AI in Academics
AI in Academics
It may come as no surprise that some students today are taking advantage of the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help them with their assignments. One popular tool is chatGPT, which can write papers and essays, even art, poems, and computer code. It can be challenging to detect the use of this when students submit their work.
In light of this concern, here are some resources to consider.:
- Article: Drs. Laurel N. Bidwell and Johanna Creswell Báez, College of Public Service, UCCS – "The Impact of ChatGPT and AI on Higher Education: Navigating the Rapidly Changing Landscape"
- Article: Dr. Ryan Atkins, George Washington University – "Update Your Course Syllabus for chatGPT"
- Video: Drs. Dorothea Olkowski and Joseph Kuzma, College of Letters, Arts & and Sciences, UCCS - "Artificial Intelligence & Chatbots: 3 Myths"
Both articles offer practical advice not only for communicating with students about the use of AI, but also actually embracing it and using it to advantage in the classroom. Here some suggestions taken from these articles:
- Choose a topic and encourage students to use ChatGPT to ask questions, share insights, and collaborate with one another, expanding on the course material and individual knowledge.
- Instructors can create lesson plans, activities or assignments using ChatGPT.
- Students can enter information that they know about a topic and use ChatGPT as a tool to organize their thinking around a topic and generate an outline for a paper or project.
- Identify a question or challenge for students to write a prompt for ChatGPT, have students collaboratively develop criteria for assessing ChatGPT's responses to their question, and then use those criteria to judge the responses, rating them from best to worst.
- Have students use ChatGPT to write a response to a prompt they have created, and ask students to reflect on ChatGPT's output—is it correct or incorrect and what else might they need to research to verify that?
There are many more suggestions and much greater detail in both of these articles.
Sample Syllabus Entries for the Use of AI
Caveat: Anything generated by AI can be considered to have been plagiarized
Given that anything generated by AI has been culled from the web and restated or recreated without attribution (and sometimes even with false attribution), that content could be considered as to have been plagiarized. Caution is urged with what you allow students to use from generative AI.
Acceptable and unacceptable uses of AI
[This syllabus statement is useful when you are allowing the use of AI tools for certain purposes, but not for others. Adjust this statement to reflect your particular parameters of acceptable use. The following is an example. (Adapted from Temple University's Center for the Advancement of Teaching.)]
The use of generative AI tools is permitted in this course for the following activities:
- Brainstorming and refining your ideas
- Fine tuning your research questions
- Finding information on your topic
- Drafting an outline to organize your thoughts
- Checking grammar and style
The use of generative AI tools is not permitted in this course for the following activities:
- Impersonating you in classroom contexts, such as by using the tool to compose discussion board replies or content that you put into a Teams or Zoom chat
- Completing group work that your group has assigned to you, unless it is mutually agreed upon that you may utilize the tool
- Writing a draft of a writing assignment
- Writing entire sentences, paragraphs, or papers to complete class assignments
For instructors who wish to embrace AI
The use of AI tools, including ChatGPT, is permitted in this course for students who wish to use them. You are responsible for the information you submit based on an AI query (for instance, that it does not violate intellectual property laws, or contain misinformation or unethical content). Your use of AI tools must be properly documented and cited, using quotation marks or other appropriate indicators of quoted material when appropriate, in order to stay within university policies on academic honesty.
For instructors who wish to allow limited use of AI
The use of AI tools, including ChatGPT, is permitted in this course for specific assignments only. When the use of the tool is allowed, it will be explicitly noted in the assignment directions. You are responsible for the information you submit based on an AI query (for instance, that it does not violate intellectual property laws, or contain misinformation or unethical content). Your use of AI tools must be properly documented and cited, using quotation marks or other appropriate indicators of quoted material when appropriate, in order to stay within university policies on academic honesty.
Citing generative AI content for specific referencing styles
For instructors who wish to prohibit the use of AI
The Faculty Resource Center does not recommend this. Currently there are no tools that can accurately detect AI writing. In fact, OpenAI recently discontinued its AI writing detector due to a "low rate of accuracy", and Turnitin readily admits that "Our AI writing detection model may not always be accurate..." (See below.) All of the available tools today generate too many false positives that could lead to false allegations.
For a more holistic approach for discerning acceptable use of AI-generated assignments, contact the FRC for a consultation.
There are many more sample syllabus entries on the internet.
Do a Google search for "artificial intelligence syllabus statement".
AI Writing Detection in Turnitin
The Turnitin AI writing detection tool is active in Canvas. To see the AI score, click the Similarity score in SpeedGrader, and the AI writing indicator will be in the side panel.
Educators are strongly cautioned in their use of this score. Many issues are addressed in Turnitin's AI Writing Detection Capabilities - FAQs. Some things to consider:
- Turnitin uses a proprietary model, unavailable to the public, to analyze small, overlapping samples of written submissions and estimate the likelihood that portions of the writing were generated by AI
- The overall “AI score” represents the average of all scores generated by the process of analyzing the small samples rather than a percentage of AI generated vs. content written by a human
- While students can see Turnitin's Similarity score, they cannot see the AI score
- Turnitin notes that "Our AI writing detection model may not always be accurate (it may misidentify both human and AI-generated text) so it should not be used as the sole basis for adverse actions against a student. It takes further scrutiny and human judgment in conjunction with an organization's application of its specific academic policies to determine whether any academic misconduct has occurred."
- Students should be involved in conversations in your course around appropriate usage of generative AI technology
- Turnitin's AI Writing Detection Capabilities - FAQs
- Turnitin's AI Writing Detection (a description of the user interface)
- Academic Integrity in the Age of AI (educator resources from Turnitin)
- GIFT Exchanges
Last updated August 10, 2023