AI in Teaching and Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly generative AI, are powerful tools that use large data sets to produce texts and images in response to prompts input by a user.  The use of AI by instructors and by students presents both opportunities and potential challenges for learning. This page includes ideas for incorporating AI into a course, if an instructor chooses to do so, and preventative and reactive strategies for maintaining academic integrity. As the use of AI in education is constantly evolving, CETAL will seek to update this page, in collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Students, as new tools and considerations emerge. 

TLSD AI Position Statement

Living out Elgin Community College’s mission “to improve people’s lives through learning” requires that the College remain agile and responsive to the social and technological changes happening within higher education, within the broader knowledge economy, and within the varied contexts our students participate in. Increased access to generative artificial intelligence (AI)–a suite of powerful tools which use large data sets to produce novel texts and images in response to prompt or input–and advancements in their abilities is bringing both distinct challenges and opportunities to the college learning environment. ECC is dedicated to enabling the ethical and equitable use of AI within learning, while also supporting students and educators as we navigate these tools and determine how they might be reconciled with and support learning. 

As with most new technologies, AI tools are neither inherently bad or good. Instead, they present a range of opportunities for expanding pedagogy, enhancing learning, and transforming industry. AI has the potential to synthesize complex topics for students and provide seemingly endless examples, and to assist with brainstorming ideas. Additionally, AI provides the possibility of reducing language barriers, providing immediate and always available feedback, and increasing access for students with disabilities. Generative AI tools also, however, have the potential to foster environments in which over-dependency on AI to complete tasks comes at the cost of failing to learn foundational skills and hindering critical thinking and understanding. It can also present challenges to maintaining academic integrity. Finally, because these tools are only as accurate as the information they have access to, concerns of bias and data integrity are common. As a result of this, if AI is to be used, students need to be trained to identify and account for such shortcomings.

As AI continues to develop,TLSD is committed to exploring how to ensure students, educators, and the larger community we serve can be appropriately equipped to engage with these tools in thoughtful and responsible ways. We recognize that students may come to ECC with AI already ingrained as part of their education, from previous schools, and that future academic and work environments may routinely include the use of AI as an available technology. When AI is used, students should learn how to evoke nuanced responses from the tools, as well as how to verify accuracy of information and provide proper citation, crucial skills involving information literacy and critical thinking. When AI is to be integrated as part of student learning, it should be done so in a way that supports students’ achievement of learning outcomes. In such contexts, educators can guide students in responsible use in a way that trusts and empowers students to uphold academic integrity while having access to developing technologies. 

As experts in their respective fields, ECC faculty retain discretion in determining if and how AI is used in their teaching and used by students in their classes. For those who wish to utilize AI to expand their pedagogy, TLSD is committed to providing support and resources to consider opportunities to meet established learning outcomes as well as to build educators’ technical AI acumen for the developing landscape of higher education. Faculty who do not see an ethically viable or learning-centered use of AI tools in their classrooms are supported as well. All faculty are encouraged to be proactive and explicit with their students about the class’s AI usage policy, particularly regarding when use of AI is prohibited, optional, or encouraged. Since what constitutes ethical vs unethical uses of AI may vary depending on the course and disciplinary context, being transparent with students about expectations is crucial. 

As AI technologies and their uses continue to evolve, there is a recognition that impacts may differ depending on academic program and a recognition that who does and does not have access to AI may further existing inequities in education and beyond. It is vital that ECC continue forging innovative teaching and learning strategies which prepare our students with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in their transfer institution, in their career, and as a citizen in the larger community. Doing so will involve a multidisciplinary collaboration among many areas of TLSD and the College. It will also involve continual adaptation with the uses of AI throughout the globe and with adaptations made by the college’s external partners and governing boards. The infusion of AI tools into teaching and learning at ECC, where appropriate and beneficial, will enable us to identify and address equity gaps, train our students in the ethical use of cutting edge technologies, and continue evolving what it looks like to improve people’s lives through learning.

