Generative AI Usage and Academic Performance

33 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2024 Last revised: 3 May 2024

See all articles by Janik Ole Wecks

Janik Ole Wecks

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics - Chair of Accounting and Control

Johannes Voshaar

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics - Chair of Accounting and Control; John Molson School of Business, Concordia University

Benedikt J. Plate

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics - Chair of Accounting and Control

Jochen Zimmermann

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics; University of Bremen - Chair of Accounting and Control

Date Written: April 30, 2024

Abstract

This study evaluates the impact of students’ usage of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tools such as ChatGPT on their academic performance. We analyze student essays using GenAI detection systems to identify GenAI users among the cohort. Employing multivariate regression analysis, we find that students using GenAI tools score on average 6.71 (out of 100) points lower than non-users. While GenAI tools may offer benefits for learning and engagement, the way students actually use it correlates with diminished academic outcomes. Exploring the underlying mechanism, additional analyses show that the effect is particularly detrimental to students with high learning potential, suggesting an effect whereby GenAI tool usage hinders learning. Our findings provide important empirical evidence for the ongoing debate on the integration of GenAI in higher education and underscores the necessity for educators, institutions, and policymakers to carefully consider its implications for student performance.

Keywords: Generative AI, ChatGPT, Artificial Intelligence, Higher Education, Exam Performance

JEL Classification: A20, M15, M41

Suggested Citation

Wecks, Janik Ole and Voshaar, Johannes and Plate, Benedikt J. and Zimmermann, Jochen and Zimmermann, Jochen, Generative AI Usage and Academic Performance (April 30, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4812513 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4812513

Janik Ole Wecks (Contact Author)

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics - Chair of Accounting and Control ( email )

Bremen, D-28359
Germany

Johannes Voshaar

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics - Chair of Accounting and Control ( email )

Bremen, D-28359
Germany

John Molson School of Business, Concordia University ( email )

Montreal
Canada

Benedikt J. Plate

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics - Chair of Accounting and Control ( email )

Max-von-Laue-Straße 1
Bremen, 28359
Germany

Jochen Zimmermann

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics ( email )

Hochschulring 4
Germany
+49 421 218 9121 (Phone)

University of Bremen - Chair of Accounting and Control ( email )

Universitaetsallee GW I
Bremen, D-28334
Germany
+49 421 218-9119 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.controlling.uni-bremen.de

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