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Example AI Course Policies

It is up to the instructor to decide whether student use of generative AI (GenAI) is appropriate for their courses. When making that decision, instructors should should take into consideration the learning goals of the course, the content, and the extent to which that course can contribute to students' general experience and understanding of AI. For extensive, research-informed recommendations from the UK ADVANCE team, be sure to visit their website. Instructors will also want to make sure that their policy aligns with any information shared by University Senate.

Recommended Components:


CELT recommends that any AI course policy include a clear definition of Generative AI. This definition can include CELT's basic definition found here, but may need to be expanded to include specific tools relevant to the discipline. For instance, a writing-heavy course may want to focus mainly on text-based GenAI tools while a graphic design or art course may also want to more clearly define image-based tools. STEM and other data-analysis fields may want to include ChatGPT's Code Interpreter function, while computer science and other coding-heavy disciplines will want to address tools with those capabilities.

Appropriate Use Statement

This section of your policy should state clearly whether or not student can use GenAI in the course, which tools they may use, what constitutes misuse, and the steps the instructor will take in the event of misuse. You can find CELT examples of these below that vary based on stances on use of AI.

How to Cite

Should the use of AI be allowed in the course, the policy should include specific instructions for how to cite that use. Explore the recommendations from your discipline's preferred style guide for suggestions. Consider asking students to include "Acknowledgement of Use" statements where appropriate. Recommended language for such statements can be found in the examples below.

Alternatives to AI Use

Questions about ethics and impact of AI use are still being negotiated and discovered. In addition, questions about data privacy remain unanswered at this time. With that in mind, instructors should make accommodations for students who wish not to register for or use those tools (even when required for an assignment). Some examples of alternatives might include allowing students to work in pairs or groups or allowing students to use search engines instead of AI and compare results. Given existing questions about privacy, students should never be asked to input personal or private information into a GenAI tool.

Examples of No Use

Instructors may decide that student use of Generative AI is detrimental to their ability to meet course learning objectives and, thus, opt for a “no AI use” policy. In such cases, the syllabus AI policy statement should include a rationale for that choice to encourage student compliance. It should also include a clear indication of what constitutes misuse and what steps will be taken if misuse occurs.

Example 1 - Simple Rationale

Idea generation, analytical thinking, and critical analysis are key outcomes in this course. As a result, all assignments submitted by the student must be 100% their original work. Generative AI tools should not be used for any stage of any assignment or activity. Any submission of AI-generated content will be considered misuse in the context of this course and consequences will follow University policies. See the University Senate guidelines found here.


Example 2 - Discipline-Specific Rationale

Generative AI is a powerful tool that has its uses in certain contexts, but it is not appropriate for the learning goals in this course. In [insert discipline/profession], we rely on skills such as [list salient skills or competencies] that are developed through practice and improvement. As a result, you will be given opportunities to practice and grow without the use of AI. For example, [list examples of these opportunities if appropriate]. Use of Generative AI for the completion of assignments or activities will be considered academic dishonesty in the context of this course and will result in the consequences outlined in the University Senate Rules found here.


Example 3 - Learning Objective-Specific Rationale

Generative AI cannot be used for assignments in this class as it well be a barrier to your successfully meeting some of the key learning objectives. This is an [level of course] [insert discipline] course in which students engage with [major content/ideas/skills]. It is important that students spend time reading, writing, and thinking through the information to develop critical skills. [Insert a specific example if relevant. For instance: One of the learning objectives of this course is for students to be able to identify and analyze arguments within a text. Close reading of a full text is a key step in developing that ability. Use this class and the assigned texts as an opportunity to practice this skill.]

Any use of GenAI for any assignment or activity is considered misuse in this class. That includes presenting any GenAI output as your own work, using AI to brainstorm, or rewriting generated outputs completely in your own words. That type of misuse may be considered academic misconduct and consequences will follow University policies. See the University Senate guidelines found here.

Examples of Conditional Use

In some cases, instructors might want to help students explore GenAI in the context of their course and are, therefore, open to student use of AI in specified instances. CELT refers to these types of policies as “conditional AI use.” The exact policies outlining conditional use of AI vary widely based on learning goals and uses. For instance, instructors may choose to allow student use of AI:

  • for specified assignments only;
  • for specific stages or tasks in preparation for all assignments (i.e. brainstorming, proofreading, etc. but not drafting); or
  • for in-class activities only (not for completing individual or group assignments).

Instructors may also specify which GenAI tools students may or may not use. In most cases for assignment use, instructors should provide students with guidance about how to cite and acknowledge their use of AI. For instructors interested in considering possible ways to incorporate AI into their teaching, contact CELT for a consultation.

Example 1 - Use for Some Assignments

Students will be permitted to use GenAI tools for specific assignments only. When GenAI tools can be used on an assignment it will be explicitly stated in the directions. At times, instructions may also indicate the specific AI tool you can use. The goal of allowing the use of GenAI for these assignments is to make space for critical engagement and practice with these tools.

Students must cite any use of GenAI for any part of an assignment (from idea generation to text creation to text editing) using the guidelines from [insert name and link to relevant style guide]. Any use of AI beyond the assignments and tasks the instructor approves will be considered misuse. Also, failure to cite AI materials appropriately will be considered misuse and consequences will follow University policies. See the University Senate guidelines found here.

Example 2 - Use for In-Class Activities Only

Students will be permitted to use Generative AI in this course only for specified tasks as designated by the instructor. Because Generative AI is an influential tool for the future of [insert discipline], it is important that students engage with that tool in thoughtful and inquisitive ways. As a result, there will be some specifically designed in-class activities where students are asked to use [insert GenAI tool name (i.e., ChatGPT, Bing, etc.)] to critically engage with its evolving abilities and restrictions. Please note that while we may use AI for some in-class activities, students may not use GenAI tools for any other assignment submissions.

