Syllabus Guidelines on the Use of AI Tools

Syllabus Guidelines on the USE OF AI Tools

That use of the acronym “AI” in this guide refers to “artificial intelligence.” When referring to “academic integrity,” the phrase will be spelled out.

“The code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.”
Captain Hector Barbossa

What this Guide IS and is NOT

  • This guide is designed to provide you with flexible syllabus 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, and is intended to be coupled with ongoing dialogue centered around the responsible and ethical use of AI tools (see teaching guide on: Classroom Communication on AI Tools).
  • 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.

​The examples below are course level examples of AI guidelines focused on the use of AI use integrated into coursework. The examples below do not reflect current or future institution level, or department level policy on AI use. Please adapt as needed to your course, context, and students.

Suggested Template for Syllabus Guidelines on AI-Supported Coursework

While the use of AI is not mandatory in this course, I encourage you to consider utilizing AI as a tool to enhance your learning experience. I suggest the use of ChatGPT as your AI tool, though there are other options available. Here are some guidelines to help you make the most out of AI, particularly ChatGPT, while ensuring ethical usage:

  1. Understand the limitations of ChatGPT: Recognize that ChatGPT has its constraints and may not always provide accurate information or answers. It requires thoughtful and well-crafted prompts to yield quality results.
  2. Verify information independently: If ChatGPT presents a number or fact, assume it is incorrect unless you have reliable knowledge or can cross-reference it with other credible sources. Ultimately, you are responsible for the accuracy of information used in your work. Similar to Wikipedia, ChatGPT can be a good sounding board or beginning place for information, but frequently provides inaccurate information mixed in with true content.
  3. Treat AI as a tool: When employing AI in your assignments, explicitly acknowledge its use. Include a paragraph at the end of any AI-assisted work, explaining the purpose of using AI, the specific prompts used, and how it contributed to your results. Failure to do so would be a violation of academic honesty policies.
  4. Exercise ethical judgment: Be discerning about when it is appropriate to use AI as a tool. Consider the context and requirements of each task, ensuring that AI aligns with the assignment’s objectives and guidelines.
  5. Information Responsibility: You are responsible for any errors or omissions provided by the tool. It works best for topics you understand.
Suggested Template for Recommendations on Using AI (ChatGPT) in Coursework​
  1. Use ChatGPT as a tool for generating ideas and insights, but verify information through authoritative sources before incorporating it into your work.
  2. Utilize ChatGPT to gain alternative perspectives or enhance your creativity, but critically evaluate the output to ensure its relevance and accuracy.
  3. Refine your prompts and optimize ChatGPT’s responses, but always ensure that the final work reflects your own understanding and analysis.
  4. When using ChatGPT to assist with research, complement it with thorough literature review and proper citation practices to maintain academic integrity (see below for guidance on how to cite generative AI tools, and why it is important to cite sources).
  5. Leverage ChatGPT’s assistance for complex problem-solving or decision-making, but remain cautious of any biases or limitations that may arise from the AI model.
Suggested Template for Students’ Documentation of AI Use

I acknowledge the use of AI in completing this assignment and would like to provide a brief explanation of how I utilized AI, specifically ChatGPT, as a tool to support my work.For this assignment, I employed ChatGPT to [describe the specific purpose or task]. To do so I crafted the following prompts:

[List prompts used]”

Citation Guidelines for Student Reference:

How to cite generative AI in:

When and why to cite sources:

This teaching guide was developed by the Course Production Team at the Center for Teaching and Learning.