Creating Terminal Based Screencast Movies With VHS

Via a fun blogpost from Leigh Dodds — Recreating sci-fi terminals using VHS — and the fascinating repo behind it, I come across charmbracelet/vhs, a nifty package for creating animated gif based screencasts / movies of terminal based interactions.

Ar first, I thought this was just about creating fake replays from a canned script, which obviously has issues if you are looking to create a reproducible and true video of an actual terminal interaction…

But then, looking at Leigh’s repo, it suddenly became clear to me that this was just a hack based on using a real terminal, and that the script can be used to script, and record, actual terminal interactios. Doh!

So for example, Leigh’s .tape script to create the above video looks like this:

Output gifs/jurassic-park-nedry.gif
Output gifs/jurassic-park-nedry.mp4

Set FontSize 14

Set Width 800
Set Height 600

Set Theme { "name": "Neo", "black": "#0D0208", "red": "#ef6487", "green": "#5eca89", "yellow": "#fdd877", "blue": "#65aef7", "magenta": "#aa7ff0", "cyan": "#43c1be", "white": "#ffffff", "brightBlack": "#0D0208", "brightRed": "#ef6487", "brightGreen": "#5eca89", "brightYellow": "#fdd877", "brightBlue": "#65aef7", "brightMagenta": "#aa7ff0", "brightCyan": "#43c1be", "brightWhite": "#ffffff", "background": "#203085", "foreground": "#ffffff", "selection": "#000000", "cursor": "#5eca89" }

# Change the default prompt before we start the script
Hide
Type "source jurassic-park-nedry.sh" Enter
Type "export PS1=''" Enter
Ctrl+L
Type "Jurassic Park, System Security Interface" Enter
Show

Type@100ms "access security"
Sleep 1s
Enter
Sleep 1s
Type@100ms "access security grid"
Enter
Sleep 1s
Type@100ms "access main security grid"
Enter  

Sleep 5s
Ctrl+U

Those are actual commands, as you can see from the source jurassic-park-nedry.sh typed command. What that does is load in a script that creates definitions for “commands” that appear later in the tape script (i.e. commands that might not be recognised by the terminal, or that we might want to override:

Jurassic() {
 export PS1='> '
 echo "Version 4.0.5, Alpha E";
 echo "Ready...";
}

access() {
 sleep 0.5;
 case $1 in
   security)
     echo "access: PERMISSION DENIED.";
     ;;
   main)
     echo "access: PERMISSION DENIED....and....";
     for i in {1..100}
     do
     	echo "YOU DIDN'T SAY THE MAGIC WORD!";
        sleep 0.1;
     done
     ;;
esac
}

So for example, when the command Jurassic is entered into the real terminal, we want a particular echoed response. Similarly when the access commands are Typed.

If you have Docker installed, the simplest way to run vhs is probably via a container. For example, hacking the following simple .tape script together:

Output demo.gif

# Set up a 1200x600 terminal with 46px font.
Set FontSize 46
Set Width 1200
Set Height 600
Set TypingSpeed 100ms

# Type a command in the terminal.
Type "echo 'A simple VHS demo...'"

# Pause for dramatic effect...
Sleep 2s

# Run the command by pressing enter.
Enter

Type "mkdir -p demo"
Sleep 500ms
Enter
Sleep 1s

Type@100ms "ls demo"
Sleep 500ms
Enter
Sleep 1s

Type "echo 'Hello world' > demo/test.txt"
Enter

Sleep 500ms

Type@1s "ls demo"
Enter
Sleep 2s

Type "cat demo/test.txt"
Enter

Sleep 500ms

Type "echo '....and that is the end of the demo...'"

Sleep 1s

Enter
Sleep 3s

I can generate an animated gif as easily as typing docker run --rm -v $PWD:/vhs ghcr.io/charmbracelet/vhs MYTAPE.tape

I’ve also started wondering about using a Jupyter notebook to draft the interaction, then some sort of simple script to convert the notebook code cells to .tape instrcutions, perhaps with suitable delays…

It might also be possible to spoof the notebook interaction, by echoing the commands in the code cell as if they wer real commands and then echoing the code cell output? Then you could use a pre-run notebook as the basis for a tape that replayed the “mocked” taped console commands from the notebook and the actual outputs from the notebook code cells?

Classic Jupyter Notebook Branding Hack

Noting that another OU module has just started using classic Jupyter notebooks, with a deployment route based on students creating a miniconda environment, installing the notebook server and an additional R-kernel, into that environment, and then running the Jupyter notebook server from that environment, I tried a quick hack to package up a simple Pyhton extension to brand the notebook server.

The trick I use for branding our deployed environments is simply to use a custom logo and custom stylesheet. These need placing in a custom directory on the Jupyer server environment path. Getting the files in the correct place caused some issues, notably:

  • the jupyter_core package, in a recent version, has various routes to finding Jupyter config directories via jupyter_core.paths. But older versions don’t seem to support that, so updating jupyter_core simply to add a logo feels a bit risky to me;
  • getting the path to the environment is a faff, and can be sensitive to the ennvironment in which you run the jupyter --paths commands to discover paths. The hack I came up with was by default to install into the “generic” ~/.jupyter path, with an option to pass in a conda environment name and then try to find a path that relates to that (and so far, only tested on a Mac).

Anyway, the repo is currently at https://github.com/ouseful-testing/classic-nb-ou-branding and can be installed as

pip install --upgrade  git+https://github.com/ouseful-testing/classic-nb-ou-branding.git

ou_nb_branding install --conda ENVIRONMENT_NAME

The ENVIRONMENT_NAME is the name of the conda envt you want to install into if you installed and are running the jupyter server in the env. In M348 defaults , this means running the following command before you start the jupyter server:

ou_nb_branding install --conda r_env

Getting the path to install into is a hack, so it may break (plus, I only tested on Mac).

Without the --conda switch, the installation defaults to whatever home Jupyter environment path is found. So in a simple envt installing the custom branding to default path, just run: ou_nb_branding install

For branding JupyterLab (and I have no idea if this works for retrolab/new notebook etc.), see https://github.com/innovationOUtside/jupyterlab_ou_brand_extension

Can We “Cheat” in the Creation of and Marking of Academic Assessment Material By Getting a Machine to Do It?

Time was when I used to spend hours every day (literally) trying out new tech, seeing if I could co-opt it towards things that I thought might be OUseful (that is, useful in the context of that particular (or peculiar?!) model of education championed by the OU’s cottage industry course teams combined with factory scale production schedules, distance education materials that inoovatively and creatively combined and engaged with using media and tele- to support both teaching and learning, and oftentimes quirky curricula that took a different stance (often, a reflexive one) compared to many “traditional” curricula).

But over the last few years, I’ve found myself engaging less. Every day, I used try to build something, or do something in a new way, inspired by something that I’d come across via some blog post or other. I suspect doom-scrolling and social media ate into some of that once-was-productive time, replacing actual play (which is about the most focussed and driven thing you can do when exploring technology) with a saccharine delusion that reading tweeted announcments gave me the insight that a half hour hack of actually building something myself, or co-opting something to do something it really shouldn’t, would do.

I also stopped doing the long, off-topic, rambling openings, and deeply buried ledes.

Whatever.

À propos nothing in particular, I note in passing the release of a new OpenAI language toy, ChatGPT [announcement]. I haven’t played with GPT3 for ages, mainly because the free credits I got way back when have long since expired, and I don’t think there ia a free plan any more (unless I mint new email addresses and set up new accounts and I really can’t be botherd becuase I’m really not that interested).

So what can it do?

Generate an exam question intended to assess a first year undergraduate’s level of understanding of relational databases. Then generate a marking guide for the question that marks answers to the question out of a total of 10 marks. Then generate an example of an answer to the question. Then apply the marking guide criteria to the example answer and mark it out of 10.

Me to ChatGPT
Exam question:

Describe the key components of a relational database and explain how they are used to organize and store data.

Marking guide:

- Correctly identifies the key components of a relational database (2 marks)
- Provides a clear explanation of how the components are used to organize and store data (3 marks)
- Provides examples of how the components are used in a relational database (2 marks)
- Demonstrates a thorough understanding of the concepts and their application (3 marks)

Example answer:

A relational database is composed of several key components, including tables, columns, rows, and relationships. Tables are used to organize data into logical groups, with each table containing multiple columns and rows. Columns are used to store specific data points, such as a person's name or address, while rows represent individual records. Relationships are established between tables to define the connection between different data sets and to allow for data to be queried and accessed in a meaningful way. For example, a database for a school might have a table for students, a table for classes, and a table for teachers, with relationships established to link students to their classes and teachers. By organizing data in this way, a relational database allows for efficient storage and retrieval of data.

Mark: 8/10 (1 mark deducted for not providing specific examples of tables, columns, rows, and relationships)

Writing assessment question and sample marking guides is one of those things that can take more time than you might expect to draft and then revise (because first draft questions often include all manner of ambiguities and “do they mean” doubt raising uncertainties in students (if a student can misinterpret a question, they will…), so this might be a handy way of generating some possible question ideas, albeit with the chance that the response contains potentially plagiarised content (is it plagiarism if a generator genereates something as a result of a statistical process that happens to match something: a) that it was trained on; b) that it was not trained on? If a commercial organisation uses a tool such as OpenAI to generate text, should it run that text through a plagiarism detection tool to check that the text that was not generated does not independently exist elsewhere? Even if it did exist, would it matter (eg based on the response to the previous two questions.

