"This is a class of about 120 first-year students, enrolled in the BUT technical diploma of marketing, who had to submit a written document on thermalism, as part of the Nancy Thermal project," explained Monday Samuel Cruz-Lara, the director of the IUT Charlemagne, confirming information from the local press.

"When it came time to grade the marketing assignments, the correction teachers noticed that the students had misused ChatGPT: their papers did not include any spelling mistakes, or were composed of searched phrases," Cruz-Lara continued. "If we had had more time, we could have asked the students to explain themselves, which we did with some who acknowledged things half-heartedly. Except that we are at the end of the academic year and in terms of the calendar it is complicated for us to react."

The teacher responsible for the subject decided collegially, with her other colleagues who are correctors who intervene in the module, not to correct the written test at issue.

The director of the IUT, however, wants to be reassuring: "Students will still have a grade in this subject, they will not be penalized".

"All this is taking on proportions that I did not expect because we are not the only ones, nor the first," said Samuel Cruz-Lara, in view of the reactions aroused after the first articles in the local press.

For the future, the director of the IUT decided "not to cut access to this kind of tool from the IUT", but to "engage with students in a benefit-danger discussion and to accompany them in the use of ChatGPT".

A modification of the rules of procedure of the IUT is also envisaged: "We already had a paragraph on plagiarism, I will ask to add one concerning artificial intelligence type tools, whose use will be sanctioned in the same way as plagiarism".

For its part, the University of Lorraine, of which the IUT Charlemagne is a component, "has not yet taken a general decision" on the use of artificial intelligence.

© 2023 AFP