Teaching in the Age of AI
Artificial Intelligent (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, are capable of generating content within seconds. The fast evolution of AI technologies has raised potential concerns regarding academic integrity and the question of the impact on effective teaching and learning practices. AI tools are currently capable of doing a variety of tasks such as writing essays, searching for publicly available literature, analyzing text, generating images, writing/analyzing/revising codes, and answering questions. For college instructors, AI poses challenges and creates opportunities for teaching. On this page, we provide some examples of these challenges and opportunities, followed by some example syllabus statements.
While AI tools raise concerns about academic integrity issues, they also create unique opportunities to support teaching and learning. Instructors and departments also need to consider how AI will change the jobs that come after college for their majors. Curriculum, teaching methods, and new learning opportunities need to be examined hand-in-hand with the challenges. We hope the following examples serve as the starting point for instructors to envision AI’s roles in teaching and learning. We will update this page with more testing and research on this topic.
Individualized Learning Support
Many AI tools are easily accessible to students for free. The little to no cost and 24/7 access to AI tools might lead to students’ misuse (e.g., taking exams) or over-reliance on automated solutions, potentially reducing students' problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. At the same time, AI tools such as ChatGPT provide platforms for students to 1) analyze their strengths and weaknesses in various subjects, and 2) get help based on their current level of performance.
Create Teaching Resources
AI tools can be useful resources for instructors. For example, using an AI content generator, instructors create learning materials such as example questions, quiz question tips, and example assignments of different performance levels. In addition, AI-generated content such as math solutions, programming codes, and essays can be used to enhance students’ critical thinking skills. For example, students can compare their solutions with different problem-solving processes to identify potential misunderstandings regarding the new concept or procedure.
AI-generated content is not always accurate. Students need guidance and support from instructors to evaluate the accuracy, credibility, and potential biases of AI-generated content. Instructors who are interested in learning the capability of AI tools are encouraged to contact a CELT consultant to explore the implications of AI tools for their teaching and learning.
The following section lists different considerations of class policies regarding students’ use of AI tools for teaching and learning.
Syllabus Statement Examples for AI Usage
College instructors have introduced various class policies, reflecting their understanding of these AI tools, their teaching philosophy, and the nature of their classes. Drawing on our understanding of content-generating AI tools, this page provides example class policy statements along with a brief explanation of their benefits and potential drawbacks. It's worth noting that these policy statements are informed by examples created by other educators and the collective wisdom of our advisory faculty.
This category includes the strictest and most general policy statements. Typically such statements mention the importance of academic integrity and the potential consequences for violations. Such a statement may encourage students’ original and independent work. However, the implementation of such policies can be challenging. While AI detection tools (e.g., Turnitin AI Indicator, GPT Zero) exist, they have limitations in identifying sophisticated AI-generated work and can have false positive results. Therefore, it is recommended that instructors outline the procedure for potential academic integrity issues.
- [This course] assumes that work submitted by students—all process work, drafts, low-stakes writing, final versions, and all other submissions—will be produced by the students themselves, working individually or in groups. This means that the following would be considered violations of academic integrity: a student has another person/entity/artificial intelligence (e.g., ChatGPT) do the writing of any substantive portion of an assignment for them.
- Developing writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills are integral learning outcomes of this course. Thus, all writing assignments should be the product of the student's efforts. Developing strong competencies in this area will prepare you for a competitive workplace. Therefore, any work produced with the assistance of AI or other automated tools is not permitted and will be considered a violation of academic integrity.
- In the event of suspicion regarding the use of AI or other automated tools to complete coursework, the instructor reserves the right to assign a grade of 0 for the work in question. Furthermore, the instructor will schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the matter and determine if it constitutes a case of academic misconduct. Maintaining academic integrity is crucial for your growth and preparation for a competitive future in the professional realm.