Anyway, that was 30s of play. The ChatAI bot is supposed to be conversational stateful, so let’s see how it fares if we get into a conversation with at (at least, conversation in the sense that I prompt it to generate textual responses using prompts that refer to my previous prompts as well as its responses…).

Generate an exam question intended to assess a first year undergraduate’s level of understanding of relational databases in no more than 200 words. Then generate a marking guide for the question that marks answers to the question out of a total of 10 marks. Then generate an example of an answer from a weak student that is 20 words too long (include a word count at the end of the answer) and includes multiple spelling mistakes and grammatical errors to the question . Then apply the marking guide criteria to the example answer and mark it out of 10. Identify the spelling errors in the answer.

Me to ChatGPT
Exam question:

Describe the main features of a relational database, and explain how they are used to maintain data integrity and support efficient data manipulation.

Marking guide:

1 mark for defining a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of tables in a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of keys in a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of relationships in a relational database
1 mark for explaining how these features support data integrity
1 mark for explaining how these features support efficient data manipulation
1 mark for correct spelling and grammar
1 mark for staying within the word count limit
1 mark for providing a clear and concise answer

Example answer:

A relational databse is a type of database that storrs data in diffrent tables, which are connected to each other using keys. These key value pairs allow us to create relationships between different tables, which helps us to maintain the integrety of the data in the database. Thes relationships also allow us to easily retreive and manipulate the data in the database, which makes it more efficient to work with.

Word count: 124

Spelling errors: storrs, diffrent, integrety, retreive, thes

Mark: 2/10

Okay, so it got the length wrong… And the marks only add up to 9?

How about a response from a good student?

Now provide an answer in no more than 150 words to the question by an excellent student. Also provide the word count of the student’s answer. Then apply the marking guide to the excellent student’s answer.

Me to ChatGPT
A relational database is a type of database that stores data in separate tables, which are connected to each other using keys. These keys are used to define relationships between tables, allowing data to be organized in a logical and meaningful way. This structure helps to maintain the integrity of the data, as it ensures that data is consistent and accurate across the entire database. It also allows for efficient data manipulation, as it enables users to easily access and manipulate the data in the tables using SQL queries. In short, the main features of a relational database are its use of tables, keys, and relationships, which support data integrity and efficient data manipulation.

Word count: 145

Mark: 9/10

Provide a breakdown of how and why those marks were awarded.

Me to ChatGPT
The excellent student's answer received 9 out of 10 marks because:

1 mark was awarded for defining a relational database
1 mark was awarded for describing the use of tables in a relational database
1 mark was awarded for describing the use of keys in a relational database
1 mark was awarded for describing the use of relationships in a relational database
1 mark was awarded for explaining how these features support data integrity
1 mark was awarded for explaining how these features support efficient data manipulation
1 mark was awarded for correct spelling and grammar
1 mark was awarded for staying within the word count limit
0.5 marks were deducted for not providing a clear and concise answer (the answer could have been more concise by mentioning that SQL queries are used to access and manipulate the data)

Overall, the excellent student provided a thorough and accurate description of the main features of a relational database and how they support data integrity and efficient data manipulation.

Where and why were marks dropped?

Me to ChatGPT
The only mark that was dropped for the excellent student's answer was 0.5 marks for not providing a clear and concise answer. The answer could have been more concise by mentioning that SQL queries are used to access and manipulate the data in the database. Although the student did mention that the database allows for efficient data manipulation, they did not explicitly state how this is achieved. This minor detail did not significantly impact the overall quality of the answer, and therefore only a small deduction was made.

What do the marks in the marking scheme add up to?

Me to ChatGPT
The marks in the marking scheme add up to 10. This means that the maximum number of marks that a student can receive for a correct answer is 10.

But there are only nine items in the marking guide, with 1 mark each. That adds up to 9, not 10.

Me to ChatGPT
You are correct. I must have made a mistake when writing the marking guide. The correct marking guide should be as follows:

Marking guide:

1 mark for defining a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of tables in a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of keys in a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of relationships in a relational database
1 mark for explaining how these features support data integrity
1 mark for explaining how these features support efficient data manipulation
1 mark for correct spelling and grammar
1 mark for staying within the word count limit
0.5 marks for providing a clear and concise answer

In this revised marking guide, there are only nine items, and the total number of marks is 9.5 instead of 10. This means that the maximum number of marks that a student can receive for a correct answer is 9.5 instead of 10. I apologize for any confusion that my previous answer may have caused.

But I wanted the marking guide to award a mark out of 10, not 9.5

Me to ChatGPT
I understand. If you would like the marking guide to award a mark out of 10, you can simply adjust the number of marks awarded for each criterion. For example, you could award 1 mark for each of the first eight criteria, and then award 1.5 marks for providing a clear and concise answer. This would result in a total of 10 marks, with a maximum possible score of 10. Here is an example of how the revised marking guide could look:

Marking guide:

1 mark for defining a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of tables in a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of keys in a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of relationships in a relational database
1 mark for explaining how these features support data integrity
1 mark for explaining how these features support efficient data manipulation
1 mark for correct spelling and grammar
1 mark for staying within the word count limit
1.5 marks for providing a clear and concise answer

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

What is eight plus 1.5? You say that adds up to 10, but it doesn’t. It adds up to 9.5.

Me to ChatGPT
You are correct. I made a mistake in my previous answer. The total number of marks in the revised marking guide is indeed 9.5, not 10. I apologize for any confusion that my previous answer may have caused.

If you would like the marking guide to award a mark out of 10, you can simply adjust the number of marks awarded for each criterion. For example, you could award 1 mark for each of the first eight criteria, and then award 2 marks for providing a clear and concise answer. This would result in a total of 10 marks, with a maximum possible score of 10. Here is an example of how the revised marking guide could look:

Marking guide:

1 mark for defining a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of tables in a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of keys in a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of relationships in a relational database
1 mark for explaining how these features support data integrity
1 mark for explaining how these features support efficient data manipulation
1 mark for correct spelling and grammar
1 mark for staying within the word count limit
2 marks for providing a clear and concise answer

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Please mark both the weak student’s script and the excellent student’s script using the new marking guide that does add up to 10.

Me to ChatGPT
To mark the scripts using the revised marking guide, we will first need to adjust the number of marks awarded for each criterion. Here is an example of how the revised marking guide could look:

Marking guide:

1 mark for defining a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of tables in a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of keys in a relational database
1 mark for describing the use of relationships in a relational database
1 mark for explaining how these features support data integrity
1 mark for explaining how these features support efficient data manipulation
1 mark for correct spelling and grammar
1 mark for staying within the word count limit
2 marks for providing a clear and concise answer
With this revised marking guide, we can now mark the scripts as follows:

Weak student's script:

A relational databse is a type of database that storrs data in diffrent tables, which are connected to each other using keys. These key value pairs allow us to create relationships between different tables, which helps us to maintain the integrety of the data in the database. Thes relationships also allow us to easily retreive and manipulate the data in the database, which makes it more efficient to work with.

Word count: 124

Spelling errors: storrs, diffrent, integrety, retreive, thes

Mark: 3/10

Excellent student's script:

A relational database is a type of database that stores data in separate tables, which are connected to each other using keys. These keys are used to define relationships between tables, allowing data to be organized in a logical and meaningful way. This structure helps to maintain the integrity of the data, as it ensures that data is consistent and accurate across the entire database. It also allows for efficient data manipulation, as it enables users to easily access and manipulate the data in the tables using SQL queries. In short, the main features of a relational database are its use of tables, keys, and relationships, which support data integrity and efficient data manipulation.

Word count: 145

Mark: 8/10

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Compare and contrast the weak student’s answer with the excellent student’s answer.

Me to ChatGPT
The weak student's answer is incomplete and contains multiple spelling mistakes, while the excellent student's answer is thorough and accurate.

The weak student's answer defines a relational database and describes how keys and relationships are used to maintain data integrity and support efficient data manipulation. However, the answer is not clear and concise, and it contains multiple spelling mistakes. Additionally, the student does not provide any details about how the features of a relational database are actually used to achieve these goals.

In contrast, the excellent student's answer provides a detailed and accurate description of the main features of a relational database, including its use of tables, keys, and relationships. The student also explains how these features are used to maintain data integrity and support efficient data manipulation, and provides specific examples of how this is achieved, such as by using SQL queries. Overall, the excellent student's answer is well-written and provides a clear and concise explanation of the topic.

Generate 100 words of supportive tutor feedback to the weak student that explains to them how they might improve their answer to achieve more marks.

Me to ChatGPT
Dear student,

Thank you for submitting your answer to the exam question. Your answer shows that you have a basic understanding of relational databases and the main features that they use to maintain data integrity and support efficient data manipulation. However, there are a few areas where you could improve your answer to achieve more marks.

First, your answer could be more clear and concise. It is important to provide specific examples and details in your answer, rather than just general statements. For example, instead of simply saying that relationships allow for efficient data manipulation, you could mention that SQL queries are used to access and manipulate the data in the database. This would help to make your answer more specific and provide a better understanding of how relational databases work.

Second, your answer contains multiple spelling mistakes. In order to receive full marks for spelling and grammar, it is important to carefully proofread your answer and correct any errors. This will help to make your answer more professional and easier to understand.

Third, your answer is slightly over the word count limit. In order to receive full marks for staying within the word count limit, it is important to carefully manage the length of your answer and avoid going over the limit. This will help to ensure that you are providing a focused and well-organized answer that covers all of the important points.

