AI Course Policies and Assignment Guidelines

AI Course Policies and Assignment Guidelines

Before you write a policy about AI, you need to understand how available AI tools might be used by your students. Spend some time engaging with AI to see how it can be used productively, or not, with the assignments you intend to give your students. You may find this “play” will lead to assignment revision, and it will certainly help you develop a useful approach to guiding students on appropriate and inappropriate uses of AI. Very likely, you will find that your guidance and policies will need to be catered to different types of assignments.

As of 05/15/2023, the University’s Academic Dishonesty policy has changed to include a clause on work completed by entities that are not human: “Academic dishonesty is any attempt by a student to submit 1) work completed by another person or entity without proper citation or 2) to give improper aid to another student in the completion of an assignment, such as plagiarism.” Further, and more specifically, the update adds:Information taken from generative AI, such as ChatGPT, must be cited, otherwise it will be defined as plagiarism. Best practice for some disciplines may be to find the same information elsewhere for a complete citation.” These changes help establish, at institutional level, that submitting AI-generated content in place of one’s own work constitutes plagiarism.

At the individual course level, you may consider adding a clarifying statement to your syllabus, such as:

  • “Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to produce or help content without proper attribution or authorization, when an assignment does not explicitly call or allow for it, is plagiarism.”

A few other AI-related things to consider adding to the syllabus:

  • information about generative AI’s tendency to hallucinate + clear ground rules about students’ accountability for verifying any AI outputs they consult or reference;
  • a notice about using AI ethically and safely. (ChatGPT acknowledges that they may share account holders’ personal information with third parties, including vendors and service providers — see their Privacy Policy. Teach your students to never share personal and sensitive information with generative AI chatbots.)
  • a description of under what circumstances students will be permitted or encouraged to use generative AI in your course
  • information about how students should cite or credit AI.

All courses will very likely not have the same policy. That’s part of what we need to teach students — that faculty are designing courses and assignments with different purposes and directions, and thus careful attention to directions around the appropriate use of AI needs to become part of students’ regular practice.

If you are looking for ideas for syllabus language, Montclair faculty statements are being collected, and Lance Eaton of College Unbound has organized this diverse collection of statements from faculty active in AI discussions.

Last Modified: Friday, May 17, 2024 2:09 pm

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