Use Allowed with Guidance
Policy statements in this category loosen the restriction of using AI to complete coursework. This can potentially support student learning by using AI tools as a useful resource. Some instructors allow AI usage with the condition that students cite any AI-generated material that informed their work and use quotation marks with the date of the query. However, this type of policy has two potential issues. First, AI-generated content is not always accurate. Second, no clear guidelines exist on the ownership of content generated by AI tools such as ChatGPT. Therefore, instructors are encouraged to provide students with specific guidance on how to use AI tools in acceptable and appropriate ways to leverage AI tools effectively while maintaining academic integrity. Instructors can consider revising or combining the following example statements based on specific teaching and learning needs.
- AI tools such as ChatGPT are permitted for learning purposes in this course. For example, students can use AI tools to brainstorm ideas, get feedback on writing proficiency and clarity, retrieve relevant articles or resources for a research topic, engage in simulated conversation or dialogue for language acquisition, and prepare for quizzes/exams by using AI-generated questions.
- The use of AI tools, including ChatGPT, is permitted in this course for students who wish to use them as a study aid. Students should indicate how AI tools informed their process and the final product, including how they validated any AI-generated content. For example, students should include the source (AI tool used), the date of the query, and any other relevant information. Assignment guidelines will provide additional guidance as to how these tools might be part of your process for each assessment this semester and how to provide transparency about the usage.
- While AI tools can be valuable in the learning process, students should be mindful of the limitations and potential biases associated with AI-generated content.
- In this course, students are encouraged to utilize AI tools for learning purposes. For example, students can use AI tools to get feedback on their codes or generate models to see example solutions while learning new concepts. It is important to note that students should exercise caution and be aware of potential pitfalls such as code plagiarism, inaccurate codes, and excessive reliance on automated code generation. The development of independent problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and a solid understanding of programming principles are fundamental for success in this course and the future workplace. Therefore, direct use of automated code generation or relying solely on pre-existing code or AI-generated analysis for assignments and projects is not permitted.
- Students are invited to use AI platforms to help prepare for assignments and projects (e.g., to help with brainstorming or to see what a completed essay might look like). I also welcome you to use AI tools to help revise and edit your work (e.g., to help identify flaws in reasoning, spot confusing or underdeveloped paragraphs, or simply fix citations). When submitting work, students must clearly identify any writing, text, or media generated by AI. This can be done in a variety of ways. In this course, parts of essays generated by AI should appear in a different colored font, and the relationship between those sections and student contributions should be discussed in cover letters that accompany the essay submission. (Based on Course Policies related to ChatGPT and other AI Tools by Joel Gladd)
Use with Prior Permission
Class policies in this category have the potential to create a partnership between the instructor and students to identify acceptable and appropriate AI usage. However, it may cause an extra workload for instructors to discuss the usage with individual students. The larger the class size, the more challenging for instructors to manage and keep track of the permissions.
- Students are allowed to use artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT to complete coursework in this course if instructor permission is obtained in advance. Unless given permission to use those tools, each student is expected to complete each assignment without substantive assistance from others, including automated AI tools. To get permission from the instructor, please schedule a meeting or use the office hour to start the conversation. [Add specific instructions here if needed.] Before the meeting, please be ready to discuss the following:
- The name of the AI tools you plan to use.
- How you plan to use it.
- How your planned use will facilitate your learning without simply doing it for you.
Use is Freely Permitted
There are some classes that give students permission to use AI tools freely without any documentation or discussion with the instructors. This approach might work best for classes that have one or more of the following features.
- Students take ownership of their learning and have high intrinsic motivation for learning the course content
- Advanced classes that aim to promote exposure and familiarity with emerging technologies
- Advanced classes that focus on higher-order thinking skills such as evaluation and critical thinking
It's important to note that the suitability of this policy depends on the specific goals and objectives of the course, the characteristics of students (e.g., prior knowledge and motivation), as well as the capability of AI tools and resources. Instructors should carefully consider the learning outcomes, ethical considerations, and potential limitations of AI tools before implementing such a policy.
- Course Policies related to ChatGPT and other AI Tools by Joel Gladd
- Finnie-Ansley, J., Denny, P., Becker, B. A., Luxton-Reilly, A., & Prather, J. (2022). The robots are coming: Exploring the implications of OpenAI codex on introductory programming. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 10–19. https://doi.org/10.1145/3511861.3511863
- Sample syllabus/classroom policy statements