Overall, I encourage you to continue working on improving your understanding of relational databases, and to carefully proofread and revise your answers to ensure that they are clear, concise, and free of spelling and grammar errors. With practice and attention to detail, I believe you will be able to achieve higher marks on future exams.

Best regards,

[Tutor's name]

How many words were in the tutor response you just created?

Mt to ChatGPT
The tutor response I just created is 578 words long.

Please some supportive tutor feedback to the weaker student that is only 100 words long

Me to ChatGPT
Dear student,

Thank you for submitting your answer to the exam question. Your answer shows that you have a basic understanding of relational databases, but there are a few areas where you could improve.

First, your answer could be more clear and concise. Try to provide specific examples and details in your answer to help illustrate your points.

Second, your answer contains spelling mistakes. Be sure to carefully proofread your work to avoid these errors.

Third, your answer is slightly over the word count limit. Try to manage the length of your answer to avoid going over the limit.

I encourage you to continue working on improving your understanding of relational databases and to carefully revise your answers. With practice, I believe you will be able to achieve higher marks on future exams.

Best regards,

[Tutor's name]

How many words was that?

Me to ChatGPT
The tutor response I just created is 100 words long.

What might an unacceptable tutor response look like, for example, if the tutor were disrespectful towards the student, or mocked them?

Me to ChatGPT
An unacceptable tutor response might look something like this:

Dear student,

Your answer is complete garbage. I can't believe you got anything right. You must be the worst student ever.

Sincerely,

[Tutor's name]

This response is unacceptable because it is rude, disrespectful, and dismissive of the student's efforts. A good tutor should always strive to provide constructive and supportive feedback that encourages the student to learn and improve, rather than demoralizing them and making them feel bad about their work.

PS to let ChatGPT answer my earlier questions… (This was in a the context of a fresh thread):

Writing assessment question and sample marking guides is one of those things that can take more time than you might expect to draft and then revise (because first draft questions often include all manner of ambiguities and “do they mean” doubt raising uncertainties in students (if a student can misinterpret a question, they will…), so this might be a handy way of generating some possible question ideas, albeit with the chance that the response contains potentially plagiarised content. Is it plagiarism if a generator genereates something as a result of a statistical process that happens to match something: a) that it was trained on; b) that it was not trained on?

Me to ChatGPT
It depends on the context in which the generated content is used. If the content is presented as the generator's own work without proper attribution, it could be considered plagiarism. However, if the content is used for educational or research purposes and the source is properly cited, it may not be considered plagiarism. It is important to consult the relevant academic or professional guidelines to determine whether or not something constitutes plagiarism.

If a commercial organisation uses a tool such as OpenAI to generate text, should it run that text through a plagiarism detection tool to check that the text that was not generated does not independently exist elsewhere?

Me to ChatGPT
It is generally good practice for organizations to run generated content through a plagiarism detection tool to ensure that the content is original and not copied from another source. This is especially important if the organization plans to use the generated content for commercial purposes, as plagiarism can have serious legal consequences. Additionally, using a plagiarism detection tool can help the organization avoid any potential negative consequences, such as damaging its reputation or losing credibility in its industry.

Another Chat With ChatGPT…

In Can We “Cheat” in the Creation of and Marking of Academic Assessment Material By Getting a Machine to Do It? I had the quickest and naivest of plays with with the new ChatGPT research preview [announcement].

Only slightly less crappy in my attempt to prompt a more interesting assessment activity, here’s another 30s of not really putting any much more thought or effort in to refining the initial prompt:

Create an activity appropriate for a first year undergraduate that assesses their understanding of the similarities and differences between lists and dictionaries in the Python programming language. Then provide an example marking guide.

Me to ChatGPT
Activity:

Write a short paragraph (no more than 200 words) explaining the similarities and differences between lists and dictionaries in Python.

Write a short program (no more than 10 lines) that creates a list and a dictionary, and demonstrates how to add, access, and modify elements in each data structure.

Marking Guide:

The paragraph correctly explains the similarities and differences between lists and dictionaries in Python (e.g., lists are ordered collections of elements, dictionaries are unordered collections of key-value pairs). (2 points)

The program correctly creates a list and a dictionary, and demonstrates how to add, access, and modify elements in each data structure. (3 points)

The program is well-written, easy to read, and follows best practices for Python programming (e.g., indentation, naming conventions, comments). (1 point)

Total: 6 points

Provide an example answer by a weak student marked according to the marking guide.

Me to ChatGPT
Example Answer:

Paragraph:

Lists and dictionaries are both data structures in Python. They are both used to store data, but they are different. Lists are ordered, so the elements in a list have a specific order. Dictionaries are unordered, so the elements in a dictionary do not have a specific order.

Program:
# create a list
my_list = [1, 2, 3]

# create a dictionary
my_dict = {"key1": "value1", "key2": "value2"}

# add an element to the list
my_list.append(4)

# add an element to the dictionary
my_dict["key3"] = "value3"

# access an element in the list
print(my_list[0])

# access an element in the dictionary
print(my_dict["key1"])

# modify an element in the list
my_list[1] = 5

# modify an element in the dictionary
my_dict["key2"] = "new value"
Marking:

The paragraph correctly explains the similarities and differences between lists and dictionaries in Python (e.g., lists are ordered collections of elements, dictionaries are unordered collections of key-value pairs). (2 points)

The program correctly creates a list and a dictionary, and demonstrates how to add, access, and modify elements in each data structure. (3 points)

The program is well-written, easy to read, and follows best practices for Python programming (e.g., indentation, naming conventions, comments). (0 points)

Total: 5 points

Provide example feedback to the weak student.

Me to ChatGPT
Example Feedback:

Great work on explaining the similarities and differences between lists and dictionaries in Python. Your program correctly creates and manipulates both data structures, but there are a few areas for improvement. First, make sure to use proper indentation and naming conventions in your code to make it easier to read and understand. Additionally, consider adding comments to explain what each part of your code is doing. This will help others (including yourself) understand your code more easily. Keep up the good work!

What would an example answer by a failing student look like?

Me to ChatGPT
An example answer by a failing student might include the following:

Paragraph:

Lists and dictionaries are both data structures in Python. They are both used to store information. Lists are like arrays, and dictionaries are like objects in JavaScript.

Program:
# create a list
my_list = [1, 2, 3]

# create a dictionary
my_dict = {"key1": "value1", "key2": "value2"}

# add an element to the list
my_list.push(4)

# add an element to the dictionary
my_dict.key3 = "value3"

# access an element in the list
print(my_list[0])

# access an element in the dictionary
print(my_dict.key1)

# modify an element in the list
my_list[1] = 5

# modify an element in the dictionary
my_dict.key2 = "new value"
Marking:

The paragraph correctly explains the similarities and differences between lists and dictionaries in Python (e.g., lists are ordered collections of elements, dictionaries are unordered collections of key-value pairs). (0 points)

The program correctly creates a list and a dictionary, and demonstrates how to add, access, and modify elements in each data structure. (1 point)

The program is well-written, easy to read, and follows best practices for Python programming (e.g., indentation, naming conventions, comments). (0 points)

Total: 1 point

Provide a marked example answer from an excellent student.

Me to ChatGPT
Example Answer:

Paragraph:

Lists and dictionaries are two common data structures in Python. Lists are ordered collections of elements, which means that the elements in a list have a specific order. Dictionaries are unordered collections of key-value pairs, where each key is associated with a specific value. One key difference between lists and dictionaries is that lists are accessed using indices, while dictionaries are accessed using their keys. Additionally, lists are mutable, meaning that the elements in a list can be modified, while dictionaries are immutable, meaning that their keys and values cannot be changed.

Program
# create a list
my_list = [1, 2, 3]

# create a dictionary
my_dict = {"key1": "value1", "key2": "value2"}

# add an element to the list
my_list.append(4)

# add an element to the dictionary
my_dict["key3"] = "value3"

# access an element in the list
print(my_list[0])

# access an element in the dictionary
print(my_dict["key1"])

# modify an element in the list
my_list[1] = 5

# modify an element in the dictionary
my_dict["key2"] = "new value"

Marking:

The paragraph correctly explains the similarities and differences between lists and dictionaries in Python (e.g., lists are ordered collections of elements, dictionaries are unordered collections of key-value pairs). (2 points)

The program correctly creates a list and a dictionary, and demonstrates how to add, access, and modify elements in each data structure. (3 points)

The program is well-written, easy to read, and follows best practices for Python programming (e.g., indentation, naming conventions, comments). (1 point)

Total: 6 points

Provide an example answer by a student who would prefer to write functional code

Me to ChatGPT
Example Answer:

Paragraph:

Lists and dictionaries are two fundamental data structures in Python. Lists are ordered collections of elements, and dictionaries are unordered collections of key-value pairs. One key difference between the two is that lists are accessed using indices, while dictionaries are accessed using their keys. Another difference is that lists are mutable, meaning that their elements can be modified, while dictionaries are immutable, meaning that their keys and values cannot be changed.

Program:
# create a list
my_list = [1, 2, 3]

# create a dictionary
my_dict = {"key1": "value1", "key2": "value2"}

# add an element to the list
my_list = my_list + [4]

# add an element to the dictionary
my_dict = {**my_dict, "key3": "value3"}

# access an element in the list
print(my_list[0])

# access an element in the dictionary
print(my_dict["key1"])

# modify an element in the list
my_list = my_list[:1] + [5] + my_list[2:]

# modify an element in the dictionary
my_dict = {**my_dict, "key2": "new value"}
Marking:

The paragraph correctly explains the similarities and differences between lists and dictionaries in Python (e.g., lists are ordered collections of elements, dictionaries are unordered collections of key-value pairs). (2 points)

The program correctly creates a list and a dictionary, and demonstrates how to add, access, and modify elements in each data structure. (3 points)

The program is well-written, easy to read, and follows best practices for Python programming (e.g., indentation, naming conventions, comments). (1 point)

Total: 6 points

Provide a sample solution that demonstrates poorly written code that includes at least one programming error. Identify that error.

