Exam.net is free to use for all new schools in New Zealand until July 1st 2024

Exam.net is now integrated with Microsoft Teams for Education. Read more

Examnet Logo

ChatGPT and academic honesty — what impact will it have?

Decorative post thumbnail

ChatGPT has gained a lot of attention since it was released a month ago.

“It’s like waking up to the news of a big nuclear explosion and not knowing what to think about it, but knowing that the world will never be the same again.”

Microsoft’s AI Chief Engineer Shital Shah commented on Twitter

How smart is this new AI tool? Does it pose a threat to traditional writing assignments and fair grading? Here is a short analysis of ChatGPT and Exam Security from Exam.net founder Erik Corell.


On November 30th, OpenAI released ChatGPT 3.5, an AI (artificial intelligence) known as a Large Language Model. Within the first week, it attracted more than one million users. ChatGPT has a number of strengths that its predecessors lacked, including the ability to produce nuanced texts in different languages and styles that are often indistinguishable from those created by humans. The tool excels in answering traditional test questions and written assignments with natural, well-researched writing, making it very easy for students to cheat at homework, open-book assignments, and exams taken on unlocked computers. However, ChatGPT can also be a very valuable asset for teachers.

Help me understand how students could use ChatGPT

To fully appreciate the impact ChatGPT can have on your teaching, create an account and try it out yourself. Try having it answer a few exams questions from tests you give.

I found it helpful to see examples of essays written by ChatGPT. You can see lots of examples at this site.

How can students (or you) use ChatCPT to create different styles and examples of writing? This student does a nice job showing how it works; it is worth taking a moment to watch it.

Do I need to worry now about ChatGPT and academic honesty?

Major “disruptive technologies” typically take 10-20 years to fully transform existing system (think back on when the internet first made a big splash). Over that time frame, ChatGPT (and systems like it) will have a transformative impact on education, companies, products and even our society. But, education is going to feel the impact right now. Teachers, school and administrators are already grappling with what policies to put in place this year.

What changes do I need to make this semester?

First, you need to consider that any essay written at home could be shaped or written by ChatGPT. So there is a risk that students will not only be outsourcing their writing, but also their thinking.

Second, for exams and writing assignments taken on a computer, it is essential that students cannot access ChatGPT. You want to use systems that fully lock the student into their exam tool in a distraction free environment.

Academic honesty can be ensured through the use of tools such as Exam.net, where the teacher controls the students’ access to aids and tools.

Opportunities and challenges in a school context

Properly used, ChatGPT 3.5 (and ChatGPT 4.0, which is expected to be released in early 2023) is not just a threat to academic honesty but can also be very beneficial for teachers. The AI tool is often excellent at explaining advanced theory at an appropriate level as well as coming up with ideas and suggestions for lesson structure and planning based on a given topic and level. If used with professional judgment, ChatGPT can enrich teaching and save time for teachers.

Exam.net and ChatGPT

Exam.net uses a combination of security measures including prevention of copy-paste and auto-typing, lockdown-mode and real-time monitoring, to ensure the integrity of online exams and prevent cheating. Read more about how Exam.net prevents students from cheating with ChatGPT in exams and homework

Monitor students in real time during an exam and ensure academic integrity with various security levels. Read more about monitoring and proctoring with Exam.net. 

Share this

Join 270K+ teachers in creating and conducting secure digital exams on Exam.net