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Faculty Guide to Generative AI (ChatGPT)

from "Five Days in Class with ChatGPT"

"Yes, some unambitious students will use this new tool to cover subpar performance, and yes, we could talk about how to detect or disincentivize such behavior. The far more inspiring conversation is a different one: how can the most creative, the most ambitious, and the most brilliant students achieve even better results faster? How can educators help them along the way?"

The advent of artificial intelligence that can (when asked in the right way) write a college-level paper on any topic sounds alarms for the future of college education -- and also holds great promise for students and professors alike.

There is no doubt that students are already using ChatGPT and other generative AIs to help them do their work.

One response would be to forbid the use of AI in coursework, and to use AI detectors to catch students who cheat. This approach has clear problems, however. The first is that AI detectors are necessarily a step behind AI in development, and they aren't therefore very good. (See the page "Detecting AI" for more detail and more resources.)

The second, more conceptual problem is that AI is changing not only the university environment but the rest of the world as well. Do we serve our students by not using AI at all, or by teaching them how to use it as a valuable tool? To take the latter approach, we need to reevaluate how and what we teach, how our assignments are constructed, and how we assess student performance.

The tabs on this page contain resources to help you craft AI policy, learn how AI can be used in your field, and create great assignments.

We have reviewed a host of material concerning the best ways to respond to ChatGPT and other AIs, and had many discussions identifying good resources about AI in the university. Here are a few responses to AI in the classroom that multiple sources recommend.

  1. Have a clear policy about the use of AI in your course.
  2. Familiarize yourself with what AI is and how it works.
  3. Reevaluate your coursework and learning goals in light of the advent of AI. Are your requirements vulnerable to a quick fix with AI-generated material? Can you introduce AI as a part of your assignments?
  4. Adjust your assignments. You may want to create coursework that can't be addressed with AI (such as oral presentation); you may want to incorporate AI into your students' work, so that they are learning how to use it as a tool while achieving the critical thinking and learning objectives of your class.
  5. Communicate to your students, both your expectations of whether and how they might use AI and your own knowledge of how AI can assist them (and perhaps more important, how it can't).
  6. Be flexible! AI is changing teaching, but it also continues to develop. More changes will come.

Existing Guidelines & Analyses to Consider

Examples of Class Policies

Generating Policy with a Class

Educators may want to try generating the guidelines around the use of AI with a classroom discussion. If students feel consulted and heard over the rules governing AI, they are likely to have greater commitment to those rules -- and they certainly will know them.