Examples

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We are collecting examples of syllabus language regarding generative AI and/or examples of how faculty and students are using generative AI in the classroom. Have an example to share? Please share it with us via this form.  Note that, by submitting your example on the form, you are giving us permission to add it to this site.

 

Syllabus language

Everyone is struggling with how best to use the new generative AI tools. Some schools want to ban them, others require them. In our field of professional sustainability management, we should treat them like any other tool, ie find ways that they can help us in the herculean task of shifting from an extractive to a sustainable economy. (See for example Centre for AI and Climate)Links to an external site.
As learners, we should use AI to promote our own creative and critical thinking, not to substitute for it. It can also help with clear and evidence-based writing. On the other hand, AI makes mistakes and even makes things up. Moreover, AI-generated writing often sounds like Wikipedia (or, god help us, the UN). Believe me, it’s easy to spot.AI has some wonderful research tools and I expect that you will use them in this class, especially in producing the main deliverable–the company climate climate action evaluation report and oral presentation. As of a few weeks ago, ChatGPT was not able to do this assignment as written: it simply suggested that I consult company sustainability reports (which is precisely what I have asked you to do). However, these tools are moving very fast! If you find that AI can indeed do the assignment for you, please let me know. I will ask you to critique what AI has produced. The main goal is for you to actually understand the concepts and logic underlying the assignment
AI also has some good professional editing tools and it’s fine to use them to improve your writing, especially if English is your second (or third or fourth) language. But again–do not substitute AI-generated writing for your own. It is easy to spot. If I see it, I will ask you to redo the assignment.All teachers understand that students are under stress and looking for shortcuts. The key thing with AI, I reckon, is to use it to short-circuit tedious, non-creative work (e.g. combing the literature, organizing data) while spending more attention and time on analytical and creative work (e.g. interviewing people in the field, bringing together different perspectives and literatures to make new connections).As for the other assignments in the class (the Exercises), I would like you to just do them the old-fashioned way; ie use Google as needed to find materials, read them, and answer the questions in your own words.
My goal in this class is for you to become fluent in the key concepts and frameworks in the sustainability management space. AI can help but it can also obstruct that goal.As you might be able to tell, I am still very much figuring this out. Let’s work together to best use AI so that you emerge from this class confident and articulate in what you know and think about sustainability management. That’s the secret to your success as a professional.
Let’s discuss in class.

ChatGPT and Other Generative AI Tools:

What’s allowed – You may use AI platforms to help prepare for projects, for example to help with brainstorming, or to see what a completed essay might look like. We also welcome you to use AI to help revise and edit your work, for example to help identify flaws in reasoning, spot confusing or underdeveloped paragraphs, or simply to fix citations.

What’s required – If you use ChatGPT or other generative AI tools, you must notate and attribute that use. Any text generated by an AI must be represented by a different color font or highlight along with an in-text citation indicating which tool was used. Failure to properly note what work is generated by an AI tool is a violation of the Honor Code and in such instances, you will receive no credit for the work until the assignment is revised to properly attribute what’s your work and what’s the work of the AI.

Your responsibility – The AI makes mistakes. Factual errors can appear since the AI actually does not understand its text but makes a plausible response. AI tools are trained on the internet, which is a faulty dataset full of biases, misinformation, and inaccuracies. Therefore, references may not exist, quoted sources may actually state the opposite, logical contradictions may appear, and cited text may be inaccurate. It is your responsibility to fact check your work and ensure its accuracy before submission.

Considering AI

AI is a reality in our current moment and will only become more so in the future. Thus in this class, I want us to consider how to use AI ethically as a tool to enhance learning but not to inhibit our own creative & intellectual work. AI tools cannot take the place of personal insights, and I don’t want it to take away your opportunities to make creative critical connections as you hone your own analytic skills.

But, within this class*, I do encourage you to—within the limits of your comfort—experiment with using AI as a tool that helps you to study, to think through ideas, and improve your writing. AI can also help students with executive functioning challenges such as ADHD to break down tasks into smaller steps and thus can offer valuable time, project, and task management assistance.

Much as we now may not think twice when we use spell check in google doc or templates in google slides, I believe with time we will come to understand AI more clearly as a tool rather than a replacement for creative intellectual work.

*Please do note that each professor at Middlebury will have their own approach to and rules about AI that you’ll need to be aware of and follow for any given class.

AI Policy for this class (written with the assistance of notion-AI :D)

It’s important for students to remember that AI is a tool, not a replacement for hard work and dedicated study. By using AI in a thoughtful and strategic way, students can enhance their learning and achieve their academic goals.

When using AI-powered writing tools for writing for class, it is important to ensure that the use of such tools is ethical. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Use AI-powered writing tools as a tool, not a replacement for your own writing skills. While these tools can provide helpful suggestions, it is important to still put in the effort to improve your writing abilities on your own.
  2. Make sure you understand how the AI-powered writing tool works and what data it is collecting. Be aware of the privacy policy of the tool and make sure you are comfortable with the information it is collecting and how it is being used.
  3. Do not use AI-powered writing tools to plagiarize. It is important to always properly cite your sources and give credit where credit is due.
  4. Be aware of bias in AI-powered writing tools. Some tools may have built-in biases based on the data they were trained on. Make sure to critically evaluate the suggestions provided by the tool and be aware of any potential biases.

By following these guidelines, students can use AI-powered writing tools in an ethical way for their personal writing for class.

