CLassroom Communication on AI Tools
Note that use of the acronym “AI” in this guide refers to “artificial intelligence.” When referring to “academic integrity,” the phrase will be spelled out.
What this Guide IS and is NOT
- This guide is designed to provide you with flexible guidelines for the pedagogical and ethical use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in your course.
- It is focused on how to support the use of AI as a tool, by educating students on the parameters of AI platforms.
- This guide is not anti-AI, nor is it prescribing the use of AI.
- This guide does NOT provide or use a university-created policy on AI. Rather, it has been developed from (1) understanding of high impact educational practices, and (2) effective and appropriate uses of AI within courses.
Communicating with Students about AI
The following recommendations are intended to include but also transcend AI tools. They also apply to future tools that may have a significant impact on the learning environment. The practices described will assist in tool-proofing your courses by building a culture of learning, where students come to understand the value of honest work for their future careers.
Establish a culture of learning
- Establishing a culture of learning will tool-proof your course content.
- When learning environments are designed with students in mind, and the communication reflects the care and effort to create impactful learning, then students will respond with respect, and value their assignments.
Set clear expectations
- Leaving room open for interpretation leaves room open for real misunderstandings or claimed misunderstandings.
- Add AI guidelines directly into your syllabus (see teaching guide on: Syllabus Guidelines for AI tools)
- Communicate the role and impact of AI tools in the learning process within your course.
- Expectations may change from course to course
Start with trust. Build respect
- Avoid the frequency illusion (or recency bias) that all students want to cheat, are lazy, or apathetic.
- Assuming your students will use it in a negative way before it will happen, will end up a self-fulfilling prophecy as they feel the respect and relationship isn’t there from the beginning.
Demonstrate the benefits and limitations of AI Tools
- This shows that you are making parameters around AI not out of fear, but out of thoughtfulness.
- It builds trust and confidence with students by showing that you have put in the time to understand the basics of AI.
- It also makes it more visible that you would recognize improper use than someone who doesn’t understand it and therefore bans it.
Support learners in developing ethical AI practices
- Model the use of AI tools in your context.
- Provide opportunities for students to critique AI output that include AI hallucinations and inaccurate sources of information.
- Regularly promote fact checking and source examination of AI generated content.
- Provide and regularly discuss this or a similar Student-Use Protocol for the Ethical Use of AI Tools.
Most of all: Prepare yourself. Use Generative AI in your own work to learn its benefits and limitations.
To date, there is no detection tool that is 100% accurate.
- The plagiarism detection tool available through UNC Charlotte, recently added an artificial intelligence detection tool.
- Think of these as a way to start a conversation about your concerns versus “slam dunk” evidence.
- If you plan to use SimCheck to analyze student assignments, you must have students sign the appropriate waiver form.
- If you are using a different plagiarism detection tool, there is a generic waiver.
- More information is available at under suggested syllabus policies.
Addressing Suspected Misuse of AI Tools
Before you begin to navigate the misconduct process or reach out to the student:
Step 1: Ask yourself a few questions
- What do I believe happened?
- What evidence do I have to support this claim?
- Are there other reasonable explanations?
- Is this behavior outlined in my course expectations or syllabus as unauthorized or not permitted?
Step 2: Think about how you want to approach the conversation
- Accusatory language can shut down the conversation before it starts.
- Communicate that you have a concern:
Example language: I have some concerns about your [academic exercise] that I’d like to talk with you about.
I am available ____. Do any of these times work for you? It is important that we meet soon to discuss these concerns.
Step 3: As you approach the conversation, think about what you need to know, to determine if a violation of policy has occurred.
- Open Ended Questions:
- Talk to me about how you approached this assignment.
- Tell me about this portion. How did you come to that conclusion/get that solution?
- Can you explain this paragraph?
- What resources did you use and how did you incorporate them into your work?
- I found it interesting that ______. Can you further expand on this?
- Direct Questions:
- Your assignment references concepts and vocabulary we do not cover in this course. Did you use an online translator to complete this assignment?
- Your paper reads differently from your past work. Did you use an online generator to complete this assignment?
Step 4: Contact the Student Accountability & Conflict Resolution (SACR) to see if the student has any prior violations.
- Email email@example.com and include the student’s name and their student ID#.
- Alternative Contact: Call 704-687-0336 from a university provided phone number. Due to FERPA, the SARC office will not release student information if someone calls from a non-university number (like a cell phone).
Additional Resources from the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution
- Guidelines for having conversations about academic misconduct (with instructions for adding Academic Integrity module to your courses for students).
- Code of Academic Integrity for the specific university policies around cheating and the language
- Processes for suspected academic integrity violations
This teaching guide was developed by the Center for Teaching and Learning in collaboration with the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.