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Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Education

AI detection Tools

AI Detection Tools are in development; however, they may not be reliable because they are just emerging. Faculty who choose to use a detection tool should use caution when interpreting results, because false positives are possible. TurnItIn's AI Detector is available through normal use of TurnItIn.

Use AI and document the work

The general practice of citation is that you cite anything that comes from somewhere else; anything that isn't your original thought, isn't common knowledge, and/or is a place where you pulled information from.

Where an assignment requires an AI source to be cited, you must reference all the content from tool that you include in your assignment. Failure to reference externally sourced, non-original work can result in scholastic dishonesty. References should provide clear and accurate information for each source and should identify where they have been used in your work.

Move away from the five paragraph essay

Chatbots can follow this format easily. Encourage your students' originality by moving away from this formulaic format.

  • Tip: If you want to stick with the five-paragraph essay, test out your prompt on an advanced chatbot like ChatGPT. Greene (2022) writes, "If it can come up with an essay that you would consider a good piece of work, then that prompt should be refined, reworked, or simply scrapped... if you have come up with an assignment that can be satisfactorily completed by computer software, why bother assigning it to a human being?"
  • Sticking with essays? Warner (2022) suggests focusing on process rather than product. Scaffolding learning and allowing students to explain their thinking and make learning visible along the way are strategies that may help you confirm student originality: "I talk to the students, one-on-one about themselves, about their work. If we assume students want to learn - and I do - we should show our interest in their learning, rather than their performance."

In-class essays

In the short-term, you can have your students write essays in class and on paper

  • This isn't a good long-term solution for a few reasons:
    • For longer research papers, students will have access to chatbots outside of class.
    • Students may need to use online resources for their writing.
    • You won't be able to use the LMS feedback tools for annotation, rubric scoring, and grading.
    • Note: Some students may have accommodations to type their work rather than handwrite it. Make sure to follow student accommodations when assigning work

Collaborative activities & discussion

Use collaborative activities and discussions to mitigate the use of chatbot responses in your class.

While students may generate ideas from a chatbot, they will need to discuss with one another whether they want to use the chatbot responses, if they fit the prompt, and if they are factually accurate.

  • These strategies can work for online courses with a few tweaks. For discussions, ask students to post a recording rather than text. While students may generate a response using ChatGPT, creating their video will require more interaction with the content than copy-pasting a text response would.

Meaning-making activities

Engage your students in meaning-making activities to demonstrate their learning.

This could include: Skits*, Drawings and Sketches, Concept Mapping, Infographics*, Digital Storytelling*, or Write* or revise Wikipedia articles (Wiki Education). Other ideas from:

* Note that a chatbot can provide an outline for these activities.

Brain dump activities

Brain dumps are an ungraded recall strategy.

The practice involves pausing a lecture and asking students to write everything they can recall about a specific topic. Read more at:

Explain the process

During or after writing, students explain their process or thinking.

Students could:

  • Use Comments in Word or Google Docs;
  • Create a video explaining their change history on a Google Doc;
  • Use Track Changes to show their revisions.

Impromptu oral exams

Consider using planned or impromptu oral exams.

You may consider including phrasing in your syllabus about conducting oral exams if you suspect plagiarism through the use of a chatbot.

More obscure reading selections

When selecting readings, consider sourcing more obscure texts for your students to read.

Chatbots may have less information in their training data on obscure texts. As an example, the New York Times reports that, "Frederick Luis Aldama, the humanities chair at the University of Texas at Austin, said he planned to teach newer or more niche texts that ChatGPT might have less information about, such as William Shakespeare’s early sonnets instead of 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream'" (Huang, 2023). 

(Note that ChatGPT is currently trained on data through 2021. Some educators suggest using newer writings and research, but this strategy isn't foolproof since the training models for chatbots are updated frequently.)

Field observations

Coordinate times to take your class to conduct field observations; students can note their observations and write a reflection about their experience.

Recommended readings

References for Assignment ideas

Aaronson, S. (2022, November 28). My AI safety lecture for UT Effective AltruismShtetl-Optimized: The blog of Scott Aaronson.

Bowman, E. (2023, January 9). A college student created an app that can tell whether AI wrote an essay. NPR.

Caines, A. (2022, December 29). ChatGPT and good intentions in higher ed. Is a Liminal Space.

Caren, C. (2022, December 15). AI writing: The challenge and opportunity in front of education now. Turnitin.

Chechitelli, A. (2023, January 13). Sneak preview of Turnitin’s AI writing and ChatGPT detection capability. Turnitin.

Ditch That Textbook. (2022, December 17). ChatGPT, chatbots and artificial intelligence in education.

Greene, P. (2022, December 11). No, ChatGPT is not the end of high school English. But here’s the useful tool it offers teachers. Forbes.

Hick, D.H. (2022, December 15). Today, I turned in the first plagiarist I’ve caught using A.I. software to write her work [Facebook post]. Facebook.

Huang, K. (2023, January 16). Alarmed by A.I. chatbots, universities start revamping how they teach. New York Times.

Kelley, K.J. (2023, January 19). Teaching actual students writing in an AI world. Inside Higher Ed.

OpenAI. (2022, December). ChatGPT FAQ.

Trust, T. (2023). ChatGPT & education [Google Slides]. College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Warner, J. (2022, December 11). ChatGPT can't kill anything worth preserving: If an algorithm is the death of high school English, maybe that's an okay thingThe Biblioracle Recommends.

Watkins, R. (2022, December 18). Update your course syllabus for chatGPT. Medium.

Wiggers, K. (2022, Decemer 10). OpenAI’s attempts to watermark AI text hit limits. TechCrunch.