1 Revised by the TLSD AI Task Force on December 8, 2023. 

2 "PCAST Working Group on Generative AI Invites Public Input,” President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Blog, 13 May 2023, In addition to generating products (a paragraph of writing or an image), generative AI is also used to complete and automate processing tasks. 

Deciding Whether to Use AI in Your Class and Addressing with Students 

For considering how students will or will not be permitted to use AI in a course, one approach is to determine if the use of AI will be 

Regardless of whether the course policy is that AI is a) included in lessons and assignment, b) allowed for student use but not part of the curriculum, or c) fully prohibited, it is important to

Sample AI Syllabus Statements

Sample 1

"You may use AI programs e.g. ChatGPT to help generate ideas and brainstorm. However, you should note that the material generated by these programs may be inaccurate, incomplete, or otherwise problematic. Beware that use may also stifle your own independent thinking and creativity. 

You may not submit any work generated by an AI program as your own. If you include material generated by an AI program, it should be cited like any other reference material (with due consideration for the quality of the reference, which may be poor).  

Any plagiarism or other form of cheating will be dealt with severely under relevant Penn policies. ."  Holly Fernandez, University of Pennsylvania

Sample 2

"Since writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills are part of the learning outcomes of this course, all writing assignments should be prepared by the student. 

Developing strong competencies in this area will prepare you for a competitive workplace. Therefore, AI-generated submissions are not permitted and will be treated as plagiarism. 

Ethics still matter and plagiarism is a serious Salem State University offense." Lis Horowitz, Salem State University

Sample 3

"Transparency: When/if you use Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms in your assignments, please write a note to clarify where in your process you used AI and which platform(s) you used. We will discuss this more throughout the semester in class, and you are encouraged to reflect on this in your writing as well. Please note that what the AI writing tools generate is often inaccurate and you may have to exert effort to create something meaningful out of them. I also hope that when the assignment is about reflecting on your own opinion or experience, you will do so."  Maha Bali, American University in Cairo

How to Craft Assignments to Promote Academic Integrity and Deter Unauthorized AI Usage

Consider Your Sources

Make it Personal


Set Clear Rules and Expectations

Incorporating AI into Class and Teaching Responsible AI Usage

Ways that AI might proactively be used in a course include 

Strategies for teaching responsible use of AI in a Course Include 

A Word of Caution

Content that is submitted as a prompt in AI tools may then be kept and used by the programs and sites. Be cautious of entering personal information or encouraging students to do so. 

What To Do if You Suspect a Student of Unauthorized AI Usage

Determining if AI May Have Been Used

Currently, AI detection tools and software have significant limitations. See Vanderbilt University's "Guidance on AI Detection and Why We're Disabling Turnitin's AI Detector" message for a succinct explanation of the limitations of AI detection tools. 

Alternative strategies for determining whether or not AI may have been used in an unauthorized way include 

Have a Conversation with the Student 

Similar to with other questions of academic integrity, when there are suspicions that a student has used AI in an unauthorized way, a good first step is to set up a time to talk with the student individually during Office Hours. 

If the student communicates that they did not use AI in an unauthorized way, it may be worth considering giving the student the benefit of the doubt. If suspicions remain, however, and you are unsure how resolve the issue, you are welcome to include the Dean of Students, John Long, to help determine next steps. 

Example Language to Use as the Instructor

Be sure to Consider Your Attitude During the Conversation. Try To

Submitting an Academic Conduct Violation to the Dean of Students Office

It is up to faculty members to determine if they think that the violation merits submitting an official Academic Conduct Violation to the Dean of Students Office. Such submissions become part of a student's academic record. 

Academic Integrity Violation Reporting Form 

Prior to submitting an Academic Conduct Violation, faculty are always welcome to first discuss the scenario with the Dean of Students, Dean John Long 

Additional Resources on AI in Learning