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Mapping the global evidence around the use of ChatGPT in higher education: A systematic scoping review

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The recent development of AI Chatbot – specifically ChatGPT - has gained dramatic attention from users as evident by ongoing discussion among the education fraternity. We argue that prior to making any conclusion, it is important to understand how ChatGPT is being used in higher education across the globe. This paper makes a significant contribution by systematically reviewing the global literature on the use of ChatGPT in higher education using PRISMA guidelines. We included 69 studies in the analysis based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. We presented the scope of published literature in three aspects: (i) contextual, (ii) methodological, and (iii) disciplinary. Most of the studies have been carried out in HICs (n = 53; 77%) representing the field of higher education (n = 37; 54%) without specifying the discipline, while only a few studies were based on empirical data (n = 19; 27%). The findings based on included studies reveal that ChatGPT serves as a convenient tool to assist teachers, students, and researchers in various tasks. While the specific uses vary, the underlying motivation remains consistent: seeking personal benefits and reducing academic burdens. Teachers use it for personal and professional learning and resource generation while students use it as personal tutors for various learning purposes. However, concerns related to accuracy, reliability, academic integrity, and potential negative effects on cognitive and social development were consistently highlighted in many studies. To address these concerns, we have proposed a comprehensive framework for universities along with directions for future research in higher education as an optimal response.

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Data Availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this article because published articles were analysed which are publicly available. The included articles are presented in the summary table as an Appendix.


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Correspondence to Aisha Naz Ansari.

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This scoping review followed the procedures and ethical guidelines of Arksey and O’Malley (2005) and Levac et al. (2010) to map the existing evidence around the use of ChatGPT in higher education.

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Table 1

Table 1 Summary table

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Ansari, A.N., Ahmad, S. & Bhutta, S.M. Mapping the global evidence around the use of ChatGPT in higher education: A systematic scoping review. Educ Inf Technol (2023).

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