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AI Technology and Academic Integrity for Instructors

About Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology

Since the launch of ChatGPT in late 2022, generative artificial intelligence (AI) has received much attention in the media and within educational institutions. Generative AI tools are able to mimic, and at times to exceed, human abilities to research, write, problem-solve, create art, produce videos, and even to “learn” and evolve. Since the release of ChatGPT (GPT stands for Generative, Pre-trained, Transformer), different types of generative AI tools have been developed. Additionally, updates have been continuously occurring, leading to increasingly more coherent and human-like responses. As such, there is concern that generative AI tools/apps can be used to help students engage in academic misconduct.

This page has been created to help instructors understand the capabilities of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and provide strategies for helping students avoid using it to engage in academic misconduct. Given that AI technology is continuously evolving, the content on this page will be monitored and updated as new information becomes available (last update: August 16, 2023).

Note: Please refer to the Academic Integrity and Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology document distributed by the ASCP committee in February 2023. This document draws on York's Senate Policy on Academic Honesty to provide clarity on the use of this technology for academic work.

As an instructor, anticipate that students will be curious about these tools and that they require clear direction about whether they are permitted to use them for academic work within your course. As such, instructors are encouraged to engage students in an open discussion about AI apps, and how these intersect with academic integrity.  

As an instructor, anticipate that students will be curious about these tools and that they require clear direction about whether they are permitted to use them for academic work within your course. As such, instructors are encouraged to engage students in an open discussion about AI apps, and how these intersect with academic integrity.  

Institutional Expectations

When talking to students, let them know about institutional expectations:  

  • any unauthorized use of ChatGPT (or other AI tools) on assessments is considered to be a breach of academic honesty. 
  • Remind them of York’s Senate Policy on Academic Honesty and provide examples about how the unauthorized use of this technology can lead to breaches of:  
    • cheating, if they are using an AI tool to gain an improper advantage on an academic evaluation when it has not been authorized by their instructor (Section 2.1.1), or  
    • plagiarism if they are using images created by another, i.e. through the use of DALL-E or another image-generating tool when not authorized by their instructor and not attributed to the creator (Section 2.1.3).  
  • Be very clear about your expectations, and explicit when providing assignment instructions. To help reduce confusion, ensure these expectations are communicated in various ways, such as including them in eClass, course syllabi, instruction guidelines and repeated in class 
  • Explain how different instructors can have different expectations for AI tools, and if it is permitted by one instructor, this does not mean it will be permitted by others.  
  • Encourage students to ask you questions about generative AI technology.
Related Student Discussion Topics 

You can use the points above as a springboard to further discuss the ethical implications of AI technology in your discipline and any potential problems that can arise. Some guiding discussion questions may include: 

  1. What do you know about AI apps? 
  2. Have you used them before? If you have, in what ways? 
  3. What were your experiences? 
  4. In your field/discipline, what are some ethical issues that can arise from using these apps? 
  5. How can you ethically use AI apps to support your learning? (Eaton, 2023)

You can let students know that there are many grey areas about AI apps. A common concern is privacy. For instance, ChatGPT collects a significant amount of data from its users which can be shared without a user’s knowledge or permission. As well, besides threats to academic integrity, there are implications that by entering prompts and interacting with AI apps, users are helping the technology to improve and evolve.

Shortly after ChatGPT was launched, there were no clear guidelines on how to cite content generated by AI apps. As of April 2023, guidelines on how to cite this content have been posted on the American Psychological Association (APA) blog, and the Modern Language Association (MLA) blog.

Related Student Discussion Topics 

Such grey areas can serve as the springboard for additional classroom discussion and activities, for instance, some suggestions from Eaton (2023) include:  

  1. Co-create class guidelines/a charter with your students regarding the use of artificial intelligence apps in your courses. Should it be used? If so, what are some guidelines pertaining to its use? 
  2. Include an artificial intelligence discussion thread so that students can share information, ask questions, post articles, etc.   
  3. Have students read OpenAI’s privacy policy and terms of use pertaining to ChatGPT and DALL-E. Discuss possible concerns and implications of having their data collected.
  4. If users are helping the technology to improve and evolve through providing prompts, what are some future implications for work in their field? Will improved AI technology be a source of help or a hindrance? 

Generative AI technology has created a need to revise assessment practices, and at the same time it offers some new possibilities for in-class learning. Assessments can be redesigned so that students are not submitting work that AI apps can easily produce. Some ideas for redesigning assessments are listed below.  

