The Influences of ChatGPT on Undergraduate Students’ Perceived and Demonstrated Interdisciplinary Learning

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The significance of interdisciplinary learning has been well recognized in higher education institutions. However, when teaching interdisciplinary learning to junior undergraduate students, their limited disciplinary knowledge can hinder their learning performance. The extensive information of ChatGPT and its ability to engage in human-like conversations hold promise in enriching undergraduate students with the disciplinary knowledge they lack. In this exploratory study, we engaged 130 undergraduate students to examine how ChatGPT influences their demonstrated interdisciplinary quality and perceived interdisciplinary problem-solving with a three-condition quasi-experiment. Our results show that students under the ChatGPT condition demonstrated improved disciplinary grounding, suggesting ChatGPT’s ability to enhance students’ disciplinary knowledge. However, under all conditions, students showed weak performance in knowledge integration, indicating ChatGPT’s limited use in facilitating certain aspects of interdisciplinary learning. These findings underscore the significance of fostering students’ integration skills and highlight the need for further research to explore the specific conditions and aspects in which ChatGPT can contribute to learning.

Ryan Watkins