June 12, 2024

Mikayla Macfarlane

Serving technology better

35% of college students are using AI tools to help them with their studies

2 min read
35% of college students are using AI tools to help them with their studies


Book and technology illustration

Jackie Niam/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted students, forcing them to adopt new learning methods in the face of constant disruption. This led to pandemic learning loss. To fill in the gaps, students are turning to new tools, including generative AI.

A McGraw Hill survey conducted by Morning Consult interviewed 500 undergraduate students and 200 college instructors to learn about the latest higher education trends on student habits, mental health, and more. 

Also: 5 handy AI tools for school that students, teachers, and parents can use, too

The study found that one in five students reported struggling academically because of pandemic-relating learning loss, and 34% of instructors estimated that all or most of their students struggled due to learning loss. 

To ease their studies, adjust for the learning loss, and bridge the gap, the study shows that many students are turning to online tools and social media. 

“Despite the many challenges students and educators face, including COVID-related learning disruptions and the growing mental health crisis on college campuses, the learning technologies we’re building today can help support students on their unique paths to success in the future,” said Simon Allen, McGraw Hill CEO. 

Also: Generative AI can be the academic assistant an underserved student needs

Four out of five students reported having used social media or ChatGPT to study and find content related to their classes. 

Specifically, 35% of students reported using ChatGPT or other AI chatbots in the past year to help with schoolwork.

Despite the risks of using generative AI, such as cheating, misinformation, and accuracy, the overall feeling toward AI remains positive. 

Also: How ChatGPT (and other AI chatbots) can help you write an essay

The majority of students (62%) and instructors (58%) agreed that in the long run, AI will improve how students learn more than AI will have negative consequences. 

AI tools for education chart

McGraw Hill

Furthermore, AI tools that used content that was developed and vetted by trusted academic sources would make both students (39%) and instructors (46%) more confident and comfortable about leveraging those tools. 





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