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Taking the Right Steps: Establishing a Policy to Guide Students’ Use of Generative AI 

 January 12, 2023

By  James Brauer

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Introduction

Generative AI is an emerging technology with great potential to revolutionize the education sector. This technology can be used to make new learning materials, design and organize course materials, make scripts for video lectures or podcasts, and modernize old learning materials. AI-powered tools can also enhance the classroom experience by providing personalized and adaptive learning experiences.

Ethical Challenges

However, using AI in education also comes with some ethical challenges. These include potential biases in educational materials, false or inaccurate information, abuse of AI for self-interest, and a lack of demonstration of select academic skills associated with learning objectives. As such, it is crucial for education institutions to establish a policy to guide students’ use of generative AI content writing tools.

The policy should ensure that students know their rights and responsibilities when using AI for academic purposes. It should also provide the security of student data and the accuracy of the content generated by AI algorithms. Moreover, the policy should define clear parameters for acceptable and unacceptable use of AI tools to reduce the risk of cheating while allowing students to benefit from the technology.

Establishing a Policy

By establishing a policy to guide the use of AI-powered content writing tools, education institutions can ensure that students can use the technology responsibly and ethically while maximizing its potential to improve learning outcomes.

Departmental Discussion

Within my department, my colleagues and I are undergoing this very conversation. I don’t believe any of the department’s members want an outright ban; however, it’s important not to restrict the tools. While we recognize the tremendous value generative artificial intelligence can yield to students and teachers, we must be cautious about how to proceed with writing assignments.

Here is a draft proposal that I submitted to our team. I would love to hear your thoughts–anything you would recommend amending?


Draft Policy Language

This policy establishes the standard for academic honesty and generative artificial intelligence (AI) content writing in paper assignments and assessments at Avila University’s School of Education. This policy applies to all members of the SOE community, including faculty, staff, and students.

The use of AI tools to create content can be a valuable resource for education communities. However, the result of these tools should not be submitted in its totality without being carefully reviewed and corrected prior to submission. It is important that all sources are correctly cited when using AI-generated content in order to maintain academic standards of integrity.

In order to ensure that all written assignments and assessments reflect an acceptable level of quality, accuracy, and integrity, it is required that all students adhere to this policy. The following outlines the expectations:

  • All AI-generated content must be manually reviewed prior to submission; any discrepancies or errors must be corrected before submitting the work.
  • Any AI-generated content included in written assignments or assessments must be properly cited with full attribution following APA style guidelines so as not to violate copyright laws or misrepresent intellectual property rights.
  • All sources used in researching topics must also be properly cited with full attribution following APA (7th edition) style guidelines.
  • Cheating or plagiarizing will not be tolerated; any attempts or results from such practices will result in disciplinary action as outlined by Avila University’s Student Code of Conduct Policies and Procedures.
  • Faculty members have the authority to require extra steps beyond this policy for individual courses; instructions for such steps will be provided directly by the instructor at the beginning of each semester/term/session/etc.
  • Before submitting any paper assignment or assessment involving AI-generated content, students should describe their process for ensuring academic integrity within their work; this description should include a list of sources consulted and how those sources were used when constructing their work product(s).

TL;DR

  • Education institutions must develop a policy to guide the use of generative AI content writing tools, to ensure students are using them responsibly and ethically.
  • This policy should provide the security of student data, accuracy of the content generated by AI algorithms, and clear parameters for acceptable and unacceptable use.
  • It is important for schools to strike a balance between allowing students to benefit from AI technology and reducing the risk of cheating.

Citations

https://www.westagilelabs.com/blog/8-applications-of-artificial-intelligence-in-education/

https://education.msu.edu/news/2021/exploring-the-ethics-of-artificial-intelligence-in-k-12-education/

https://www.mitgurukul.com/Importance-of-Value-Based-Education.php#:~:text=Value%20education%20also%20helps%20the,relationship%20with%20family%20and%20friends

https://www.edweek.org/technology/what-teachers-should-consider-before-using-ai-powered-tools-in-the-classroom/2022/12

https://research.aimultiple.com/generative-ai-in-education/

https://fortune.com/2023/01/06/schools-chatgpt-ai-student-cheating-ban/

https://www.unesco.org/en/education/digital/artificial-intelligence#:~:text=Artificial%20Intelligence%20(AI)%20has%20the,accelerate%20progress%20towards%20SDG%204.

https://www.th-owl.de/files/webs/iwd/download/Forschungsprojekt_KI/Schmohl_Watanabe_Froehlich_Herzberg__2020_.pdf

https://medium.com/@taylor.silveira/edtechs-next-frontier-unleashing-the-power-of-generative-ai-for-writing-instruction-eb730990a6ff?source=topics_v2———5-84——————–beafbb0a_52d1_4dc3_8eeb_331807e0c1dc——-17

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James Brauer


James Brauer, Ed.D., MBA is currently Director of Graduate Education at Avila University. Previously he was a virtual school administrator of a public online school serving students throughout the state of Iowa. Brauer has also served as an assistant principal and special education teacher. He is passionate about leadership and management, health and wellness, and personal development.

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