Policy on Use of AI Tools for my course syllabus, version 1.0

Ever since ChatGPT arrived, I have been talking with my students and colleagues about how best we can use it and other AI-powered creative tools such as DALL-E and Stable Diffusion in our work. I also have discussed with students, in particular, how these AI tools also could mislead them (such as by “hallucinating” output that looks and feels like a real-world search result or blog post, but composed of made-up information). This is partly because I feel strongly that students should be prepared for the working world where these tools are rapidly becoming commonplace, and partly because talking about it helps me work out my own thinking about their rightful place in the workflows.

Today seemed like a good day to formalize my thoughts into a written policy for my courses. I credit the blog post linked below with inspiring my wording. But the impetus is the sheer number of conversations I’m having with instructors who suspect AI tool use in coursework this month.

Here is what I have come up with:

“In this course, students are allowed to use tools such as Stable Diffusion, ChatGPT, and BingChat in a similar manner to use of non-AI references, templates, images, or body text, such as those in assigned research papers or obtained via internet search. This means that (1) no student may submit an assignment or work on an exam as their own that is entirely generated by means of an AI tool. And, (2) if students use an AI tool to generate, draft, create, or compose any portion of any assignment, they must (a) credit the tool, (b) identify what part of the work is from the AI tool and what is from themselves, and (c) summarize why they decided to include the AI tool’s output.”

Thanks to a timely comment from Jeff Bigham on Mastodon, I am contemplating adding the following sentence to the above, and retitling the section “Policy on use of AI and Other Creative Tools”:

“The same requirement to credit the use of tools for generating, drafting, creating, or composing work toward deliverables also applies to use of creative tools such as Grammarly and Canva.”

Reference consulted for the above: Kristopher Purzycki. 2023. Syllabus Policy for Using AI Tools in the Writing Classroom. Medium. Retrieved March 17, 2023 from https://medium.com/@kristopherpurzycki/syllabus-policy-for-using-ai-tools-in-the-writing-classroom-8accab29e8c7