Expand/Replace Assessments

Consider expanding or replacing written assessments to:

  • focus more on the process of the writing assignment rather than on the final product 
  • have students emphasize evidence of original thought and critical thinking as AI tools have been shown to be weak at demonstrating these higher-order skills
  • ask students to use current sources (post-September 2021)  
  • ask students to apply personal experience or personal knowledge to course topics 
  • create assessment questions that are based on the context of classroom discussion
  • or, replace a written assessment with a multimodal one 

You may also want to update your grading criteria or rubrics to emphasize assessment of deeper discipline-specific skills such as argumentation, use of evidence, or interpretive analysis, rather than the mechanics of writing and essay organization. This can help re-weight your assessments in favour of student learning and away from skills easily performed by AI tools.

Integrate Generative AI Technology

Many educators are currently experimenting with integrating generative AI technology into their assessment design. Keeping in mind the limitations of AI, if you decide to incorporate such tools into assessments, some ways that students can use technology like ChatGPT to apply higher-order skills are to:  

  • generate a ChatGPT response to a particular question, and then write an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the ChatGPT response 
  • fact-check the responses that ChatGPT provides to identify incorrect information 
  • generate a paper from ChatGPT and evaluate its logic, consistency, accuracy and bias, including any stereotypes it may reinforce
  • use ChatGPT to create an outline that students can then use to develop an essay

Note: If using the above strategies, be mindful of potential accessibility and equity issues that may arise when shifting assessment modalities.

In-Class Activities

Beyond formal assessments, generative AI tools can also be used in ungraded or low-stakes learning activities during class time. Bringing this tech into lectures or discussions can help students understand how and when to use AI technology effectively and ethically, and in ways that align with the norms and standards of your disciplinary context. Some learning activities you might consider include:

  • using AI generated text as the starting point for class discussion on a particular topic. What does it get right? What is it missing? How would it need to be revised to meet the scholarly standards of your field?
  • having small teams of students experiment in using AI to create text about a given subject, and then comparing the results (what grade would they assign its response using a course rubric?) and/or the process (what prompts and tweaks were needed to generate the text?)
  • engaging in a class debate against generative AI tech. Use the tool to generate counterarguments that can help them explore perspectives and strengthen their own arguments
  • asking your students! Gather anonymous feedback about whether they are using the tool, what value it provides them, and how they think it should be used in your disciplinary or teaching context

Many detections tools are now available, yet none has proven to unequivocally identify AI-generated content. To date, detectors have been shown to be unreliable, producing both false positives and false negatives. Many have not been fully tested, and are not able to keep pace with the evolving nature of generative AI tools. There are also privacy concerns associated with detectors as most require that you copy and paste student work that you suspect has been generated by AI apps.

To detect AI-generated content without the use of a detection tool, you can keep in mind the limitations of generative AI tools (e.g., misinformation, fabricated references, lack of in-depth information, among others).

If the unauthorized use of generative AI is suspected, instructors should follow the process outlined in the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty.

Upcoming Workshops

AI and Education: A Hands-On Workshop for Course Transformation (Oct. 5-13, 2023)

Looking to get some hands-on time as you respond to ChatGPT and other generative AI tools in your teaching? Join us for a fully online course in the practical pedagogy of technology-enhanced teaching in the age of artificial intelligence. We will explore a range of topics and resources to determine what this new technology will mean for your course policies, your assessments, and your teaching strategies. Participants will learn by doing as they apply course learning to make changes to their own course(s) – whether you are new to generative AI or already using it in your classroom, this course will support you in developing a robust and pedagogically informed approach to its many facets and implications.

More information and registration

Academic Integrity & Assessment: Workshop Series (Oct. 4-Nov. 1, 2023)

Join us this fall for one, two, or all three online workshops in a series focusing on the intersections between assessment practices and academic integrity, whether you teach in a face-to-face, Hy-flex, or fully online classroom. These sessions will address both established academic integrity concerns and those raised by emergent generative artificial intelligence technologies.

Wednesday, Oct. 4, 11:00-12:00: Academic Integrity and Group Work (Register Here)

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 11:00-12:00: Academic Integrity and Written Assignments (Register Here)

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 11:00-12:00: Academic Integrity and Summative Tests and Exams (Register Here)

This series is co-hosted by the Teaching Commons and Angela Clark, Academic Integrity Specialist in the Office of the VP Academic.


Teaching Commons: Food for Thought handout on Generative AI

York University Magazine article: A Bot Aced My Homework

Reach out to your educational developer liaison

Reach out to your liaison librarian

If you have any questions, contact academicintegrity@yorku.ca


Eaton, S. (2023). Teaching and learning with artificial intelligence apps. University of Calgaryhttps://taylorinstitute.ucalgary.ca/teaching-with-AI-apps