DOI: 10.3390/educsci13080803 ISSN: 2227-7102

From Human to Machine: Investigating the Effectiveness of the Conversational AI ChatGPT in Historical Thinking

Sergio Tirado-Olivares, Maria Navío-Inglés, Paula O’Connor-Jiménez, Ramón Cózar-Gutiérrez
  • Public Administration
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

In the digital age, the integration of technology in education is gaining attention. However, there is limited evidence of its use in promoting historical thinking. Students need to develop critical thinking skills to address post-truth and fake news, enabling them to question sources, evaluate biases, and consider credibility. With the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), historical thinking becomes even more crucial, as chatbots appear capable of analysing, synthesizing, interpreting, and writing similarly to humans. This makes it more difficult to distinguish between human and AI-generated resources. This mixed study explores the potential of AI in developing an argumentative historical text compared to future teachers. After 103 preservice teachers were instructed in historical thinking, they assessed a text written by a human and an AI-written text without knowing their authors. The obtained results indicate that participants assessed the AI text better based on historical thinking skills. Conversely, when asked about the capability of AI to develop a similar text, they emphasized its impossibility due to the belief that AI is incapable of expressing personal opinions and reflecting. This highlights the importance of instructing them in the correct use and possibilities of AI for future historical teaching.

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