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- A highly-rated private school in London is changing its approach to homework, partly due to ChatGPT.
- Alleyn’s School is moving towards “flipped learning,” where students prepare at home and do essays at school.
- Schools and colleges around the world are worried about the potential for cheating created by AI.
A top private school in England is changing its approach to traditional homework amid concerns over the rise of ChatGPT and how it could be used by students.
Alleyn’s School in south London — which costs upwards of $28,000 per-year to attend, and was ranked as one of the country’s top 30 schools in the influential ranking published annually by The Times of London — is transitioning to a new “flipped learning” model, its headteacher said in a blog. Alleyn’s counts the likes of singer Florence Welch of “Florence and the Machine,” and actor Jude Law as alumni.
“For us, ChatGPT will involve careful reflection about what we should be asking our pupils to do in school and in class, and what they can do at home,” the school’s headteacher, Jane Lunnon, said in a blog post first reported by The Times.
“I suspect we will see more ‘flipped learning’ in the coming months and years,” Lunnon added in the blog, which focused on the rise of technologies like ChatGPT in education.
“Flipped learning” sees students focus on preparing for lessons rather than doing essays and answering questions traditional homework.
“It’s a bit like a holy grail,” Lunnon told Insider of “flipped learning.”
“Instead of homework being a mechanism where you look back at what you’ve practiced, it’s about what’s coming up. You come to the lesson with your questions.”
“We’re excited about that because it’s about requiring even greater agency and engagement from pupils as they walk into the classroom,” she said.
Lunnon explained that some departments had already stopped using homework for formal assessments, but the school is now looking at a wider rollout as ChatGPT’s use spreads. One of her colleagues first shared a link to the software on January 10, about 40 days after its release.
“A number of us had a play and were like ‘this is astonishing’,” Lunnon told Insider. The school’s head of English then included a ChatGPT essay in a “blind-marking test” for the English Language GCSE – a national assessment taken by all students aged 16. The AI-written essay achieved 85%, giving it the top grade.
Florence Welch, of Florence + The Machine, is a former Alleyn’s student.
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ChatGPT has been banned in several US school districts, as well as universities in India and France, over concerns about plagiarism and the spread of misinformation. It has prompted the creation of AI-detection software like a Princeton student’s GPTZero, but is causing chaos in several industries.
“AI has been around for a while, so to be totally honest, there has been a quiet revolution happening in the nature and purpose of homework for quite a long time,” Lunnon told Insider. “I think what ChatGPT does is it really moves it on super quickly, because of the game-changing nature of the ease of use and the versatility of the software.”
“We are not the only ones obviously exploring this – anyone who’s in education is probably aware of this particular technology,” she added. “Everyone is talking about it in education. I imagine the exam boards are looking at it. It’s exciting times.”