How Schoolytics Helps Spot AI-Generated Work

As the use of technology in education continues to expand, so too do the challenges that educators face in ensuring academic integrity. One particular challenge is the use of generative AI tools (like ChatGPT) by students, which can make it difficult to distinguish between original work and work that has been generated by a machine. 

Incomplete or copied assignments take time to identify, which means lost instructional time between when a student submits an assignment and when a teacher has time to review their work. In response to this challenge, Schoolytics has developed the Flagged Work report, a tool that helps educators identify suspicious submissions in Google Classroom, and take appropriate action to ensure academic integrity.

The Flagged Work report is a tool that helps teachers identify suspicious submissions. It is designed to flag assignments that appear to be incomplete or blank. The report is powered by Google API, which monitors Google Drive product activity, such as Sheets, Slides, Docs, and Forms. This means that it can track the student's activity on these products, giving teachers insights into how much time was spent on the assignment and whether it was edited or not.

Blank Assignment Detection

The first version of the report was designed to identify assignments without attachments. When most submissions for the same assignment have at least one attachment, the report will flag submissions without attachments as suspicious. This is because assignments that require attachments, such as essays, presentations, or spreadsheets, are expected to have some form of attachment. If a student submits an assignment without any attachment, it is likely that the assignment is incomplete or blank. This report is available with the free teacher account.

Google Drive Editing Duration

The second version of the report takes into account the student's live editing time. This version of the report flags assignments that have been submitted with very little editing or viewing time in Google Drive. For example, if a student turns in an assignment where the total editing time is less than 5 minutes in their Google doc, the work is flagged. This suggests that the student may have copied the work from someone else or used a generator tool to complete the assignment.

This logic also catches some assignments for which the student clicked “Turn in” but likely did not complete the assignment. Because this version of the report requires a connection to a school’s Google Workspace, it is only available with a schoolwide subscription. We plan to add more cases to flag other suspicious submissions in the future.

Flagged Work Example Duration

Google Classroom Reporting Subscription

The Flagged Work report with Google Drive editing detection is available through the Google Classroom Reporting subscription. It can be accessed by teachers through their Schoolytics account. The report provides a list of flagged submissions, along with details on why they were flagged. Teachers can then review these submissions and take appropriate action, such as contacting the student or asking for a resubmission.

Save, Export, and Share

The report can also be saved to Sheets or CSV for future reference. This makes it easier for teachers to keep track of the flagged submissions and monitor the progress of their students. Additionally, the report can be shared with coaches or student support teams who may need access to this information.

Limitations and Recommendations

However, it's important to note that the report is not foolproof. There may be instances where a submission is flagged even though it is legitimate. For example, if a student is a fast typist, they may be able to complete an assignment quickly without spending much time editing it. Additionally, the report does not catch every instance of copied or incomplete work.

To address this, we recommend that teachers use the Flagged Work report as a tool in conjunction with other methods of monitoring student work. For example, teachers can use plagiarism checkers, compare to previous work samples, and ask the student to present their ideas verbally to verify that students understand the material.

In conclusion, the Flagged Work report is a powerful tool that helps teachers identify suspicious submissions in Google Classroom quickly and efficiently. Instead of spending hours reviewing each submission, teachers can use the report to pinpoint suspicious submissions and take immediate action. This not only saves time but also helps ensure that students are submitting original work and learning the material.