Students who do not wish to sign up for [insert Gen AI tool] for in-class activities will be allowed to pair up with another student who has an account. Students are not required to give credit to AI tools for these activities as all students will be expected to use [insert tool name] in the same ways. 

Misuse of AI in the context of this course includes submitting AI-generated outputs (in their original form or re-written) as your own work on class assignments. That type of misuse may be considered academic misconduct and consequences will follow University policies. See the University Senate guidelines found here.



Example 3 - Specific Tasks Only & Acknowledgement

In this course you are permitted to use Generative AI for planning, organizing, outlining, brainstorming, and copy-editing your work for any major or minor assignment. However, you are not permitted to use GenAI for composition, writing, or content generation. In other words, the final product that you turn in should be at least 75% [or other %] your work. 

This course invites students to use Generative AI in augmentative ways to encourage a healthy curiosity and skepticism about the tools and how they work. Students who use AI for their assignments must include the following statement at the end of the document/with references or works cited.

“I acknowledge my use of Generative AI in the preparation of this assignment in the form of [insert GenAI tool name]. The [GenAI tool name] was used in the following ways: [List and explain all uses including steps to clarify, fact-check, and cite]. Specifically, the AI-authored contributions to this submission include: [list specific contributions]. I take full responsibility for the accuracy of information informed by the AI tools I used."

Students should also include in-text citations of any AI-informed information using guidelines from [insert style guide].


Examples of Unrestricted Use

Instructors who are eager for students to explore the capabilities, uses, and shortcomings of GenAI tools broadly or within the context of their fields and disciplines may choose a policy of unlimited or unrestricted use of AI. In these cases, instructors should still define AI clearly, indicate expectations for citing AI, encourage back-and-forth dialogue with AI outputs, and warn students about the likelihood for GenAI to get things "wrong."

For further exploration of academic open use of AI, consider Ethan Mollick's course policy requiring the use of AI.

Example 1 - Must Cite Use

In this course, students are permitted to use generative AI tools for any of their assignments in any way they choose. To maintain academic integrity, however, students must disclose any use of AI-generated material and also take full responsibility of checking the accuracy of any output. 

Citation and Acknowledgement. As always, students must properly use attributions, including in-text citations and references using guidelines from [insert relevant style guide name and link here]. Anytime they use AI, students must also include the following acknowledgement statement at the end of an assignment:

“I acknowledge my use of Generative AI in the preparation of this assignment in the form of [insert GenAI tool name]. The [GenAI tool name] was used in the following ways: [List and explain all uses including steps to clarify, fact-check, and cite]. I have taken all necessary steps to ensure the accuracy of the material and data I used.”

Oversight. Learners are responsible for submitting work that meets the assignment standards for quality and factual accuracy. Students should be fully aware that generative AI often create outputs that include fabrications, inaccuracies, and misleading information (often called “hallucinations''). Anytime a student submits information generated by AI, they must take all steps to ensure that the information they use is accurate and free from problematic content.  

In this course, misuse of AI consists of failing to cite information provided by GenAI tools, failing to include the acknowledgement statement mentioned above, failing to check for accuracy, or falsely presenting ideas or products as their own. Inaccuracies, made-up citations, or any other false information found in an assignment is the responsibility of the student and may be classified as academic misconduct - even if the original errors are the fault of generative AI outputs. That type of misuse may be considered academic misconduct and consequences will follow University policies. See the University Senate guidelines found here.


Example 2 - Show Your Work

In this course, students are free to use GenAI for any assignment or project. To meet key learning outcomes of this course, such as [insert course learning outcomes that are relevant to exploring/using AI], students should engage with GenAI in their assignments.

When students use GenAI to prepare assignments, they must cite that information using guidelines from [insert relevant style guide name and link here] and show their work. To show their work, students must include a [insert format preference here (i.e. appendix, endnotes, etc.)] explaining what prompts were used, how outputs were manipulated, and how they chose to engage in a back-and-forth with the tool. An example of the preferred format for this course can be found [provide your own template here]. 

Students are encouraged to use AI for this course, but do not attempt to present AI outputs as your own work. Misrepresentation of AI-generated content in this way will be considered misuse in this class. Citations and showing your work will help avoid any confusion. Misuse including the failure to document engagement with AI may be considered academic misconduct and consequences will follow University policies. See the University Senate guidelines found here.



Example 3 - Shared Exploration

In this course, students are free to use GenAI for any assignment or project. It is neither expected nor required that you use GenAI; however, it is permitted. Students may use these tools to [insert course-specific potential examples of use for assignments/projects], and in any other capacity that students find helpful. 

I trust students to determine when and whether or not the use of GenAI will benefit their learning for different tasks and to use GenAI responsibly and ethically as they would any other learning tool available to them. 

If a student chooses to use GenAI tools, there are a few things that should be kept in mind. There are current limits on the abilities of GenAI, therefore, students must verify any information it produces. Students who use AI will be responsible for the accuracy of any AI-generated information, data, or facts. All citations must be human-researched and human-confirmed.

Use of AI should be cited using guidelines shared on Canvas. Submitting false information, including fake sources, or failing to cite GenAI-informed information will be considered misuse in this class. Consequences will follow University policies available in the University Senate guidelines found here.



UK ADVANCE Guidelines

Additional Guidelines

The Provost's cross-disciplinary team UK ADVANCE has put together some extensively researched guidelines for instructors on AI. Read over those guidelines as you consider the role of AI in your courses.

Find UK ADVANCE Guidelines