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Generative AI in Higher Ed

Sample Syllabus Statements

Academic disciplines broadly, and individual CSB and SJU faculty members more specifically, have varied takes on what constitutes "appropriate" student use of generative AI tools. It's important for every instructor to provide a syllabus statement that clearly communicates the expectations for your particular course.  

Sample statements for reference:

For more sample policies, see Classroom Policies for AI Generative Tools, a list curated by Lance Eaton, Director of Digital Pedagogy at College Unbound.

Communicating Expectations to Students

Be explicit about the policies you've set and why. Go over your syllabus statement with your class early on in the semester, and help students understand how your policies align with your goals for student learning. Offer additional in-class conversations throughout the semester to answer student questions and help them better understand this rapidly developing technology.

  • What are your pedagogical reasons or rationale for setting the expectations you did? Why are you permitting/asking/encouraging students to engage with this technology in your class, or why are you asking them to limit their use? (The "why" is important to students!)
  • What affordances and limitations of current generative AI technology do your students need to be aware of? Why is it important for students to understand what these tools do well and where they could get in the way of student learning? 
  • What ethical issues should your students consider if/when using generative AI tools (e.g., intellectual property concerns, user privacy issues, biases perpetuated in the tools, and/or questions around academic honesty)?
  • If students are permitted to use ChatGPT on an assignment, do you want them to cite or otherwise acknowledge such use? How, specifically, should they do so?
  • If you are setting limits on how students should use generative AI tools in your class, are your students aware of the outcomes, including learning opportunities or possible penalties, that could occur if you suspect a student has used generative AI tools in a way that violates course expectations?
  • Are students aware of the ways in which they might apply generative AI tools to their future work, be it in graduate school or a career?

For further recommendations and considerations, see Western Michigan University's Establishing AI Policies for Your Classroom.