Teaching in the Age of AI

As artificial Intelligence (AI) generative tools, such as ChatGPT, Midjourney, and DALL-E, continue to evolve in both their abilities and availability, teaching needs to evolve with it.


Here are four steps you can take to address the new realities of teaching in the age of AI. Click on the links following to navigate directly to each topic.

1. Understand AI’s Use and Limitations 

Whether you plan on incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into your coursework or banning it altogether in your classroom, it’s important to understand its use and limitations for yourself. Read up on current uses in higher education, as well as the industries your program prepares students for, and consider trying it out for yourself. Here are some resources to get you started:

2. Address Your Expectations Early

It’s important to clearly state your policies for use of AI tools early in the course, ideally on your syllabus. This includes not only whether you allow its use or not, but also the reasoning behind you policy and guidelines for its use if permitted. Here are some resources to help based on how you would like students to engage with AI in your course:

Scenario 1: Use of AI Generative Tools is Permitted and/or Encouraged

Talking points:
  • AI tools such as ChatGPT are best used for for idea generation, brainstorming, summarizing a body of information, and the like. 
  • Students are expected to be transparent about their use of AI tools, and to cite any content generated by AI that they use.
  • Using AI tools without appropriate citation will be considered plagiarism and treated as such. The instructor may use AI detection tools in the evaluation of student work. 
  • The content generated by AI tools is limited. It may present material with biases or other factual errors.
Sample Syllabus Language from the University of Pennsylvania:

You 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. (Eaton, n.d.)

Scenario 2: Limited Use of AI Tools is Permitted and/or Only Permitted Within Specific Assignments

Talking points:
  • AI tools should only be used after discussion with and approval from your instructor, or only on specific assignments which are clearly identified. 
  • If instructor permission is granted, students are expected to be transparent about their use of AI tools, and to cite any content generated by AI that they use.
Sample Syllabus Language from Salem State University:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Use Policy: This policy covers any generative AI tool, such as ChatGtP, Elicit, etc. This includes text and artwork/graphics/video/audio. 1. You are discouraged from using AI tools UNLESS under direct instruction from your instructor to do so. Please contact your instructor if you are unsure or have questions before using AI for any assignment. 2. If AI is permitted to be used, you must indicate what part of the assignment was written by AI and what was written by you. No more than 25% of an assignment should be created with AI if the instructor gives permission for its use. 3. You must sign the AI contract that you understand and agree to these policies.

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. (Eaton, n.d.)

Scenario 3: No Use of AI Tools is Permitted

Talking points:
  • Developing strong writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills are important outcomes of this course, and will prepare you for a competitive workplace; developing these skills outside the use of AI supports is essential
  • Any use of text generating software, such as ChatGPT, will be considered plagiarism and treated as such. 
Sample Syllabus Language from Middle Tennessee State University:

Use of an AI Generator such as ChatGPT, iA Writer, MidJourney, DALL-E, etc. is explicitly prohibited unless otherwise noted by the instructor.  The information derived from these tools is based on previously published materials. Therefore, using these tools without proper citation constitutes plagiarism.  Additionally, be aware that the information derived from these tools is often inaccurate or incomplete. It’s imperative that all work submitted should be your own. Any assignment that is found to have been plagiarized or to have used unauthorized AI tools may receive a zero and / or be reported for academic misconduct. (Eaton, n.d.)

Additional Resources

Here are some additional tools to help you create and use that statement:

3. Create Assessments with AI in Mind

Strategies and Resources for Creating Assessments and Activities that Use AI

Strategies and Resources for Creating Assessments that Deter the Use of AI

  • Check out the “Prioritize humanity: Craft assignments that AI can’t do” pathway on the University of Maine’s Learn with AI website.  
  • Create assessments that involve revisions. For example, requiring students to submit a draft or outline, then incorporate feedback from the instructor and/or peers into their final product requires the student to engage with the material beyond putting a prompt into AI and turning in the outcome. Alternatively, you could provide students the opportunity to revise an assessment after receiving a grade and instructor feedback. “The decision to cheat or not, therefore, often relates to how academic assignments and tests are constructed and assessed, not on the availability of technological shortcuts. When they have the opportunity to rewrite an essay or retake a test if they don’t do well initially, students are less likely to cheat” (Andermen and Xie, 2023).
  • AI misuse checklist: This checklist is a resource to aid educators in reviewing assignment prompts for potential vulnerabilities to generative AI tools.
  • AI misuse rubric: This rubric is a resource to aid educators in reviewing assignment prompts for potential vulnerabilities to generative AI tools and/or creating prompts without those vulnerabilities.

4. Test for AI Generated Content (Not Recommended at this Time)

IT Change Communication – Turnitin AI Detection Disabled – 8/23/23

What is happening? 

Brightspace Core proposed and approved the disabling of Turnitin’s new AI detection feature immediately due to false positives and other Educational Community reports of similar disappointment with the tool.

When? / How long will it take?

At 9am on 8/23/23 the AI detection feature was disabled in the admin settings for Turnitin.

What does this mean to me? 

This feature will no longer be available, at least it is determined to be an accurate tool for the task it was designed to complete.

What is the impact to IT Support Staff? 

The AI detection feature will no longer be “active” which will prevent impacts on students and faculty that would have been in error due to the tools limited or inept functionality.

Why is this work necessary?

Tool does not work as described to adequately address AI detection.

For More Information Contact:

UMS:IT Help Desk

While there are some AI detection tools coming available, CTEL is not recommending faculty use these tools at this time. Just as AI has its limitations for your students, it is important to know that the AI used to detect it also isn’t perfect.  “AI text detectors do not work in the same way that plagiarism checkers do. Plagiarism checkers compare human-written text with other human-written text. AI text detectors guess the probability that a text is written by humans or AI… Let me repeat,  AI text detectors are guessing whether a text is written by AI or not” (Trust, 2023, emphasis added).

Because of this, UMS Information Technology as determined that it is best to disable the AI detection feature in our Turnitin plagiarism detection tool, and CTEL does not recommend using other AI detection tools at this time.


Written by Rachel E. Church and Paul Cochrane

Last updated August 23, 2023