ChatGPT in the Classroom

Turnitin AI Detection Rates for 65M Papers Illustrate Pervasiveness in Student Work

Having reviewed over 65 million student papers between the April launch of Turnitin’s AI detection tool through June 30, the company revealed today that over 2 million — or 3.3% of all papers reviewed — were flagged as containing 80% or more text written by AI, according to a news release. 

More than 6 million papers, or 10.3% of all those reviewed, were flagged as containing at least 20% AI-written text, and Turnitin said that tracking the detection rate shows how widely generative AI is being used by students but “whether this is acceptable or not is determined by educators themselves.” 

Almost 98% of education institutions using Turnitin have enabled the AI writing detection feature within their workflows, said Annie Chechitelli, chief product officer at Turnitin.

“Sharing usage and indication rates is one way that we can help improve understanding of the presence and use of generative AI in their teaching and learning practices,” Chechitelli said. “Given the urgency expressed by educators about these challenges and the public’s interest in AI text creation and AI text detection, we are committed to sharing these insights so that we can all begin to understand the trends that are currently shaping education.”

Turnitin has published guides and resources for educators concerned about how students are using ChatGPT and similar generative AI tools in their writing for class assignments, and the company has repeatedly urged educators to incorporate AI tools into the classroom to better prepare students for the future of work. 

“We want teachers and students to talk about appropriate use of writing tools, proper citation and original thinking. Our role is to provide them with a tool to start those meaningful conversations,” said Patti West-Smith, Turnitin senior director of customer engagement and a long-time K–12 teacher and administrator.

“Conversations are critical because even a very high proportion of the statistical signatures of AI in a document does not necessarily indicate misconduct,” Turnitin said. “Some educators are specifically asking students to use AI tools in their work, so detecting its presence may not be as concerning for them. And yet, other educators might tell their students that generative AI is not allowed. In these cases, detection may help them address the issue earlier in the draft process.” 

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About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].