Teaching About the Use of Generative AI Guidance for Instructors

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To the Instructor:

The Committee has developed the following set of guidelines for instructional applications of generative AI. These guidelines aim to establish a framework for the ethical and responsible employment of AI tools in your teaching.

Please review these recommendations and integrate them into your instructional practices, tailoring them as necessary to suit your specific course requirements. It is also recommended that you inform your students about the intended use of AI in your course on the first day of class.

Given the rapid pace of advancements and instructional applications in generative AI, we anticipate these guidelines to continue to evolve. Thus, if you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to Dana Riger at driger@unc.edu or your academic unit representative.

Teaching Use Guidelines for Generative Artificial Intelligence

ChatGPT and other generative Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) tools that can produce text, images, and other media are now widely available. Integrating AI technology into teaching can enhance the learning experience for our students. AI can be a powerful tool to assist instructors in delivering effective instruction, promoting engagement, and facilitating personalized learning. At the same time, AI can create significant disruptions to learning that yield challenges and opportunities for teaching practices. It is crucial to address classroom and pedagogical challenges responsibly, adjust teaching approaches, and maintain a balance between AI use and human interaction to ensure a holistic educational experience. AI tools are important for instructors to understand and use effectively, appropriately, and ethically. Instructors are responsible for understanding the uses and limitations of AI for both education and the workplace.

Generative AI is limited in the following ways:

  1. How output is arrived is not clear as the internal processes used to produce a particular output within the generative AI cannot be determined.
  2. The output is based on existing data (often scraped from online sources) and may reflect biases that should be acknowledged; it may also be inaccurate or entirely fabricated, even if it appears reliable or factual.
  3. AI evokes a range of intellectual property concerns; sourcing and ownership of information is unclear, and the status of AI output raises numerous questions—e.g., is output equivalent to a published resource? What citational responsibilities are in place for various AI interactions?

The following sections offer philosophies for AI and teaching and specific guidelines for approaching these AI tools and features. Unless your college, school, or department provides other guidelines, you should use these.

Usage Philosophy

Usage of generative AI in your teaching should be based on the following principles:

  1. AI should help you teach, not teach for you. AI can serve as a complementary tool to support instructors, but is not a replacement for human interaction. Instructors should continue to play an active role in the teaching process and maintain direct engagement with students. Therefore, make sure you understand how AI tools help achieve learning goals and improve student understanding.
  2. Balance quality and timeliness for grading purposes. Take into consideration whether AI is suitable for grading an assignment. If it is deemed appropriate, make sure to verify that the output generated by the AI accurately reflects the actual accomplishments or feedback you would otherwise provide to students. Further, think about the potential discomfort or opposition from students towards AI-driven grading and consider explaining your decision to employ it.
  3. You are 100% responsible for your teaching materials. You are responsible for any mistakes made by AI if you choose to incorporate its output into your lectures or other course content. If you are unsure about the accuracy of a statement, it is your responsibility to research and verify it before using it. This includes properly attributing ideas, ensuring the accuracy of facts, and using correct sources.
  4. The use of AI should be open and documented. It is essential to be transparent and document the use of AI in your work. Inform your students about the use of AI in generating course assignments, exam questions, and other relevant materials. Provide explanations or demonstrations of how AI is employed, helping students understand the technology’s role and limitations.
  5. Adjust teaching practices to address AI use concerns. Complement any limits placed on AI use with activities that promote intellectual aims challenged by uncritical AI practices. For example, emphasize in-class generation of knowledge and foreground process-based learning. Consider incorporating oral- or performance-based activities and identify opportunities for reflection and meta-cognition.
  6. Select AI tools that align with course objectives. Utilize AI to align teaching strategies with course objectives, making sure that it enhances rather than overshadows the learning process. AI tools should be selected to support students’ learning needs. Consider ease of use, accessibility, and the potential for personalized learning. Instructors should ask themselves what they are trying to help students learn and which AI tool best facilitates that learning. The integration of AI should be purposeful and beneficial to the learning process, rather than being incorporated merely for its own sake.
  7. Ensure that AI use is inclusive. Make sure that the AI tools and instructions provided are accessible to all students, including those with disabilities or diverse learning preferences. Consider the needs of all students when selecting or designing AI-based instructional materials.
  8. Facilitate and encourage critical thinking. While AI can provide valuable insights and assistance, instructors must encourage students to think critically, and question information provided by AI tools. Foster a culture of inquiry and intellectual curiosity and assist students in developing an AI literacy.
  9. Emphasize human skills. Highlight the importance of human skills such as empathy, creativity, and critical reasoning alongside the use of AI. Challenge uncritical attempts to ascribe human characteristics to AI. Teach students to leverage AI as a tool while emphasizing the unique qualities that humans bring to the learning process.
  10. Specify AI policies for your course. Consider tailoring university or departmental guidelines to your specific course. Any guidelines or limits you specify for student submissions supersede the university guidelines. As different instructors and schools may have different guidelines, remind students regularly of your AI policies and how they can use these tools appropriately in your course.
  11. Avoid entering confidential or personal data into AI tools. Putting confidential or personal data (e.g., your students’ One Card details,) into these tools exposes you and others to the loss of important information. Therefore, do not do so.
  12. Stay informed. Keep up to date with advancements in AI technology and instructional best practices. Stay informed about emerging AI tools, research studies, and ethical guidelines related to AI in education. Engage in professional development opportunities to enhance your AI integration skills.

