aren’t using it excessively or in any manner that can impact their results or the legitimacy of their own work.”
“ChatGPT can have benefits when helping those students organise study plans and methods of revision. However, it still remains crucial that students exercise their own abilities to be creative, think critically, and analyse as much as they can, with human creativity still being found to be of high importance in all areas of study. It can therefore be helpful for educational institutions to utilise ChatGPT-specific disciplines and regulations to help students know the best ways to use the bot and those tasks or methods that should be avoided.”
The Knowledge Academy conducted a survey of 2,001 respondents in the UK, studying courses at various levels of education. The survey asked multiple questions, such as, “What course are you studying?” “How frequently do you use ChatGPT/AI?”, “What do you use ChatGPT/AI for?”, and “Have you ever been caught using ChatGPT/AI in your studies?”. The survey data was then analysed in order to find the subjects utilising AI the most, the most common reasons for using AI, and how frequently it is used among those studying. The survey was conducted in October 2023.