The Real Fast Reports Blog

Can ChatGPT Write School Reports?

Yes it can, and I'll show you some examples. But before you rush to start using it...

Data protection - be aware

As of March 2023, by default OpenAI (the makers of ChatGPT) can keep the data you type into ChatGPT and furthermore they can use it to train their models. Here's the source.

This is a concern in terms of data protection. If you enter student data into ChatGPT to write your school reports, then that personal student data may be retained indefinitely by OpenAI, and be used to train ChatGPT and future AI models.

OpenAI does offer an opt out, which is strongly recommended if you are considering entering any personal information into ChatGPT. You can opt out here.

What about Real Fast Reports?

At Real Fast Reports we use the same AI that is behind ChatGPT to help write your reports. However, as business customers using the OpenAI API, we have different terms of use. OpenAI does not keep data we submit on your behalf to train their models.

For extra security we automatically incorporate methods to protect student data that we send to OpenAI, and we do not tell OpenAI the identity of the teacher who wrote the comments.

E.g. if you enter comments about a female student called Jane, we may transform them to be about a male student called Mark before sending them to OpenAI. Then when we receive the report back from OpenAI, we transform it back to being about Jane.

Juggling names and genders like this would be time consuming and error-prone for teachers to do, and would likely negate any time saved using ChatGPT.

But anyway - is ChatGPT any good?

Yes, ChatGPT does a pretty good job of writing reports, depending on the instructions and information you give it. Here's a real example of input and output:

Teacher Input:
Write me a school report for Mia about Physics. She's made good progress, did really well in the last test on Forces, always participates in lessons. She needs to work on her graph drawing skills - sometimes she makes mistakes with the scale.

ChatGPT Response:
Mia has made excellent progress in her study of Physics this term. She demonstrated a strong understanding of the concepts covered in class, particularly in the topic of Forces, where she excelled in her last test. Her active participation in lessons is also highly commendable, contributing to class discussions and asking insightful questions that reflect her genuine interest in the subject.

However, Mia should focus on improving her graph drawing skills, as she occasionally makes mistakes with the scale. Accurate graphing is a crucial skill in Physics as it allows us to visually interpret and analyze data. Therefore, we encourage her to practice this skill regularly to avoid future errors.

Overall, Mia has shown a commendable commitment to her Physics studies, and we are pleased with her progress so far. We encourage her to continue her hard work and dedication in this subject to achieve her full potential.

As you can see, the report is not bad. Although ChatGPT does waffle on a bit, and the first paragraph perhaps went a bit further than I intended.

One nice thing about ChatGPT is that you can give it extra instructions:

Teacher Input:
Please make the report shorter and make the first paragraph less positive.

ChatGPT Response:
Mia has made satisfactory progress in her study of Physics this term. She demonstrated a good understanding of the concepts covered in class, performing well in the topic of Forces in her last test. Mia consistently participates in lessons, contributing to class discussions.

However, Mia needs to work on her graph drawing skills, as she sometimes makes mistakes with the scale. Accurate graphing is a crucial skill in Physics, and we encourage her to practice regularly to avoid future errors.

Overall, Mia has shown a commendable commitment to her Physics studies, and we hope she continues to work hard and improve her graph drawing skills to achieve her full potential.

Not bad! So why use Real Fast Reports?

ChatGPT is unlikely to be free forever. And aside from offering improved data protection, Real Fast Reports has a number of features that make it faster and easier than ChatGPT:

The comment bank

With Real Fast Reports you enter comments as bullet points, e.g.:

  • made good progress
  • did really well in the last test on Forces
  • always participates in lessons

All the bullet points you write go into a searchable, personalised comment bank. This means you can reuse comments with just one click, which speeds up report writing hugely. Check out a demo video.

Speed and reliability

Free access to ChatGPT has been unreliable recently. Often it is "over capacity" and the public ChatGPT is quite slow. To get reliable access costs $20 per month.

By contrast, we have 24/7 access to OpenAI's fast API, which means our reports typically take just five seconds to generate, irrespective of demand.

We have also experimented with the instructions we send to the AI, so you're more likely to get a report you like first time round.

School features

We offer additional features to schools that save more time and make reports even better:

  • bulk import/export of class lists and completed reports
  • an automated proofreader that checks finished reports against your school's style guide

In summary

ChatGPT writes really well and can help you write your school reports, but be sure to consider data protection implications before using it.

Real Fast Reports is a safer (and better) way to use the same technology. Try it free or recommend it to your manager. We offer subscriptions for departments and schools at very reasonable prices, and we can get you onboard in no time.

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