Guidelines for Specifics Assessments & Instructional Resources:

  1. Lecture Enhancement: You can utilize AI-powered tools to create visually engaging presentations, such as interactive graphs, visualizations, or simulations. You can also use AI-based language models to generate real-time examples, case studies, or scenarios to enhance lecture delivery and illustrate concepts effectively.
  2. Assessments and Exams: While AI tools can quickly generate a large number of questions, it’s important to review and modify these questions as needed and to ensure the level of learning being assessed is appropriate. AI can also be used to create simulations or interactive assignments that require students to apply what they have learned to solve real-world problems. These can be generated by instructors for formative or summative assessments or by students for self-assessment.
  3. Plagiarism Detection: Exercise caution while utilizing AI plagiarism detection tools, as their accuracy is not guaranteed and there may be instances where they fail to detect plagiarism. Additionally, be aware that individuals could potentially exploit AI technologies to circumvent detection software. Vigilance and mindful use of these tools is recommended.
  4. Student Support: You can integrate AI chatbots or virtual assistants to provide timely and automated responses to common student queries, freeing up instructor time. You can also use AI systems to suggest supplementary resources or personalized study plans based on individual student performance.
  5. Critical Thinking: Provide guidance to help students identify biases and misinformation associated with AI. Develop activities that prompt students to participate in iterative, inquiry-based thinking while using AI tools.
  6. Student Correspondence. Instructors should consider incorporating language into their emails or email signatures to disclose the use of AI-generated text when communicating with students. For example, “The content of this email might include AI-generated responses; however, they have been examined and confirmed by the sender.”

Sourcing Use of AI:

  1. Ethical sourcing: When using AI tools, ensure that the technology and data sources used are ethically obtained and comply with privacy and security regulations. Avoid using AI tools that may compromise student privacy or rely on biased or discriminatory data.
  2. Reliability: Before implementing an AI tool, thoroughly evaluate its reliability and accuracy. Consider factors such as the technology’s track record, user reviews, and endorsements from reputable sources. Pilot test AI tools before incorporating them into instructional practices.
  3. Documentation: Include a general statement in the syllabus acknowledging the use of AI in the creation of certain course materials. This statement serves to inform students about the integration of AI technologies and their impact on the learning experience. Additionally, it is recommended that instructors address the importance of following student use documentation guidelines.

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