Artificial Intelligence

April 26, 2024

Can Canvas detect ChatGPT?


Table of Contents

Canvas vs. AI: Detecting ChatGPT-Generated Content

The rise of cutting-edge AI tools such as ChatGPT has encouraged students to turn in schoolwork and projects that are AI-generated. Similarly, educational institutions like colleges and universities have embraced new e-learning platforms like Canvas for teaching purposes as a result of technology improvements.

AI tools let students finish tasks quickly and see an improvement in their scores right away. However, this reliance on AI hampers students' learning progress, ultimately impacting their future careers. Consequently, many educational institutions are devising strategies to identify AI-generated content or restrict its usage among students.

The question now becomes: How well can Canvas detect ChatGPT content? Is Canvas able to distinguish content produced by Bard, ChatGPT, or other AI-powered sources? In this comprehensive article, we'll explore Canvas's abilities in addressing AI-generated text, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty, exploring both its strengths and limitations in this domain. Let's investigate it more thoroughly.

What is Canvas

Canvas is a powerful learning management system (LMS) that is well-known for its user-friendly design. It meets the demands of educators by making course creation, administration, assignment sharing, student contact, and feedback provision easier. From kindergarten to corporate training, Canvas is celebrated for its intuitive interface and accessibility across various educational institutions.

One of Canvas's most notable features is how well it integrates with a wide range of third-party technologies, going beyond the traditional limitations of an LMS. With this interface, Canvas can integrate a wide range of technologies, such as real-time updates, interactive learning modules, multimedia resources, and most significantly, plagiarism detection capabilities.

Canvas continues to be at the forefront of technical improvements, particularly those designed to recognize and solve issues like plagiarism and AI usage, because of its extensive deployment in educational institutions. Examining how AI and LMS systems like Canvas have evolved together is essential to understanding how Canvas handles plagiarism and AI.

The Application of AI in Education

The topic of AI writing is widely discussed in universities and schools across the globe. Some individuals believe it's beneficial since it may help kids write essays that are well-structured, correct grammar mistakes, and provide them with writing guidance. This is particularly helpful for children who are having trouble with language or learning disabilities since it makes it easier for them to communicate their ideas.

However, AI writing also has drawbacks. Some students might abuse it since it can produce well-written, unique writing with little input. They might pass off content created by AI as their own, which keeps kids from honing critical thinking and other crucial abilities.

Furthermore, there are now more advanced tools for detecting plagiarism caused by AI writing. These tools are integrated into learning management systems like Canvas, making it easier for educators to identify instances of academic dishonesty.

Can Canvas detect ChatGPT / AI Content

In simple terms, Canvas can somewhat detect if content was written by a human or AI, but it's not perfect. Canvas focuses on managing coursework rather than checking content origin.

While some ChatGPT add-ons claim they can do this, none are perfect. They aim to catch AI-written content "to a certain extent," but even one mistake could affect a student's grades unfairly.

Interestingly, people are often better at spotting AI-written content than digital tools are. Teachers can usually tell if something was written by AI because it lacks original ideas or personal thoughts.

If someone uses an AI tool like ChatGPT in Canvas, it's usually easy to see the difference between their old work and the new stuff. It sticks out because of its strange language or how quickly it's done, which isn't typical for humans.

Can Canvas detect Copy and Paste Content?

A common misconception about Canvas is its ability to detect copy-pasting. In reality, Canvas doesn't identify direct copy-paste actions. However, content pasted into Canvas can still be checked for plagiarism by tools like Unicheck.

It's crucial to prioritize originality by understanding and expressing content in your own words.

How does Canvas detect Cheating / Plagiarism?

Platforms like Canvas are used in colleges and universities to prevent cheating during examinations or lectures. They employ many techniques:

  • Tracking student activities: Canvas keeps an eye on everything students do during exams, like clicks, typing, and how long they spend on each question. Teachers can look at this info to see if a student is cheating.
  • Identifying patterns: Canvas looks for repetitions or patterns in the responses. If the responses are overly similar, it may indicate that the student had assistance from a ChatGPT tool.
  • Monitoring response times: Canvas pays attention to how quickly students answer questions. If they answer very fast, it could mean they're using a tool like ChatGPT because it's faster than a person.
  • Integrating third-party plagiarism detection tools: Canvas integrates with external plagiarism detection services, augmenting its native detection capabilities and allowing teachers to use other tools like Turnitin to check for cheating or AI-generated content.
  • Supervised exams: Teachers can use Canvas to watch students take exams live through their webcams. This helps stop cheating, especially for important exams.
  • Limiting browser access: During online exams, Canvas can block students from using other web browsers. This helps prevent them from cheating by looking up answers or using other tools. The block stays until they finish the exam.

Avoiding Canvas Detection

  • Avoid directly copying and pasting phrases: Identifying ChatGPT's speech pattern is relatively easy. If the response from ChatGPT sounds significantly different from your own style, your teacher will notice. You can use a thesaurus to change up the words and modify the sentence structure to better fit your voice.
  • Utilize ChatGPT responses as a starting guide: When looking for help with assignments, ChatGPT can offer some guidance. However, it's essential not to rely too heavily on ChatGPT, particularly for complex topics. After identifying the key concepts, expand on them in your own words.
  • Acknowledge your sources: If your assignment involves incorporating ChatGPT's input and your teacher permits it, remember to cite your sources appropriately. If you don't, it can still be seen as plagiarism and you might face repercussions from your institution.

Techniques for Teachers to Avoid Plagiarism, AI Writing, and Cheating

Strategies for Educators to Prevent Cheating, AI Writing and Plagiarism

To prevent cheating, AI writing, and plagiarism, try new assignment approaches tailored to students' experiences. To improve learning and discourage cheating, make drafts and outlines mandatory.

Teach appropriate research and citation techniques. Change up the types of assignments to evaluate learning in various ways.

Encourage open communication and watch for changes in writing style, which may indicate cheating.

Stay updated on evolving AI and plagiarism methods to adapt assessment strategies confidently.


In summary, can Canvas detect ChatGPT or other AI content?

The answer is No, not directly.

However, don't assume that using AI will go unnoticed. Despite the absence of an integrated AI detector, Canvas offers techniques to identify AI-generated text. It's important to emphasize ethical AI use as relying solely on AI tools may hinder learning and critical thinking development.

Educators are continually improving their ability to detect digital assistance, highlighting the importance of using smart tools wisely. At Musketeers Tech, we advocate for responsible AI usage in education, ensuring that students' work reflects their true abilities and fosters genuine learning experiences.

Ahmad Kabir

Ahmad Kabir

Project Manager

Ahmad Kabir

Your Ideas + Our Expertise = Success!


Your Ideas + Our Expertise = Success!