A Third of My Online College Students are AI-Powered Spambots. Now what?

Professors are anxious about how students might use AI to cheat on assignments. What do we do if some of these students aren’t real at all?

Mary Rose
10 min readJun 4, 2024

Today is the deadline for logging students as NA, or non-attending, and a third of my students aren’t even real.

Photo by Max Duzij on Unsplash

I am an adjunct faculty instructor at a community college. I teach in-person, online synchronous, and online asynchronous Art History and Art Appreciation courses. My current summer course load includes an online asynchronous Art Appreciation course. This is a course where all of the content is online and there are no specific live meeting times (such as a weekly Zoom seminar.) Students access all readings and videos for the course, and submit all discussions and assignments, via our Canvas site. Since it’s online asynchronous, I measure attendance by looking at the amount of time a student is logged into the Canvas site, and the assignments they have submitted.

This time, there was something funny in the assignments.

Case 1: A Failed Scavenger Hunt

The first assignments students do is meant to help them learn about specific formal qualities in art, such as…



Mary Rose

Hi, I’m Mary, I’m an art historian and adjunct. Let's talk art history, books, education, AI, and more.