A young professor is surrounded by explosions of color.

Every educator I know has thoughts about all the new artificial intelligence and machine learning tools available to our students. Some scream like Chicken Little, another group chooses to ignore reality, and some of us are embracing these tools and figuring out how best to use them in our disciplines.

Last semester, I added a single line to my syllabi that read:

“All work must be original for this course and created by the student. Using AI-generated text is unacceptable and is viewed as an honor code violation.”

ChatGPT had been released only two months before, but I still wanted to clarify to my students that turning in work 100% generated by an AI was unacceptable to me.

As the semester went on, the tools continued to be released and improved. In my Digital Marketing Course, a group asked if they could use the Canva AI Image Generator to create images for a pitch deck they were putting together. I told them that they could and that it was a great use of the technology since they didn’t have an art department to do mockup concepts for them, and this free tool worked great for them.

This summer, I kept playing with all of the new tools. I’ve been using Midjourney to create images such as the one above since it was released. Developing the appropriate prompts to get an AI to create an image similar to what you are imagining is a new skill. It is one that I’m planning on covering at least a little bit this semester.

As I updated my syllabi and tried to figure out exactly what I wanted to say about AI, I found this helpful Classroom Policies for AI Generative Tools that Lance Eaton has been updating as he collects different policies from educators around the globe. I read through them all and chose bits and pieces from many to create my own.

After many tweaks and edits, my AI Policy for the Fall 2023 semester reads:

“All work turned in for grading is assumed to be original for this course by the student unless otherwise identified and cited. If any generative AI tools (ChatGPT, Bard, Dall-E, Midjourny, etc.) are used, you must adequately cite them following the APA 7 standards. Failure to do so will be viewed as a Wheaton Honor Code violation. 

Remember that AI tools are excellent for brainstorming and getting started, but they often return false information or “hallucinations,” so they should never be relied on without verification when doing research. As with all images you use in assignments, proper credit to the creators must be given.

AI detection tools may be used to detect AI-created work.

AI tools are part of our world, and it is essential we use them properly. Throughout this class, we may discuss how, when, and why to use them. AI technology is rapidly improving, and I want to ensure you are learning about these tools.”

I’ll be going over this on day one of all my classes, and it’ll be interesting to see what questions the students have.

If you want to learn more, Professor Lisa Lebduska led an excellent workshop earlier this year, and I bet she plans on more conversations, so stay tuned.