High-Achieving Students: AI Appeals, ACT Survey Shows

The ACT survey found that high-achieving students are more likely to have tried artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, for school assignments, hobbies, entertainment, or experimentation. 46% of high school students surveyed reported using AI tools, with 53% of top-scoring students saying they had used AI tools, compared to 45% of students in the middle range and 36% of students in the bottom range. This finding challenges the perception that students only use AI tools to cheat on assignments. Leigh Ann DeLyser, executive director of CSforALL, suggests that teachers should emphasize a mastery-based approach to learning with AI, which involves deep understanding rather than just aiming for a particular grade.

The most commonly used AI tool among students surveyed was ChatGPT, followed by Dall-E 3, Bing Chat, and Google’s Bard. The survey also found that 83% of students who did not use AI tools were simply not interested, 65% did not trust the information provided by AI tools, and 55% did not know enough about the tools to use them.

Survey results also showed that top-scoring students were more likely to have access to AI tools, with only 8% reporting a lack of access compared to 31% of students in the bottom quartile. Andrew Smith, a computer science and math teacher, suggests that students who are good at accessing resources are more likely to use AI tools to enhance their learning. He also notes that AI tools should be seen as tools to assist learning rather than as a replacement for teacher instruction.