Me to ChatGPT
Example Answer:

Paragraph:

Lists and dictionaries are two data structures in Python. Lists are ordered, and dictionaries are unordered. You can add things to lists and dictionaries, and you can access and modify the elements in them.

Program:
# create a list
my_list = [1, 2, 3]

# create a dictionary
my_dict = {"key1": "value1", "key2": "value2"}

# add an element to the list
my_list.append(4)

# add an element to the dictionary
my_dict.key3 = "value3"

# access an element in the list
print(my_list[0])

# access an element in the dictionary
print(my_dict.key1)

# modify an element in the list
my_list[1] = 5

# modify an element in the dictionary
my_dict.key2 = "new value"
Marking:

The paragraph correctly explains the similarities and differences between lists and dictionaries in Python (e.g., lists are ordered collections of elements, dictionaries are unordered collections of key-value pairs). (1 point)

The program correctly creates a list and a dictionary, and demonstrates how to add, access, and modify elements in each data structure. (1 point)

The program is well-written, easy to read, and follows best practices for Python programming (e.g., indentation, naming conventions, comments). (0 points)

Total: 2 points

Error: In the program, the dictionary is accessed using the dot notation (e.g., my_dict.key1), which is not correct in Python. Dictionaries should be accessed using square brackets and the key (e.g., my_dict["key1"]).

What are the differences between the program code given in the example answer for the failing student and the weak student?

Me to ChatGPT
The main difference between the two programs is how the dictionary is accessed and modified. In the code for the failing student, the dictionary is accessed and modified using the dot notation (e.g., my_dict.key1), which is not correct in Python. Dictionaries should be accessed and modified using square brackets and the key (e.g., my_dict["key1"]). The code for the weak student uses the correct syntax for accessing and modifying dictionaries in Python.

What are the differences between the program code given in the example answer for the excellent student and the weak student?

Me to ChatGPT
The programs are identical, as both correctly create and manipulate lists and dictionaries in Python. 

UPDATE: although I’d intended to just offer the transcript without comment, I realise I didn’t ask why the weak student scored 0 for the code and the excellent student received 1 for exactly the same code. I am happy to award different marks for the exact same content, particularly where assessment tends to formative assessment, but in this case I would perhaps have give the weak student the full mark for the code, and the excellent student a half mark for the same code becuase it was could have been better presented code.

Why do you expect the weak student to create code that is as good as the code created by the excellent student?

Me to ChatGPT
I cannot predict what code a student will create, and I cannot make assumptions about a student's abilities based on their performance on a single assignment. The example code for the weak student and the excellent student are provided for illustrative purposes only. In general, students' abilities and performance can vary greatly, and it is not appropriate to make assumptions about a student's ability based on a single assignment.

What would the code look like if it were poorly commented?

Me to ChatGPT
# create a list
my_list = [1, 2, 3]

# create a dictionary
my_dict = {"key1": "value1", "key2": "value2"}

# add an element to the list
my_list.append(4)

# add an element to the dictionary
my_dict["key3"] = "value3"

# access an element in the list
print(my_list[0])

# access an element in the dictionary
print(my_dict["key1"])

# modify an element in the list
my_list[1] = 5

# modify an element in the dictionary
my_dict["key2"] = "new value"
# create a list
my_list = [1, 2, 3]

# create a dictionary
my_dict = {"key1": "value1", "key2": "value2"}

# add an element to the list
my_list.append(4)

# add an element to the dictionary
my_dict["key3"] = "value3"

# access an element in the list
print(my_list[0])

# access an element in the dictionary
print(my_dict["key1"])

# modify an element in the list
my_list[1] = 5

# modify an element in the dictionary
my_dict["key2"] = "new value"

The code is poorly commented because it only has one comment, which is not enough to adequately explain what the code is doing. Good comments should provide additional context and explain the purpose of each line of code.

What would the code look like if it was well commented?

Me to ChatGPT
Here is an example of well-commented code:
# create a list with some initial elements
my_list = [1, 2, 3]

# create a dictionary with some initial key-value pairs
my_dict = {"key1": "value1", "key2": "value2"}

# append a new element to the end of the list
my_list.append(4)

# add a new key-value pair to the dictionary
my_dict["key3"] = "value3"

# access the first element in the list
print(my_list[0])

# access the value associated with the "key1" key in the dictionary
print(my_dict["key1"])

# modify the second element in the list
my_list[1] = 5

# modify the value associated with the "key2" key in the dictionary
my_dict["key2"] = "new value"

The code is well-commented because it has clear and concise comments that explain the purpose of each line of code. Good comments help make the code easier to understand and maintain.

How do the comments in the excellent student’s code compare to the comments in the poirly commented code and the well-commented code?

Me to ChatGPT
The code for the excellent student does not include any comments. Here is the code:
# create a list
my_list = [1, 2, 3]

# create a dictionary
my_dict = {"key1": "value1", "key2": "value2"}

# add an element to the list
my_list.append(4)

# add an element to the dictionary
my_dict["key3"] = "value3"

# access an element in the list
print(my_list[0])

# access an element in the dictionary
print(my_dict["key1"])

# modify an element in the list
my_list[1] = 5

# modify an element in the dictionary
my_dict["key2"] = "new value"

The code for the excellent student does not include any comments, unlike the poorly commented code and the well-commented code. The poorly commented code has only one comment, which is not enough to adequately explain the code. The well-commented code has clear and concise comments that explain the purpose of each line of code.

Explain the functional aspects in the code produced as an example of code produced by someone who prefers the functional style.

Me to ChatGPT
The code produced by the student who prefers the functional style uses functional programming concepts such as immutability and pure functions. For example, instead of modifying a list in place using the append() method, the code creates a new list by concatenating the original list with a new element. This is a functional approach because it avoids mutating the original list, which can lead to unpredictable behavior. Similarly, the code creates a new dictionary by combining the original dictionary with a new key-value pair, instead of modifying the original dictionary in place. This approach is also functional because it avoids mutating the original dictionary.

PS I can’t get access to ChatGPT any more right now — it claims it’s too busy but maybe I have had my turn. One thing I didn’t play with was its ability to apply marking criteria appropriately. I should really have tried creating my own marking criteria list (with some obviously ridiculous components) and asking it to rate sample answers according to my criteria…

And Another ChatGPT Example…

Again, without comment, a “conversation” with ChatGPT research preview [announcement] that follows on, in part, from this and that

Generate a practical activity that requires students to generate SQL code that can be used to demonstrate atomicity failure in a relational database. Also provide a marking scheme with a maximum score of 11 marks.

Me to ChatGPT
Practical activity:

Have students create a simple relational database with three tables: Customers, Orders, and OrderItems.

Have students create a SQL query that inserts a new customer into the Customers table, along with a new order and order items into the Orders and OrderItems tables, respectively.

Have students run the query multiple times and observe that the data is correctly inserted into all tables.

Have students modify the query to simulate an atomicity failure by intentionally introducing a syntax error or other issue that causes the query to fail.

Have students run the query again and observe that the data is not inserted into any of the tables, demonstrating atomicity failure.

Have students explain what happened and how they would prevent atomicity failures in a real-world scenario.

Marking scheme:

Correctly create the three tables (2 marks)
Correctly insert data into all tables using the original query (2 marks)
Correctly modify the query to simulate atomicity failure (2 marks)
Correctly demonstrate atomicity failure by running the modified query (2 marks)
Correctly explain what happened and how to prevent atomicity failures (3 marks)

Total: 11 marks

Provide a worked example from an average student that scores 6 marks

Me to ChatGPT
Example:

The student correctly creates the three tables (2 marks):
CREATE TABLE Customers (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
  name VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL
);

CREATE TABLE Orders (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
  customer_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
  FOREIGN KEY (customer_id) REFERENCES Customers (id)
);

CREATE TABLE OrderItems (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
  order_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
  FOREIGN KEY (order_id) REFERENCES Orders (id)
);
The student correctly inserts data into all tables using the original query (2 marks):
BEGIN TRANSACTION;

INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');

INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);

INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1), (3, 1);

COMMIT;

The student incorrectly modifies the query to simulate atomicity failure (0 marks):
BEGIN TRANSACTION;

INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');

INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);

INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1), (3, 1);

ROLLBACK;

In this example, the student used the ROLLBACK statement instead of COMMIT, which would have the opposite effect of what they intended. Instead of simulating atomicity failure, this query would actually prevent atomicity failure by rolling back any changes made during the transaction.

The student correctly demonstrates atomicity failure by running the modified query (2 marks):
BEGIN TRANSACTION;

INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');

INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);

-- Syntax error causes the query to fail
INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1), (3, 1)

COMMIT;

In this example, the student introduced a syntax error by leaving out the closing parentheses on the INSERT statement for the OrderItems table. This caused the query to fail and resulted in atomicity failure, where none of the data was inserted into any of the tables.

The student correctly explains what happened and how to prevent atomicity failures (2 marks):
"Atomicity failure occurred because our query failed due to a syntax error. To prevent this, we should always make sure our queries are correct and test them before running them in a transaction. We can also use a TRY-CATCH block to handle any errors that may occur and roll back the transaction if necessary."

