Guide To Teaching and Learning

AI Sample Syllabus Statements

Before deciding how you want students to use–or not use–generative AI tools in your course, faculty are encouraged to play around with different tools and see what they can–and cannot do [link to text and video tutorials] and consider this general guidance. Please feel free to adapt suggested language as appropriate to your classes.

Faculty are encouraged to use this moment to practice transparent teaching. We’re all new to generative AI tools. Have the conversation with your students about how the use of these tools can support or undermine their learning in your course. If you are not allowing the use of an AI tool on a particular assignment, ask students to consider the skills they may develop during the assignment and why the use of technology would impede that development. And if you are allowing their use, faculty are encouraged to ask or require students to document how they used the tools and what they learned in the course of doing so.

Below are examples of ‘syllabus statements’ about the use or non-use of these tools in various types of classes.

Generative AI: Text-Based Tools (ChatGPT, Bard, Bing, etc.)

Course: Composition and Rhetoric Development as a writer requires personal investment and practice. Chat GPT and AI platforms are tools that good writers may rely on in some situations. Part of your development as a writer entails critically considering different occasions and developing a rationale for the appropriate use of AI writing tools. In this class, we ask that you keep an open line of communication with the instructor regarding the use of AI writing tools. It is important to consult your instructor BEFORE using them in an assignment. If, in consideration with your instructor, you do use Chat GPT or other AI tools, cite them in your Works Cited page and be prepared to argue a rationale for the appropriateness of their use. These are matters of concern because over reliance on technology can impede the growth of your writing skills and offset the learning outcomes for the course. Paul Shovlin, Ohio University

Course: Bioethics and the LawYou may use AI programs e.g. ChatGPT to help generate ideas and brainstorm.  However, you should note that the material generated by these programs may be inaccurate, incomplete, or otherwise problematic.  Beware that use may also stifle your own independent thinking and creativity. You may not submit any work generated by an AI program as your own.  If you include material generated by an AI program, it should be cited like any other reference material (with due consideration for the quality of the reference, which may be poor). Any plagiarism or other form of cheating will be dealt with severely under relevant Penn policies. Holly Fernandez Lynch, University of Pennsylvania

Course: Digital Literacies and Intercultural Learning    Transparency: When/if you use Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms in your assignments, please write a note to clarify where in your process you used AI and which platform(s) you used. We will discuss this more throughout the semester in class, and you are encouraged to reflect on this in your writing as well. Please note that what the AI writing tools generate is often inaccurate and you may have to exert effort to create something meaningful out of them. I also hope that when the assignment is about reflecting on your own opinion or experience, you will do so. Maha Bali, American University in Cairo

Course: Special Topics in Entrepreneurship: Specialization is for Insects

I expect you to use AI (ChatGPT and image generation tools, at a minimum), in this class. In fact, some assignments will require it. Learning to use AI is an emerging skill, and I provide tutorials in Canvas about how to use them. I am happy to meet and help with these tools during office hours or after class. Be aware of the limits of ChatGPT:

  • 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 in 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 the 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. Ethan Mollick, University of Pennsylvania

Generative AI: Image-Based Tools (Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, DALL-E)

Course: Design and Technology

Statement regarding the use of AI:

  • You MAY use AI in the initial stages of research, idea generation, and drafting.
  • You MAY use AI for language translation.
  • However, you MAY NOT not rely on AI output for significant portions of your final project form unless it is a necessary part of your project concept.
  • If you use AI at any stage in the creation of your project (including initial stages, idea generation, drafting, language translation, and final form), you must properly cite and disclose this use. This should include details on the specific tool and version used, as well as the nature of your usage (for example, in programming code, images, and/or text/writing).
  • Citation should reference both the platform and any creator (“style of”) names or references.

Jess Irish, The New School

Course: Core Methods in Educational Data Mining

Within this class, you are welcome to use foundation models (ChatGPT, GPT, DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, GitHub Copilot, and anything after) in a totally unrestricted fashion, for any purpose, at no penalty. However, you should note that all large language models still have a tendency to make up incorrect facts and fake citations, code generation models have a tendency to produce inaccurate outputs, and image generation models can occasionally come up with highly offensive products. You will be responsible for any inaccurate, biased, offensive, or otherwise unethical content you submit regardless of whether it originally comes from you or a foundation model. If you use a foundation model, its contribution must be acknowledged in the hand-in; you will be penalized for using a foundation model without acknowledgement. Having said all these disclaimers, the use of foundation models is encouraged, as it may make it possible for you to submit assignments with higher quality, in less time.

The university’s policy on plagiarism still applies to any uncited or improperly cited use of work by other human beings, or submission of work by other human beings as your own. Ryan S. Baker, University of Pennsylvania 

Above are just few different examples of the ways faculty are thinking about use of these tools in their courses. Many faculty have been creating syllabus statements over the last several months, since ChatGPT emerged. For a very comprehensive, nationally-sourced–and growing–listing of syllabus statements, please refer to these Classroom Policies for Generative AI Tools.

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