1 Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
2 Institut d’Educació Secundària de Benaguasil (SPAIN)
3 Universitat de València (SPAIN)
4 Carlos III University of Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2024 Proceedings
Publication year: 2024
Pages: 3920-3929
ISBN: 978-84-09-59215-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2024.1017
Conference name: 18th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-6 March, 2024
Location: Valencia, Spain
Education 4.0 has emerged as a vital strategy to equip individuals with the technical, digital competencies, and cognitive and interpersonal skills essential for success in the Industry 4.0 era. While new technologies have paved the way for more immersive blended learning environments, the demand for flexible, time-independent learning remains a critical consideration. Although remote mentors and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have made strides in addressing this challenge, human mentors are inherently constrained by their availability, and MOOCs often lack interactivity, mentoring capacity, and the flexibility to provide personalized responses to individual student inquiries.

In the context of a blended learning approach, our study proposes the integration of in-person lessons with online learning facilitated by ChatGPT, deployed as an educational tool designed to enhance the performance of K-12 students in chemistry and physics when their teacher is unavailable (i.e., at home). Our assessment of ChatGPT's efficacy involved a meticulously crafted test encompassing both theoretical concepts and problem-solving exercises. ChatGPT exhibited exceptional performance, scoring 9.2/10 to receive a grade A, and offering detailed, analytical, and human-like responses that guided students towards the correct solutions, despite its inherent limitations.

The impact of using ChatGPT on 15-16-years-old students learning chemistry when teachers were unavailable was assessed through an empirical interventional study performed in a real school in Valencia (Spain), during the school year 2022-2023. The students attending the subject “Física y Química” (Physics and Chemistry) were divided into an experimental group and a control group. Only the students in the experimental group were allowed to use the chatbot at home, in order to solve doubts and correct students’ homework, during the second and the third academic term. The evolution of the students’ grades was chosen as the key performance indicator, allowing to assess the influence of the use of ChatGPT over the students’ proficiency in chemistry. The experimental group of students who employed ChatGPT witnessed a substantial improvement in their grades, achieving an increase of 30%, three times higher than that experienced by the control group. This experimental study demonstrated that a positive use of chatbots when teachers are unavailable, in the frame of a blended-learning K-12 educational approach, might enhance the students’ learning process, paving the way for a higher proficiency in the field of chemistry.
K-12 students, ChatGPT, chemistry, blended-learning, experimental study.