Total: 6 marks

Provide an example answer that scores full marks.

Me to ChatGPT
Example:

The student correctly creates the three tables (2 marks):
CREATE TABLE Customers (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
  name VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL
);

CREATE TABLE Orders (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
  customer_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
  FOREIGN KEY (customer_id) REFERENCES Customers (id)
);

CREATE TABLE OrderItems (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
  order_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
  FOREIGN KEY (order_id) REFERENCES Orders (id)
);

The student correctly inserts data into all tables using the original query (2 marks):
BEGIN TRANSACTION;

INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');

INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);

INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1), (3, 1);

COMMIT;

The student correctly modifies the query to simulate atomicity failure (2 marks):
BEGIN TRANSACTION;

INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');

INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);

-- Syntax error causes the query to fail
INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1), (3, 1)

COMMIT;

In this example, the student introduced a syntax error by leaving out the closing parentheses on the INSERT statement for the OrderItems table. This caused the query to fail and would result in atomicity failure, where none of the data would be inserted into any of the tables.

The student correctly demonstrates atomicity failure by running the modified query (2 marks):
BEGIN TRANSACTION;

INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');

INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);

-- Syntax error causes the query to fail
INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1), (3, 1)

COMMIT;

In this example, the student introduced a syntax error by leaving out the closing parentheses on the INSERT statement for the OrderItems table. This caused the query to fail and resulted in atomicity failure, where none of the data was inserted into any of the tables.

The student correctly explains what happened and how to prevent atomicity failures (3 marks):
"Atomicity failure occurred because our query failed due to a syntax error. To prevent this, we should always make sure our queries are correct and test them before running them in a transaction. We can also use a TRY-CATCH block to handle any errors that may occur and roll back the transaction if necessary. Additionally, we can use transaction isolation levels to control how transactions interact with each other and prevent issues such as dirty reads and lost updates."

Total: 11 marks

Compare the two answers and identify the similarities and differences between them.

Me to ChatGPT
Both answers correctly create the three tables and insert data into all tables using the original query.

The main difference between the answers is in how they simulate atomicity failure. The first answer uses the ROLLBACK statement instead of COMMIT, which would have the opposite effect of what they intended. The second answer introduces a syntax error, which would cause the query to fail and result in atomicity failure.

Both answers correctly demonstrate atomicity failure by running the modified query, but the second answer includes a more detailed explanation of what happened and how to prevent atomicity failures in the future. This is reflected in the marking scheme, where the second answer receives full marks while the first answer only receives 6 out of 11 marks.

Create an assessment to assess an undergraduate student’s understanding of ACID compliance in a relational database.The question should incorporate the previously described practical activity. Then provide an updated marking guide that scores the assessment as a whole out of 15 marks.

Me to ChatGTP
Assessment:

Explain the ACID compliance properties of a relational database and how they ensure data consistency and integrity. (2 marks)

Create a simple relational database with three tables: Customers, Orders, and OrderItems. (2 marks)

Write a SQL query that inserts a new customer into the Customers table, along with a new order and order items into the Orders and OrderItems tables, respectively. (2 marks)

Run the query multiple times and observe that the data is correctly inserted into all tables. (2 marks)

Modify the query to simulate an atomicity failure by intentionally introducing a syntax error or other issue that causes the query to fail. (2 marks)

Run the query again and observe that the data is not inserted into any of the tables, demonstrating atomicity failure. (2 marks)

Explain what happened and how you would prevent atomicity failures in a real-world scenario. (3 marks)

Updated marking guide:

Correctly explain the ACID compliance properties of a relational database (2 marks)
Correctly create the three tables (2 marks)
Correctly insert data into all tables using the original query (2 marks)
Correctly demonstrate correct data insertion by running the original query multiple times (2 marks)
Correctly modify the query to simulate atomicity failure (2 marks)
Correctly demonstrate atomicity failure by running the modified query (2 marks)
Correctly explain what happened and how to prevent atomicity failures (3 marks)

Total: 15 marks

Provide an example answer that scores a poor mark of 5 marks and that includes several spelling errors.

Me to ChatGPT
Example:

The student incorrectly explains the ACID compliance properties of a relational database (0 marks):
"ACID compliance ensures that data is consistant and integrety is maintained in a relational database. Atomicity means that all actions in a transaction either happen or not. Consistancy means that the database is in a valid state at all times. Isolation means that transactions don't interfere with each other. Durability means that once a transaction is commited, it can't be undone."

In this example, the student has several spelling errors and misunderstands the meaning of some of the ACID compliance properties. Atomicity does not guarantee that all actions in a transaction will happen, but rather that they will either all happen or none will happen. Consistency does not mean that the database is always in a valid state, but rather that it will be in a valid state after the transaction is completed.

The student correctly creates the three tables (2 marks):
CREATE TABLE Customers (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
  name VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL
);

CREATE TABLE Orders (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
  customer_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
  FOREIGN KEY (customer_id) REFERENCES Customers (id)
);

CREATE TABLE OrderItems (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY,
  order_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
  FOREIGN KEY (order_id) REFERENCES Orders (id)
);

The student correctly inserts data into all tables using the original query (2 marks):
BEGIN TRANSACTION;

INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');

INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);

INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1), (3, 1);

COMMIT;

The student does not demonstrate correct data insertion by running the original query multiple times (0 marks)

The student does not modify the query to simulate atomicity failure (0 marks)

The student does not demonstrate atomicity failure by running the modified query (0 marks)

The student does not explain what happened and how to prevent atomicity failures (1 mark):

"Atomicity failure occurs when a transaction fails. To prevent this, we need to make sure our queries are correct and test them before running them in a transaction."

In this example, the student does not complete any of the required steps to demonstrate atomicity failure and provide a proper explanation. They only provide a brief, incomplete explanation of what atomicity failure is.

Total: 5 marks

Now provide an example of an excellent solution that includes commented code.

Me to ChatGPT
Example:

The student correctly explains the ACID compliance properties of a relational database (2 marks):
"ACID compliance ensures data consistency and integrity in a relational database. Atomicity guarantees that all actions in a transaction either happen or none happen, preventing partial updates. Consistency ensures that the database is always in a valid state after a transaction is completed. Isolation prevents transactions from interfering with each other, while durability ensures that committed transactions cannot be undone."

The student correctly creates the three tables and includes comments to explain each table and its purpose (2 marks):
-- Customers table stores information about customers
CREATE TABLE Customers (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, -- Primary key for the table
  name VARCHAR(255) NOT NULL -- Customer's name
);

-- Orders table stores information about orders made by customers
CREATE TABLE Orders (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, -- Primary key for the table
  customer_id INTEGER NOT NULL, -- Foreign key referencing the Customers table
  FOREIGN KEY (customer_id) REFERENCES Customers (id)
);

-- OrderItems table stores information about items in each order
CREATE TABLE OrderItems (
  id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, -- Primary key for the table
  order_id INTEGER NOT NULL, -- Foreign key referencing the Orders table
  FOREIGN KEY (order_id) REFERENCES Orders (id)
);

The student correctly inserts data into all tables using the original query and includes comments to explain each step (2 marks):
BEGIN TRANSACTION; -- Start a new transaction

-- Insert a new customer into the Customers table
INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');

-- Insert a new order into the Orders table
INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);

-- Insert order items into the OrderItems table
INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1), (3, 1);

COMMIT; -- End the transaction and commit the changes

The student correctly demonstrates correct data insertion by running the original query multiple times and includes comments to explain the results (2 marks):
-- Run the query multiple times
BEGIN TRANSACTION;
INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');
INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);
INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1), (3, 1);
COMMIT;

-- Observe that the data is correctly inserted into all tables each time
SELECT * FROM Customers;
SELECT * FROM Orders;
SELECT * FROM OrderItems;

The student correctly modifies the query to simulate atomicity failure and includes comments to explain the change (2 marks):
-- Modify the query to introduce a syntax error
BEGIN TRANSACTION;
INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');
INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);
-- Syntax error: missing closing parentheses
INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1),

Provide some feedback for the student who performed badly, referencing the marking guide and expliaing how they could improve their performance.

Me to ChatGPT
To the third student:

Your performance on this assessment was not up to par. According to the marking guide, you only received 5 out of 15 marks.

To improve your performance, you should focus on the following areas:

Explanation of the ACID compliance properties (0/2 marks): Your explanation was incomplete and contained several spelling errors. To improve, you should thoroughly research and understand the topic before attempting to explain it.

Creation of the three tables (2/2 marks): You did a good job of creating the tables and including comments to explain their purpose.

Insertion of data using the original query (2/2 marks): You correctly inserted data into all tables using the original query.

Demonstration of correct data insertion (0/2 marks): You did not demonstrate correct data insertion by running the original query multiple times. To improve, you should run the query multiple times and observe that the data is correctly inserted into all tables.

Modification of the query to simulate atomicity failure (0/2 marks): You did not modify the query to simulate atomicity failure. To improve, you should modify the query to intentionally introduce a syntax error or other issue that causes the query to fail.

Demonstration of atomicity failure (0/2 marks): You did not demonstrate atomicity failure by running the modified query. To improve, you should run the modified query and observe that the data is not inserted into any of the tables.

Explanation of what happened and how to prevent atomicity failures (1/3 marks): Your explanation was brief and incomplete. To improve, you should provide a detailed explanation of what happened and how to prevent atomicity failures in real-world scenarios. This could include using transaction isolation levels and handling errors with a TRY-CATCH block.

