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Understanding Generative AI Tools

Generative AI is becoming deeply integrated in all aspects of our lives, and universities are key institutions for teaching how to use generative AI responsibly and critically. At Laurier, we support faculty members in critically considering the adoption of generative AI in their courses where it aligns with how the technology is changing the way in which the world interacts with the discipline/subject matter. 

This resource is meant as a beginning to conversations about the rapidly evolving potential impacts on higher education that generative AI is having. These are suggestions to support integration of generative AI into your assessments and classroom activities.

 

Guidelines for Instructors

Course instructors at Laurier may determine for themselves, in the context of their program and course learning objectives as well as substantive content, whether/how they wish to use Generative AI tools in course assignments or class activities. However, all instructors will need to respond to the reality that some students are using these tools and that this may pose challenges for academic integrity norms and policies. If course components are not adapted accordingly, course learning outcomes may not be achieved. Familiarizing oneself with the ways in which generative AI tools operate can help instructors shape or mitigate use through authentic course assessment and activities.

Course Syllabus

Compliance with Applicable Policy

  • As per Senate Policy 9.5: External Information Technology and Cloud Services, approval through a Privacy and Security Impact Assessment (PSIA) is required before using any software tool with Type 2 or Type 3 data. From a teaching perspective, Type 2 and Type 3 data include any combination of data through which an individual student can be identified. Do not upload, nor require students to upload, students’ names, contact information, or Laurier or other identifiers, and be cautious about demographic or similar types of information that could be used to identify a student.
  • Please note that assignments and work authored by a student represent the student’s intellectual property. Under no circumstances should instructors submit it to any AI tool or third-party software system unless it is approved via the University PSIA process.
  • In addition, faculty should note that there is not yet clear legal guidance on how proprietary information may be used with AI tools and, as a general rule, copyrighted materials should not be submitted to any generative AI tool in which your input is retained in the tool for training of the system.

Academic Integrity

  • The unapproved and/or unacknowledged use of generative AI is a form of academic misconduct as per Senate Policy 12.2: Academic Misconduct
  • Suspected incidents of academic misconduct must be handled through the Senate Policy 12.2 and associated procedures, during which the relevant administrator assesses the evidence and assigns the penalty. Please note that instructors cannot forego the academic misconduct procedures and independently assign penalties for the suspected unauthorized use of generative AI.
  • Laurier does not endorse any generative AI detection tools and outputs from these tools will not be accepted as evidence of academic misconduct. These tools are neither accurate nor reliable in detecting AI-generated content.
  • Generative AI tools will sometimes include directly plagiarized materials in generated content. Students who submit generated content with plagiarized text have engaged in academic misconduct.
  • This recorded panel discussion provides insights into how instructors might consciously design courses to take generative AI use into consideration; updates on university guidelines surrounding generative AI; and examples of how faculty are using generative AI in their courses to demonstrate its potential and weaknesses. More information about academic integrity in generative AI is available in the Academic Integrity section of this guide. 
  • Explore generative AI guidelines for students 

Grading

At this time, there are no institutionally-approved generative AI grading tools. A generative AI grading tool will require both PSIA-approval for data privacy and security and Provost’s Office approval for elements such as protection of intellectual property, ethics, bias, and quality of the grading. 

Acknowledgement and Citation

  • If students use generative AI to generate content which is then either paraphrased or directly quoted in their writing, they must cite and reference this output. The Laurier Library has created a guide to citing generative AI for students.
  • If students use generative AI in any other way in the process of completing an assessment, they must acknowledge how they have used generative AI by adding a declaration to the end of the assessment. If your assessment requires the use of generative AI and a student does not use it, they must declare that they didn’t use it. Sample statements for students to acknowledge the use of generative AI can be found below.

Supporting your Teaching

  • Generative AI tools can be used as an aid to develop grading rubrics and generate test questions and example solutions. 
  • Generative AI tools can support the creation of lesson plans, assessment descriptions, and customized learning materials aligned with course content and learning outcomes, such as simulations, practice exercises, unique case studies or marketing briefs.
  • AI generated outputs can be used as an assessment opportunity in which students critically evaluate and apply course concepts in relation to these outputs. This helps students learn analytical skills and recognize the limitations of generative AI tools. 
  • Explore more potential uses for generative AI tools in this guide.

The resources in this guide will support instructors in exploring generative AI tools for teaching, including sections on assessment design, sample assessment adaptations the incorporate or mitigate the use of generative AI, and more! 

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Sample Course Syllabi Statements

Sample #1: The use of generative AI is not permitted in this course. Using generative AI to aid in or fully complete your coursework will be considered academic misconduct and Senate Policy 12.2 Student Code of Conduct: Academic Misconduct will be applied.

Sample #2: The use of generative AI is permitted in specific components of this course. Review the course outline/assignment specifications closely to determine where you are permitted to use generative AI. It is your responsibility, as the student, to be clear on when, where, and how the use of generative AI is permitted. In all submissions in which you use generative AI, you must cite its usage. Failing to cite the use of generative AI is academic misconduct. In all other aspects of your work, the use of generative AI will be considered academic misconduct and Senate Policy 12.2 Student Code of Conduct: Academic Misconduct will be applied.

Sample #3: The use of generative AI is permitted in this course. In all submissions in which you use generative AI, you must cite its usage. Failing to cite the use of generative AI is a form of academic misconduct and Senate Policy 12.2 Student Code of Conduct: Academic Misconduct will be applied.

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Acknowledgment Statement for Students with Examples

Sample Statement

I acknowledge the use of [insert AI system(s) and link] to [specific use of generative artificial intelligence]. The prompts used include [list of prompts].

The output from these prompts was used to [explain use].

Example #1

I acknowledge the use of ChatGPT (https://chat.openai.com/) to generate materials for background research and self-study in the drafting of this assessment.

I entered the following prompts on [insert date]: Insert prompt.

Example #2

The output from the generative artificial intelligence was adapted and modified for the final response. I acknowledge the use of ChatGPT (https://chat.openai.com/) to generate materials that were included within my final assessment in modified form.

I entered the following prompts on [insert date]: Insert prompt.

Example #3

I acknowledge the use of ChatGPT (https://chat.openai.com/) to refine the academic language and accuracy of my own work. On [insert date] I submitted my entire essay [link to original document here] with the instruction to “Improve the academic tone and accuracy of language, including grammatical structures, punctuation and vocabulary”. The output [link to output] was then modified further to better represent my own tone and style of writing.

If generative AI is permitted or required but not used

No content generated by generative AI has been used in this assessment.

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Overview of Generative AI with Mark Humphries

This introduction will help faculty explore the current state of generative AI, featuring hands on demonstrations of what tools like ChatGPT can do in teaching contexts. Whether it’s your first step into generative AI, or if you’re looking for new ways of using and considering these tools, this video will help spark new ideas.

 

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Laurier Resources

Curated Resources

Other Guides and Evolving Resources

 

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