Here are some ways students can use AI to enhance their learning:

  1. Use AI-powered study aids: There are various AI-powered study aids available that can help students to learn more efficiently. For example, some apps use AI algorithms to adapt questions to a student’s level of understanding, making it easier for them to learn and retain information.
  2. Utilize AI-powered writing tools: AI-powered writing tools can help students to improve their writing skills. These tools can analyze student writing and provide feedback on grammar, spelling, and overall clarity. But be careful not to lose your own writing voice in the process. Sometimes perfect grammar is the enemy of poetic or rhetorical power.
  3. Use AI-powered research tools: AI-powered research tools can help students to find relevant information more quickly. These tools can analyze large amounts of data and provide insights that would be difficult for a student to find on their own.
  4. Take advantage of AI-powered tutoring: Some tutoring services use AI algorithms to analyze student performance and provide personalized recommendations. This can help students to improve their understanding of a subject and perform better on exams.

Policy on the use of ChatGPT: You may all use the free version however you like and are encouraged to do so. For purposes of equity, use of the subscription version is forbidden and will be considered a violation of the Honor Code. Your professor has both versions and knows the difference. To ensure you are learning as much as possible from the course readings, citation will be mandatory in both your informal and formal writing.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, including machine learning models, automated research tools, and large language models (LLMs), are increasingly available and offer various applications in academic settings. While these tools can assist in the learning process, you must use them responsibly to uphold academic integrity. This policy outlines the acceptable and unacceptable uses of AI tools for assignments in this course.

Acceptable uses of AI

Coding help: Using AI to help figure out a tricky bit of code.

Idea Generation: Using AI to brainstorm ideas for topics, theses, or arguments.

Research Assistance: Utilizing AI to identify and/or summarize articles, papers, or datasets that will be further examined and cited.

Drafting Aid: Leveraging AI to help outline or draft parts of an assignment, provided that the content is significantly revised and meets the assignment’s originality requirements.

Grammar and Style Checks: Employing AI tools for editing and proofreading.

Translation Services: Utilizing AI for basic translation needs when dealing with sources in foreign languages, followed by appropriate citation.

Unacceptable uses of AI

Plagiarism: Submitting text generated by AI without proper citation or presenting it as your own original work. (Along those lines…I used ChatGPT 4 to write 90% of this AI policy.)

Full Assignment Generation: Using AI to produce entire assignments or significant portions thereof without substantive original contribution.

Citations

When AI-generated content is used in any part of an assignment, it must be properly cited according to the citation style specified for the course (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). Failure to cite AI-generated content is considered plagiarism.

Penalties for Misuse

Misuse of AI tools will be considered a violation of the honor code.

Disclosure

If you use AI tools in an assignment, you must disclose this fact in your submission. A simple statement such as “[Name of AI tools] were used for initial drafting, research summarization, and grammar checks” will suffice.

Final Notes

Because AI technologies are evolving rapidly, the course AI policy is subject to change. Any alterations will be communicated to the students in class and via email.

Citation for my use of AI to generate this section

“Write a policy on the use of AI for my syllabus” prompt. ChatGPT 4.0, OpenAI, 7 Sep. 2023, chat.openai.com/chat.

As generative AI (like Chat-GPT) has emerged recently, there has been a lot of conversation about how such tools might be used in college classrooms. My policy is that all sources should be clearly cited, including AI—if you were to use such a tool, document how you used it. Like with other sources, all direct quotations must be indicated and cited. But I’d encourage you to not use AI because it probably won’t help you achieve the goals of this course: to think deeply and critically about American television, and to develop and convey your thoughts through writing. I’m swayed by this essay by Jonathan Zimmerman, and I hope you are too.

I encourage you to use Generative AI tools in the course. These tools can be helpful for brainstorming ideas for your policy proposal, generating code to do the empirical analysis, and proofreading your final paper. However, do not submit any work generated by an AI tool as your own. Any uncited or inappropriate use of AI will be treated as a violation of the Honor Code.

In using generative AI, it is important to understand that the output generated by these models may be wrong. Be highly skeptical about any provided facts and references. Do not accept its responses at face value. Always cross-verify information with credible external sources, especially for your policy proposal. You bear the ultimate responsibility for the accuracy of your work.

Uses of AI in classes

In our 2024 winter term class Questioning Technology, we encouraged students to use generative AI tools to explore a topic for their essay. We started with an in-class activity that asked students to identify strategies for prompting a generative AI tool. We discussed strengths and limitations of different prompting strategies, and the potential uses and limitations of the outputs generated. After that discussion, we asked students to apply their strategies to exploring topics for their essays. This was done by students individually for ~10 minutes. We then had a class discussion about what they found, what was helpful, what wasn’t helpful, and next steps for using what was generated to further explore their topic.

Reflection on this use: Students appreciated the opportunity to reflect on what they were doing with the tools. Many noted that they had been using generative AI tools for various purposes but not doing so with any strategy or clear understanding of what they were doing.

Uses of AI in research

(1) In terms of statistical programming, I’m fluent in Stata but only proficient in R. Lately when I’ve had to use R for one reason or another (often web crawling/scraping), I’ve asked ChatGPT 4.0 to help refine my code. It can be quite helpful!. E.g., here’s me trying to sort out some code that uses R, is web crawling, and uses regex–all three of which are things I’m not great at. GPT got me unstuck on a problem with the regular expressions code.

(2) I recently wrote a grant proposal, and I gave ChatGPT 4.0 the RFP and scoring rubric along with my draft grant to ask for feedback. It scored me on each section, and offered some helpful suggestions about a few places I could connect back to the criteria for evaluation.

Reflection: I find GPT helpful when I’m trying to debug code that’s outside my usual comfort area. I also find it helpful in helping me edit and refine writing.

External examples

Looking for additional examples? Here are resources from faculty at other institutions.