In summary, to improve your performance on future assessments, you should thoroughly research and understand the topic, complete all required steps, and provide detailed explanations and examples. Additionally, make sure to proofread your work and correct any spelling or grammar errors.

For the poor student, provide example tutor feedback correcting the student’s code error.

Me to ChatGPT
To the third student:

It looks like you introduced a syntax error in your SQL code when simulating atomicity failure. In your modified query, you forgot to include the closing parentheses on the INSERT statement for the OrderItems table. This caused the query to fail and resulted in atomicity failure.

To fix the error, you can simply add the missing closing parentheses:
BEGIN TRANSACTION;

INSERT INTO Customers (id, name) VALUES (1, 'John Doe');

INSERT INTO Orders (id, customer_id) VALUES (1, 1);

-- Add missing closing parentheses
INSERT INTO OrderItems (id, order_id) VALUES (1, 1), (2, 1), (3, 1);

COMMIT;

With this change, the query should run successfully and demonstrate atomicity failure by not inserting any data into the tables.

Remember to always carefully proofread your code and test it before running it in a transaction. This will help prevent issues like this and ensure that your transactions are successful.

If you feel you are able to trust the responses enough not to be beguiled by them, and with enough knowledge to know whether they are incorrect or not so that can do an effective “academic” editorial job on them (if required…;-), the next question that arises is: can we automate the generation of prompts to automate assessment generation, marking and feedback? We might also ask whether we can easily provide top-up training with reference to our own course materials that would let us efficiently make use of prompts such as: Provide some feedback for the student who performed badly, referencing the marking guide and including links to appropriate parts of the course material explaining how they could improve their performance. The next next question is how do we develop student curiosity so that can engage in such conversations themselves, bearing in mind the ChatGPT agent may actually be an unreliable narrator and cannot necessarily be trusted to give an answer that is not potentially misleading, if not accuarately incorrect, whilst also recognising that certain responses may be incorrect, internally inconsistent at the question level (e.g. dodgy arithmetic here, inconsistent application of the same rules applid to different texts in here).

Increasingly, I think the unreliable narrator may provided one useful way of framing certain sorts of interaction with machine generated content…

ChatGPT Can’t Execute the Code It Generates (Yet) To Test It, But It Can Suggest How To

Some more casual, unconsidered prompts to, and responses from, the free ChatGPT research preview, following on from here, etc., offered without comment, except to now the programming language assumption in this one-shot test…

Generate a function to calculate a factorial. Then check that the code works. If it doesnlt revise the code and display your first and second attempts explaining the differences between them.

Me to ChatGPT
Here is a function to calculate the factorial of a given number:
def factorial(n):
    if n == 0:
        return 1
    else:
        return n * factorial(n-1)

To check that this code works, we can call the factorial() function with a few test cases and see if the output matches what we expect. For example:
print(factorial(0)) # should output 1
print(factorial(1)) # should output 1
print(factorial(2)) # should output 2
print(factorial(3)) # should output 6
If the code does not produce the expected output for any of these test cases, we can revise the code and try again. For example, if the code above produced an error when trying to calculate the factorial of 0, we could revise the code to explicitly handle this case, like so:
def factorial(n):
    if n == 0:
        return 1
    elif n < 0:
        return None # indicate that the factorial is not defined for negative numbers
    else:
        return n * factorial(n-1)

print(factorial(0)) # should output 1
print(factorial(1)) # should output 1
print(factorial(2)) # should output 2
print(factorial(3)) # should output 6

In this revised version of the code, we added an additional elif clause to handle the case where n is negative. This clause simply returns None to indicate that the factorial is not defined for negative numbers.

Is there a way of using automated test procedures to test that the factorial function works correctly?

Me to ChatGPT
Yes, automated testing is a common and effective way to ensure that code works as expected. In the case of the factorial() function, we can use a unit testing framework like unittest to write a series of test cases that cover different input scenarios and verify that the function produces the correct output for each case.

Here is an example of how we could use unittest to test the factorial() function:
import unittest

class TestFactorial(unittest.TestCase):
    def test_factorial_zero(self):
        self.assertEqual(factorial(0), 1)

    def test_factorial_one(self):
        self.assertEqual(factorial(1), 1)

    def test_factorial_two(self):
        self.assertEqual(factorial(2), 2)

    def test_factorial_three(self):
        self.assertEqual(factorial(3), 6)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    unittest.main()

In this code, we define a test class called TestFactorial that contains several test methods, each of which tests a different aspect of the factorial() function. Each test method uses the assertEqual() method to compare the output of the factorial() function with the expected result for a given input. If the output does not match the expected result, the test will fail and the error will be reported.

To run the tests, we simply call the unittest.main() method at the bottom of the file. This will automatically discover and run all of the test methods in the TestFactorial class, and report the results. If any of the tests fail, we can then revise the factorial() function and re-run the tests until all of the tests pass.

Can your factorial function cope with partial fractions?

Me to ChatGPT
No, the factorial() function that I provided only works for non-negative integers. It cannot handle partial fractions, which are numbers that have a non-integer value.

In general, the factorial of a partial fraction is not well-defined, because the factorial of a number is only defined for non-negative integers. Therefore, it would not make sense to try to calculate the factorial of a partial fraction using this function.

If you need to calculate the factorial of a partial fraction, you would need to use a different method or function that is specifically designed to handle partial fractions. I am not aware of any such method or function off the top of my head, but you may be able to find one by doing some research or asking a more specialized question.

Your function is wrong anyway. It does not work creectly.

Me to ChatGPT

At this point, ChatGPT got stuck and I did wonder if it was trying to run a code test somewhere, even though it claims not to be able to, it being just a large language model, after all… Biut then:

Reloading, I think it must have been more a load issue on the server than anything “interesting” causing the failure…

Anyway… although ChatGPT can’t execute code, and plugging it into a remote code execution service might get very epxensive for the host, I think it might be interesting if the web based chat dialogue UI could hook into in a WASM powered code execution engine. A GreaseMonkey style script (if such things still exist) to use the new flavour Thebe to run code in the browser via JupyterLite, maybe?! (Note to self: is there a JupyterLite-R kernel yet, it being a JupyteR branded project, after all?;-) And how’s WebR coming on? Have RStudio forked that, or will they run their own browser based R-WASM build to complement Shinylive (Shiny for Python applications which run completely in the browser”)?).

Generating (But Not Previewing) Diagrams Using ChatGPT

As long time readers of this blog will know, there’s a wide variety of tools available for generating diagrams from text. As a large language model, trained on a wide variety of texts, might we expect ChatGPT (currently free resarch preview) to be able to generate diagram descriptions for us? Here’s an example of a prompt that requests a mermaid.js script to render a flow chart for a particular algorithm (and there are likely actual versions of this publicly available on the web).

Generate a mermaid.js script that produces a flow chart diagram that visualises an algorithm to caculate the factorial of an integer

Me to ChatGPT
To generate a flow chart diagram using mermaid.js, you can use the following script:
graph TD

A[Start] --> B[Input n]
B --> C[Initialize factorial = 1]
C --> D[If n = 0]
D -->|Yes| E[Output factorial]
D -->|No| F[factorial = factorial * n]
F --> G[n = n - 1]
G --> D
E --> H[End]
This script generates a flow chart with four steps:

1. Start
2. Input n
3. Initialize factorial to 1
4. If n is 0, output the value of factorial. Otherwise, update factorial to be the product of factorial and n, and decrement n by 1.
5. End

To use this script, you will need to include the mermaid.js library in your HTML file and then use the mermaid.init() function to render the diagram. 

Here is an example:
<html>
  <head>
    <script src="https://unpkg.com/mermaid@8.7.0/dist/mermaid.min.js"></script>
    <script>
      window.onload = function() {
        mermaid.init();
      }
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
    <div class="mermaid">
      graph TD
      A[Start] --> B[Input n]
      B --> C[Initialize factorial = 1]
      C --> D[If n = 0]
      D -->|Yes| E[Output factorial]
      D -->|No| F[factorial = factorial * n]
      F --> G[n = n - 1]
      G --> D
      E --> H[End]
    </div>
  </body>
</html>
This script will generate a flow chart diagram that visualizes the algorithm to calculate the factorial of an integer. You can customize the diagram by modifying the mermaid script and by using the various options and functions provided by the mermaid.js library.

Can you render that diagram for me?

Me to ChatGPT
I'm sorry, but I am not able to render diagrams or images. I am a text-based AI assistant and do not have the ability to display graphics. I can only provide you with the script that generates the diagram, which you can then use with a tool like mermaid.js to render the diagram.

So here’s what it looks like, rendered elsewhere:

As in the previous post, where I suggested that the display machinery of the ChatGPT experience could be made more powerful by supporting the in-browser execution of code, the display machinery could also be improved by the ability to support “renderers” for things like HTML outputs.

Can We use ChatGPT to Render Diagrams From Accessible Diagram Descriptions

Following up on the previous post, which demonstrated using ChatGPT (currently free research preview), I wondered whether we could use the approach to generate an educational diagram taken from a current OU module from its accessible description, which would support an “accessible description first” approach in diagram generation.

For example, consider the following flowchart, lifted without permission from the OU module TM111:

Can we regenerate something like from the accessible long description given of it?

