Tool for Determining Allowable Uses of AI with Writing Assignments
This document is a tool to help instructors determine and communicate allowable uses of artificial intelligence (AI) when assigning written work to their students. The tool helps instructors define skills-based learning objectives and provides a checklist to clarify the allowable and non-allowable uses of generative AI in the assignments.
Page one of handout titled "Tool for Determining Allowable Uses of AI with Writing Assignments"
Authored by Mary McCaffery (Manager, Writing Services)
Christopher Laursen (Educational Developer, Office of Teaching and Learning)
How can instructors clearly determine and communicate allowable
uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in their courses, if any, when
assigning written work?
Step 1: Communicate with Your Students about Generative AI and Build AI Literacy
The purpose of this tool is to help faculty members demonstrate awareness of generative AI functions in relation to writing assignments, while establishing boundaries that promote learning. In determining allowable uses of generative AI with assignments, consider being candid with your students, explaining your intention to be transparent about your expectations on how AI may or may not be used. If possible, make time to ask students to share their perceptions, feelings, or ideas about generative AI, and to visit your office hours with any concerns or questions. You can build AI literacy for your own benefit, and to open conversations with students, by learning more about artificial intelligence in higher education through our resources. Contact the Office of Teaching and Learning for personalized guidance on assessment design with AI in mind (contact info at bottom of this document).
Step 2: Define Skills-Based Learning Objectives
An increased focus on skills-based learning objectives will be helpful when determining boundaries for the use of generative AI. Different from content-based learning objectives (e.g., disciplinary concepts, formulas, etc.), skills-based learning objectives highlight what a student should learn to do by completing a learning activity (e.g., synthesize sources in paragraphs based on unifying ideas). In other words, before determining permissible uses of generative AI, consider the skills you want students to learn.