Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2024


Undergraduate Arts and Research Showcase


Generative AI (GenAI) has the potential to benefit student learning by offering personalized feedback, idea generation, research, and analysis support, writing aid, and administrative support (Chan and Hu, 2023; Zhang, 2023). However, if used inappropriately, the same tools can lead to false/biased content creation and reduced ethical awareness leading to possible academic dishonesty and privacy issues (Schwartz, 2016; Wu, 2023). At this early stage, ethical standards and professorial guidance are unavailable, so it is important to understand what students are thinking about the recent technologies (Shen et al., 2013). Spring 2023 survey results revealed that some students used ChatGPT, a popular GenAI tool (Lodge et al., 2023), on homework assignments, and a majority did not view doing so as cheating (Bego, 2023). This current study measured student participants’ (N = 441) prior experience, attitudes towards, trust in, and ethical opinions of ChatGPT. The survey was given at the beginning of the Fall 2023 first-semester engineering course at the University of Louisville. Results indicated that attitudes varied widely across the student sample, with some considering it a benefit to society and others considering it a detriment; a controversy seen previously (Kocoń et al., 2023). Experience levels positively correlated with all measures, indicating that students who have embraced it have more positive attitudes. Importantly, ethics also follows this trend (see Figure 1). These results indicate that both the excitement and concern from the higher education community are warranted, and that students need training and clear ethical guidance toward using GenAI in college.