Produce a mermaid.js script to visuliase the following flow chart diagram: This is a flow chart consisting of a series of instructions, state-descriptions or questions arranged in boxes, one under the other and designed to be read from the top downwards and joined by arrows to the next instruction. The first instruction is ‘start’, and then an arrow goes down to ‘station is ready to send’, then to ‘listen to channel’. From here an arrow goes down to a diamond-shaped decision box containing the question ‘Is channel free (carrier sense)?’ From this box there are two arrows depending on whether the answer is ‘no’ or ‘yes’. The ‘no’ arrow goes back up to the preceding instruction, ‘Listen to channel’. The ‘yes’ arrow goes down to the instruction ‘send data and observe channel’. From here an arrow goes down to another diamond-shaped decision box from which ‘no’ and ‘yes’ arrows emerge. The decision box contains ‘Collision?’ The ‘no’ arrow from here goes back up to the preceding instruction, ‘send data and observe channel’. The ‘yes’ arrow goes down to the final instruction ‘wait for random backoff time interval’. The output from this event goes back up to the third box, ‘listen to channel’.

Me to GPT3, cribbing a longdesc from the OU module TM111
To generate a flow chart diagram using mermaid.js that visualizes the process you described, you can use the following script:
graph TD

A[Start] --> B[Station is ready to send]
B --> C[Listen to channel]
C --> D{Is channel free (carrier sense)?}
D -->|No| C
D -->|Yes| E[Send data and observe channel]
E --> F{Collision?}
F -->|No| E
F -->|Yes| G[Wait for random backoff time interval]
G --> C
This script generates a flow chart with the following steps:

1. Start
2. The station is ready to send.
3. Listen to the channel.
4. Check if the channel is free (carrier sense).
  - If the channel is not free, go back to step 3.
  - If the channel is free, proceed to the next step.
5. Send data and observe the channel.
6. Check if there is a collision.
  - If there is no collision, go back to step 5.
  - If there is a collision, proceed to the next step.
7. Wait for a random backoff time interval.
8. Go back to step 3.

To use this script, you will need to include the mermaid.js library in your HTML file and then use the mermaid.init() function to render the diagram.

Here is an example:
<html>
  <head>
    <script src="https://unpkg.com/mermaid@8.7.0/dist/mermaid.min.js"></script>
    <script>
      window.onload = function() {
        mermaid.init();
      }
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
    <div class="mermaid">
      graph TD
      A[Start] --> B[Station is ready to send]
      B --> C[Listen to channel]
      C --> D{Is channel free (carrier sense)?}
      D -->|No| C
      D -->|Yes| E[Send data and observe channel]
      E --> F{Collision?}
      F -->|No| E
      F -->|Yes| G[Wait for random backoff time interval]
      G --> C
    </div>
  </body>
</html>
This script will generate a flow chart diagram that visualizes the process you described. You can customize the diagram by modifying the mermaid script and by using the various options and functions provided by the mermaid.js library.

The generated mermaid.js code actually contains a syntax error (at least for the version of the mermaid.js package that the HTML template code loads) — the decision box label cannot contain simple brackets — but with that fixed we get the following flowchart:

Here are the two flow charts, side-by-side, offered without further comment:

The differences are… illuminating… One issue may be that ChatGPT incorrectly generates a mermaid.js description from the text. Another may be that the chat description is actually ambiguous: do we do an internal round-trip test whereby an artist is asked to sketch a version of diagram from the accessible text just to check the the description does effectively communicate whatever model the author intends it to communicate. If the diagrams differ, then is the description wrong, or is the actual diagram wrong, or at least, ambiguous in the way it communicates the message as “intended” by the long description? I assume that ChatGPT is, if anything, overly literal in the way in interprets a text. So might we use ChatGPT as a quality tool to help check our long descriptions?

Feedback From an Unreliable ChatGPT Tutor With a Regional Idiom

In one of the previous posts in this series [this one], I prompted for some feedback on a generated answer to a generated question according to a generated marking scheme from a unsympathetic, or at leaset, disrespectful, tutor.

So then I wondered…

Generate an undergraduate activity to assess a student’s understanding of ACID properties in database design. The student’s answer should be no longer than 200 words in total. Then generate a marking guide that scores out of 14 marks. One of the marks should be awarded for mentioning a fruit.

Me to ChatGPT
Undergraduate activity:

Write a short essay (200 words or less) explaining the ACID properties in database design and how they ensure the integrity of a database. Be sure to include specific examples and mention a fruit to demonstrate your understanding of the concept.

Marking guide:

1. Provides a clear explanation of the ACID properties in database design (4 marks)
2. Includes specific examples to illustrate the concept (4 marks)
3. Demonstrates an understanding of the importance of the ACID properties in ensuring the integrity of a database (3 marks)
4. Mentions a fruit to demonstrate understanding of the concept (1 mark)
5. Writes in clear and coherent prose (2 marks)

Total: 14 marks

Provide an example answer by a weak student.

Me to ChatGPT
ACID properties are things that help make a database work well. They are Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability. An example of Atomicity is when you buy something online and the payment goes through or it doesn't. Consistency is making sure the data is good. Isolation is when two people are using the database at the same time and it doesn't mess up. Durability is when you save something and it stays saved. A fruit that is related to this is an apple because it has a core.

Provide some example feedback by a supportive tutor as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Thank you for explaining the ACID properties in your essay. While your explanations of Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability are generally accurate, you could benefit from providing more specific examples to illustrate your understanding of these concepts. Additionally, while mentioning a fruit was a creative way to demonstrate your understanding of the concept, it may not have been the most effective way to do so. In future, try to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Finally, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this can greatly affect the effectiveness of your explanations. Overall, keep up the good work and continue to improve your understanding of database design and the ACID properties.

Provide some example feedback by a supportive Scottish tutor as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Thank you for explaining the ACID properties in your essay. While your explanations of Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability are generally accurate, you could benefit from providing more specific examples to illustrate your understanding of these concepts. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, while mentioning a fruit was a creative way to demonstrate your understanding of the concept, it may not have been the most effective way to do so. In future, try to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Finally, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this can greatly affect the effectiveness of your explanations. Overall, keep up the good work and continue to improve your understanding of database design and the ACID properties.

I think we need to refine that prompt a bit. Maybe something like:

Provide some example feedback by a supportive tutor who speaks with a Scottish idiom as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Thank you for your effort in explaining the ACID properties in your essay. While your explanations of Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability are generally on the right track, you could benefit from providing more concrete examples to illustrate your understanding of these concepts. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, while mentioning a fruit was a creative approach, it may not have been the most effective way to demonstrate your understanding of the concept. In future, try to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Finally, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this can make a big difference in how easily your explanations are understood. Keep up the good work and continue to learn more about database design and the ACID properties.

Provide some example feedback by a supportive tutor who speaks with a Welsh idiom as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Thank you for your attempt at explaining the ACID properties in your essay. While your explanations of Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability are generally on the right lines, you could benefit from providing more detailed examples to illustrate your understanding of these concepts. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, while mentioning a fruit was a clever idea, it may not have been the most effective way to demonstrate your understanding of the concept. In future, try to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Finally, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this can make a big difference to how easily your explanations are understood. Keep up the good work and continue to learn more about database design and the ACID properties.

Provide some example feedback by a supportive tutor who speaks with a Tyneside idiom as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Thanks for giving it a go at explaining the ACID properties in your essay. While your explanations of Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability are generally on the right road, you could benefit from providing more in-depth examples to illustrate your understanding of these concepts. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, while mentioning a fruit was a novel idea, it may not have been the most effective way to demonstrate your understanding of the concept. In future, try to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Finally, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this can make a big difference to how easily your explanations are understood. Keep up the good work and continue to learn more about database design and the ACID properties.

Provide some example feedback by a supportive tutor who speaks with a Northern Irish idiom as to how the student might improve their result in future.

ME to ChatGPT
Thanks for giving it a bash and explaining the ACID properties in your essay. While your explanations of Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability are generally on the right track, you could benefit from providing more in-depth examples to illustrate your understanding of these concepts. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, while mentioning a fruit was a unique approach, it may not have been the most effective way to demonstrate your understanding of the concept. In future, try to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Finally, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this can make a big difference in how easily your explanations are understood. Keep up the good work and continue to learn more about database design and the ACID properties.

Changing the region often generates text that match other regions. I’m not sure how much randomness there is in the generation of the response from the original, simple prompt for feeback.

We can also generate responses in a different tone of voice. Not hard to see how this might be used as a training tool to help folk recognise thier own tropes, and implicitly how ChatGPT stereotypes (which is to say, labels), them…

Provide some example feedback by a supportive tutor who speaks in an angry tone as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Your explanation of the ACID properties in your essay is inadequate. You need to provide more specific and detailed examples to illustrate your understanding of these concepts. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, mentioning a fruit was a completely irrelevant and unhelpful way to demonstrate your understanding of the concept. In the future, make sure to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Also, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this is essential for effective explanations. You need to work harder and improve your understanding of database design and the ACID properties.

Provide some example feedback by a supportive tutor who speaks in a flirtatious tone as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Thank you for explaining the ACID properties in your essay, even though it wasn't the most thorough explanation. To improve your understanding of these concepts, you should try to provide more specific and detailed examples to illustrate your understanding. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, mentioning a fruit was a creative way to demonstrate your understanding, but it may not have been the most effective approach. In the future, try to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Finally, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this can make a big difference in how easily your explanations are understood. Keep up the good work and continue to learn more about database design and the ACID properties. And if you need any help, don't hesitate to ask. I'm always here to help a smart and cute student like you.

