Changes in Artificial Intelligence Mean Changes in Our Classrooms

In August we shared some basic information about what generative artificial intelligence is and what it means for your classroom. Since then, TLP has hosted a series of fantastic workshops organized by joshuah whittinghill. 

Today I want to share some AI news with you that has and will change how we teach and learn again. 

First, ChatGPT premium users now have access to a plugin that can browse the internet. When we first started our campus discussion of AI this program was limited by training data that was frozen in time and a year out of date. This was not the case for some competing programs like Google Bard, but asking students about current events was a useful way to work around the most popular model. That is no longer the case. This new development exacerbates the financial equity gap since only paid users get access to this new more powerful version of the tool.

Second, later this month ChatGPT will roll out “vision” which integrates visual and text tools together. This is part of a next-generation set of “multi-modal” models where the inputs and outputs can be in a variety of forms. I was not sure about the impact this would have on education until a recent episode of the podcast/YouTube channel “AI Breakdown.” You will be amazed by an example from beta-version user Pietro Schirano where ChatGPT draws meaning from a series of images that look like they were lifted from a textbook. I have included the image at the end of this message.

I prefer Tuesday Tips that have straightforward and actionable steps. This one does not. The tip is to try and stay abreast of developments because the assignments we have used for years and even some of the workarounds we developed a few months ago are suddenly out of date. 

This winter we will be offering an AI retrofit one week intensive to help faculty figure out how their content fits in this new world and we are also developing a self-paced Canvas course to accomplish some of the same goals at scale. Be on the lookout for those announcements in the coming weeks. In the meantime, look at the image below, whether you are a regular user or have never touched an AI tool before, it is likely to change your perception.

a group of individuals comparing their perspectives to reach a consensus through communication

Zach Justus
Interim Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

Artificial Intelligence in Fall Classes

Hey folks!

We have received quite a few requests for help with Artificial Intelligence (AI) policies for Fall syllabi. Faculty have had a wide variety of reactions to AI programs that generate language, solve problems, create images, and write code. There is no one-size-fits-all policy for the campus, and we have several workshops on the horizon to help faculty explore some of these new possibilities. For now, you have quite immediate and practical concerns—here is what we are suggesting.

Things to keep in mind

  • The “ignore” disposition with AI is not viable. The tools are here, accessible, and accomplish a wide variety of tasks.
  • You should play around with some of these tools. Google Bard is free. ChatGPT has a free and a premium version. There are a thousand other specialized tools.
  • Consider how AI will change your course overall and specific outcomes/assignments in your course. I (Zach Justus) created a guide with Nik Janos if you are interested in a systematic approach.
  • We strongly recommend you adopt a syllabus policy. Below you will find sample policies adopted from Bryant University by joshuah whittinghill. AI is prevalent with students so if you don’t adopt a policy, students will ask or will use it without knowing what your expectations are.
  • There are legitimate privacy concerns with ChatGPT and other programs. Requiring student usage requires careful consideration.
  • joshuah is developing a series of AI workshops starting with several on AI Syllabus Statements & Detection Tools. Workshop information is below. Some of these workshops are after the first day of the semester. It is okay to make syllabus adjustments during the first week of the semester as long as you notify students.
  • It is important to be aware the tools currently available to detect AI-generated work are inconsistent and may discriminate against non-native English speakers. Therefore as noted in the Chico State’s Integrity Policy, have a conversation with the student(s) before referring the student(s) for violation of Academic Integrity to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  

Sample syllabi language

  • All Use: AI writing tools such as ChatGPT are welcome in this class, provided that you cite when and how you use the tool. You will be provided with examples of how to cite your use of this tool in your assignments.
  • Some Use: As an instructor I recognize there are a variety of AI programs available to assist in creating text, images, audio, and video. However, I want to stress that, AI programs are not a replacement for human creativity, originality, and critical thinking. Creating is a skill that you must nurture over time in order to develop your own individual voice, style, and view.  During our class, we may use AI  tools.  You will be informed as to when, where, and how these tools are permitted to be used, along with guidance for attribution.  Any use outside of this permission constitutes a violation of Chico State’s Integrity Policy and may result in you being reported to the Office of Students Rights and Responsibilities.
  • No Use: AI writing tools are not permitted for any stage or phase of work in this class. If you use these tools, your actions will be considered academically dishonest, and a violation of Chico State’s Integrity Policy and you may be reported to the Office of Students Rights and Responsibilities.
  • Example of attribution language: “The student generated this assignment in part with [enter tool used here]. Upon generating an initial draft or outline of ideas, the student reviewed, edited, and revised the work to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this assignment.”

Workshop Information

  • Wednesday, August 23 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 24 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • All workshops will be in the Zoom TLP Lab

Zach Justus
Interim Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences