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Faculty Guide: AI and ChatGPT

Define What's Acceptable

Graphic with sliding scale about what constitutes plagiarism with AI  

Conversations with students reveal that they are uncertain about what levels of AI use are appropriate.  AI is so new that our campus definitions of plagiarism and cheating may not be clear.

Best practice is to define what is acceptable and not acceptable in your class.  Be transparent upfront.

Download this graphic for your syllabus or for more extended conversation in class.


Syllabus Statement: Guidelines

Your policy should include these considerations:

  •  Under what circumstances AI use is permitted or forbidden
  •  How students should cite or credit AI
  •  A warning about the technology’s tendency toward hallucination (i.e., deceptive data) and clear rules regarding students’ accountability for AI output
  •  A notice about using AI ethically and responsibly
  •  Discussion of the need to use AI as a tool to learn, not just to produce content


From Why All Our Classes Suddenly Became AI Classes:  Strategies for Teaching and Learning in a ChatGPT World by Ethan Mollick and Lilach Mollick, Harvard University.


Example 1: AI Required

Example 1: AI Required

I expect you to use AI (e.g., ChatGPT and image generation tools) in this class. In fact, some assignments will require it. Learning to use AI is an emerging skill and I provide tutorials on how to use them. I am happy to meet and help you with these tools during office hours or after class.

Be aware of the limits of ChatGPT, such as the following:

  • If you provide minimum-effort prompts, you will get low-quality results. You will need to refine your prompts in order to get good outcomes. This will take work.

  • Don’t trust anything it says. If it gives you a number or fact, assume it is wrong unless you either know the answer or can check with another source. You will be responsible for any errors or omissions provided by the tool. It works best for topics you understand.

  • AI is a tool, but one that you need to acknowledge using. Please include a paragraph at the end of any assignment that uses AI explaining what you used the AI for and what prompts you used to get the results. Failure to do so is in violation of academic honesty policies.

  • Be thoughtful about when this tool is useful. Don’t use it if it isn’t appropriate for the case or circumstance.


From Why All Our Classes Suddenly Became AI Classes: Strategies for Teaching and Learning in a ChatGPT World by Ethan Mollick and Lilach Mollick, Harvard University.

Example 2: AI Prohibited

Example 2:  AI Prohibited

From an English Writing Intensive course

"A Note on AI: Any work written, developed, created, or inspired by artificial intelligence (AI) is considered plagiarism and will not be tolerated. While the ever-changing (and exciting!) new developments with AI will find their place in our workforces and personal lives, in the realm of education and learning, this kind of technology does not belong. This is because the use of AI robs us all of the opportunity to learn from our experiences and from each other, to play with our creative freedoms, to problem-solve, and to contribute our ideas in authentic ways. In a nutshell, college is a place for learning, and this class is specifically a space for learning how to improve our writing. AI simply cannot do that learning for us."
"Note that this instructor has set the expectation that any use on graded work/ work for credit will be considered a violation of the academic misconduct policy. This would be an appropriate statement for a class in which the course outcomes have been compromised by use of the technology (as one would imagine would happen in a writing course). "


From:  What should a syllabus statement on AI look like?, Colorado State University

Example 3: AI Use-With-Permission

Example 3:  AI Use-With-Permission

Generally speaking, you are not authorized to use artificial intelligence engines, software, or artwork generating programs (or similar) to produce work for this class EXCEPT on assignments that I have identified and for which you will have received significant guidance on appropriate use of such technologies. I will provide more information about the specific assignment when the time is appropriate in the course. You may not, however, construe this limited use as permission to use these technologies in any other facet of this course.


From:  What should a syllabus statement on AI look like?, Colorado State University