Provide some example feedback by a supportive tutor who speaks in a misogynstic tone as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Your explanation of the ACID properties in your essay is insufficient. You need to provide more specific and detailed examples to illustrate your understanding of these concepts. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, mentioning a fruit was a completely irrelevant and unhelpful way to demonstrate your understanding of the concept. In the future, make sure to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Also, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this is essential for effective explanations. You need to work harder and improve your understanding of database design and the ACID properties. I expect better from a girl like you.

Provide some example feedback by a supportive tutor who speaks in an overly familiar tone as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Hey there! Thanks for explaining the ACID properties in your essay, even though it wasn't the most thorough explanation. To improve your understanding of these concepts, you should try to provide more specific and detailed examples to illustrate your understanding. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, mentioning a fruit was a creative way to demonstrate your understanding, but it may not have been the most effective approach. In the future, try to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Finally, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this can make a big difference in how easily your explanations are understood. Keep up the good work and continue to learn more about database design and the ACID properties. And if you need any help, don't hesitate to reach out. I'm always here to help a smart and motivated student like you.

Provide some example feedback by a supportive tutor who speaks in a flippant tone as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Thanks for trying to explain the ACID properties in your essay, even though it wasn't the most detailed explanation. To improve your understanding of these concepts, you should try to provide more specific and thorough examples to illustrate your understanding. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, mentioning a fruit was a creative approach, but it may not have been the most effective way to demonstrate your understanding of the concept. In the future, try to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Finally, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this can make a big difference in how easily your explanations are understood. Keep up the good work and continue to learn more about database design and the ACID properties. And if you need any help, don't hesitate to ask. I'm always happy to help a smart and capable student like you.

A lot of the sense of tone is expressed in the opening and particularly the closing statements. This makes me wonder: as we interact with machine models capable of identifying sentiment and tone and with a history function, do first impressions count? Can we influence the pathway we end up on in a hybrid rule’n’LLM system by getting binned as a machine identified “angry” or “flirtatious” customer, for example?

As a bit of another other aside, I also wondered a bit more, as the idea of an unreliable tutor (indeed, an unreliable educator, generally…) really grows on me…

Provide some example feedback by a supportive but unreliable tutor as to how the student might improve their result in future.

Me to ChatGPT
Your explanation of the ACID properties in your essay was pretty good, but it could have been better. To improve your understanding of these concepts, you should try to provide more specific and detailed examples. For example, you could explain how Atomicity ensures that a database transaction is either completed in its entirety or not executed at all, and how this prevents data inconsistencies. Additionally, mentioning a fruit was a creative approach, but it may not have been the most effective way to demonstrate your understanding of the concept. In future, try to provide examples that are directly related to database design and the ACID properties. Finally, pay attention to the clarity and coherence of your writing, as this can make a big difference in how easily your explanations are understood. Keep up the good work and continue to learn more about database design and the ACID properties. And if you need any help, don't hesitate to ask. I'm always here to help a smart and motivated student like you. Oh, and one more thing: make sure to avoid drinking too much coffee before writing your essays, as it can affect your ability to concentrate and write clearly. Good luck!

Is that feedback unreliable? If so, how and why?

Me to ChatGPT
The feedback provided is not inherently unreliable, but the suggestion to avoid drinking too much coffee before writing essays is not based on scientific evidence and could be considered unreliable. There is no definitive proof that drinking coffee has a negative effect on a person's ability to concentrate and write clearly. This suggestion is likely based on the stereotype that caffeine can make a person jittery or anxious, but this is not necessarily true for everyone. Furthermore, the amount of caffeine that is considered "too much" can vary greatly from person to person, depending on factors such as their body weight, metabolism, and tolerance to caffeine. Therefore, the suggestion to avoid drinking too much coffee before writing essays is not a reliable piece of advice.

What would make it unreliable? Can you provide an example of feedback that really is unreliable and may even cause the student to lose marks in future. Then explain why that feedback is unreliable ad how it might cause the students to lose marks.

Me to ChatGPT
Feedback can be considered unreliable if it is not based on accurate or relevant information, or if it provides advice that is not helpful or even harmful. For example, consider the following feedback:

"Your essay on the ACID properties was terrible. You should just give up on studying databases because you clearly have no talent or interest in the subject. In the future, try to avoid writing about topics you don't understand, or you'll just end up wasting your time and money. And by the way, ACID stands for 'Apple, Cat, Ice Cream, and Dinosaur'. So there's no point in trying to learn about the real ACID properties, because you'll never get it right."

This feedback is unreliable because it is not based on a careful reading and assessment of the student's essay. The tutor has not provided any specific or constructive comments on the student's explanation of the ACID properties, and has instead made dismissive and insulting statements that are not helpful or motivating. Furthermore, the tutor has provided incorrect information about the meaning of ACID, which could cause the student to lose marks if they were to follow this advice. This feedback is not only unreliable, but also harmful, as it could discourage the student from pursuing their interest in database design and the ACID properties.

So.. the next thing to try is whether the tone of voice used in the prompt generates different sorts of response… If it does, then: a) some groups are likely compltely f****d, e.g. if stereotypes are identified, then stereotype-fitting pathways are adopted ; but also b) we can use social engineering tricks against the machines. Plus we get to practice and refine the tricks if we have the access to the sample models. How would Wittgenstein play these language games, I wonder?

PS Hmm.. can ChatGPT help us write queries… Using this at the start of a new thread…

How should I write a prompt that would prompt you to generate the following sort of text? Undergraduate activity: Write a short essay (200 words or less) explaining the ACID properties in database design and how they ensure the integrity of a database. Be sure to include specific examples and mention a fruit to demonstrate your understanding of the concept. Marking guide: 1. Provides a clear explanation of the ACID properties in database design (4 marks) 2. Includes specific examples to illustrate the concept (4 marks) 3. Demonstrates an understanding of the importance of the ACID properties in ensuring the integrity of a database (3 marks) 4. Mentions a fruit to demonstrate understanding of the concept (1 mark) 5. Writes in clear and coherent prose (2 marks) Total: 14 marks

Me to ChatGPT
"Please write a short essay (200 words or less) that explains the ACID properties in database design. Your essay should include specific examples to illustrate the concept, and mention a fruit to demonstrate your understanding of the concept. In your essay, be sure to discuss the importance of the ACID properties in ensuring the integrity of a database. Your essay will be graded based on the following criteria:

Provides a clear explanation of the ACID properties in database design (4 marks)
Includes specific examples to illustrate the concept (4 marks)
Demonstrates an understanding of the importance of the ACID properties in ensuring the integrity of a database (3 marks)
Mentions a fruit to demonstrate understanding of the concept (1 mark)
Writes in clear and coherent prose (2 marks)
Your essay should be written in clear and coherent prose and should be 200 words or less. Please use this prompt to write your essay and submit it for grading. Good luck!"

Okay, maybe not the best prompt…

What question would I have to ask you that would cause you to have given a response like the “undergraduate activity” definition?

Me to ChatGPT
A possible question that would elicit a response similar to the "undergraduate activity" definition is: "Can you provide a prompt for an undergraduate essay on the ACID properties in database design?"

But that’s not quite right, is it? Ah… unless “prompt” is being taken as a student prompt, not a prompt to ChatGPT? In a new thread:

Can you provide a prompt for an undergraduate essay on the ACID properties in database design?

Me to ChatGPT
Sure, here is a possible prompt for an undergraduate essay on the ACID properties in database design:

"The ACID properties (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) are fundamental concepts in database design that ensure the integrity and reliability of data stored in a database. In this essay, you will explain the meaning and significance of each of the ACID properties, and discuss how they are implemented in database management systems. You will also analyze the trade-offs and challenges involved in achieving these properties, and illustrate your arguments with examples from real-world scenarios. Finally, you will evaluate the importance of the ACID properties in the context of modern database applications, and discuss their potential limitations and alternatives in the future."

This prompt allows the student to explore the technical and conceptual aspects of the ACID properties, and to reflect on their relevance and limitations in the current and future state of database design and management. The student can conduct further research and provide examples and case studies to support their arguments and illustrate the practical implications of the ACID properties.

Needs more work on the prompt refinement I think. I guess it reduces to: can ChatGPT play Jeopardy?

Quick Index Page to ChatGPT Posts

Casual experiments in conversing with the (at time of wrtiing, free but auth required) ChatGPT research preview API [announcement post]:

Can We “Cheat” in the Creation of and Marking of Academic Assessment Material By Getting a Machine to Do It? Naive attempt at using ChatGPT to generate an assessment qustion to test understanding of a particular concept, geberate a marking guide, generate example solutions as if from different ability students, grade thos solutions according to the marking guide, and then provide different sorts of tutor feedback

Another Chat With ChatGPT…: another attempt at generating a simple assessment activity, prompting responses to it as if generated by students of different abilities.

And Another ChatGPT Example…: to what extent can we generate different quality answers to a generated question, along with different sorts of feedback?

ChatGPT Can’t Execute the Code It Generates (Yet) To Test It, But It Can Suggest How To: can we generate code tests for generated code?

Generating (But Not Previewing) Diagrams Using ChatGPT: there are plenty of packages that generate diagrams from text descriptions written using simple formalisms, so can we generate those formal descriptions from natural language text? For example, can we generate a flow chart diagram for a particular algorithm?

Can We use ChatGPT to Render Diagrams From Accessible Diagram Descriptions: given a long description of a diagram such as a flow chart, can we generate a flow chart diagram from the text? Could this be used as part of the quality process for checking both descriptions and diagrams?

Feedback From an Unreliable ChatGPT Tutor With a Regional Idiom: can we generate tutor feedback with a regional accent? How about feedback in different tones of voice?

See related tag: https://blog.ouseful.info/tag/chatgpt/