Home » Publication » 27495

Dettaglio pubblicazione


Students’ use of large language models in engineering education: A case study on technology acceptance, perceptions, efficacy, and detection chances (01a Articolo in rivista)

Bernabei Margherita, Colabianchi Silvia, Falegnami Andrea, Costantino Francesco

The accessibility of advanced Artificial Intelligence-based tools, like ChatGPT, has made Large Language Models (LLMs) readily available to students. These LLMs can generate original written content to assist students in their academic assessments. With the rapid adoption of LLMs, exemplified by the popularity of OpenAI's ChatGPT, there is a growing need to explore their application in education. Few studies examine students' use of LLMs as learning tools. This paper focuses on the application of ChatGPT in engineering higher education through an in-depth case study. It investigates whether engineering students can generate high-quality university essays with LLMs assistance, whether existing LLMs identification systems can detect essays produced with LLMs, and how students perceive the usefulness and acceptance of LLMs in learning. The research adopts a deductive/inductive approach, combining conceptualization and empirical evidence analysis. The study involves mechanical and management engineering students, who compose essays using LLMs. The essay assessment showed good results, but some recommendations emerged for teachers and students. Thirteen LLMs detectors were tested without achieving satisfactory results, suggesting to avoid LLMs ban. In addition, students were administered a questionnaire based on constructs and items that follow the technology acceptance models available in the literature. The results contribute to qualitative evidence by highlighting possible future research and educational practices.
© Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma