It is important that every faculty member create a set of guidelines for their course to clarify how and when students and instructional staff are permitted to engage with generative text based AI. These should be shared in your syllabus and on Canvas.
The evolving capacities of AI systems as learning tools can make it difficult to recognize clear boundaries between tasks helpful for learning and those that might mis-represent a student’s knowledge or skills on an assessment or assignment. One can use these tools to answer questions, explain unfamiliar concepts or ideas, brainstorm ideas, revise outlines, create drafts of code or writing, suggest approaches to solving a problem, summarize a paper, and as a copy-editing tool that identifies grammatical and spelling errors. Tufts schools, professional societies and journals are also beginning to explore what effective and ethical use of these systems might look like for academic use. However, at this time it is up to the individual instructor to determine guidelines for its appropriate use by students in each courses.
Developing guidelines that take into account that AI systems are changing and evolving quickly is important. It may be valuable to to explore and revise guidelines in collaboration with your students, and to revisit them regularly. One approach to engaging your students is to develop an activity where they explore the use of an AI tool in an assignment and then, based on that experience, help craft or suggest guidelines for the ‘ethical’ use of AI within the context of the course assignments. We encourage you to be clear about when and how tools might be used, and to explain why this is important for their learning.
Below are examples that might help inform you in developing your guidelines and links for more example statements. This worksheet might also help you identify which some activities might be acceptable for students in your courses.
A statement sharing guidelines for the use of AI in a course
In this course, you may use AI tools for your learning, just as you can collaborate with your peers for things such as brainstorming, getting feedback, revising, or editing of your own work. However, you may not submit any work generated by an AI program as your own. This is a violation of Tufts Academic Integrity policies.
To help guide you in the use of AI in this course – consider the following guidelines:
Familiarize yourself with AI tools, including that: Bias is embedded in the creation of these systems and in their output and you may encounter harmful language and ideas. AI platforms can produce inaccurate or false information with confidence (so called hallucinations, e.g, it frequently invent false references). Text from AI may closely mimic human knowledge, understanding and even human emotions. Many of these tools retain the rights to use your information and the content shared with them in a variety of ways.
Identify the way it contributed to your work. For example, you can include a statement that you asked an AI to “identify any grammatical or spelling errors” in your writing, or you used it to get started in thinking about topics for your paper. Any statement directly generated by an AI system should be in quotes.
If you have questions please ask via email, in office hours or during class.
A statement prohibiting the use of AI in a course:
Since writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills are part of the learning outcomes of this course, we expect that all work students submit for this course will be their own. Additionally, students are not allowed to use any generative artificial intelligence tools (e.g. ChatGPT or Dall-E 2) at any stages of the work process, including preliminary ones. AI-generated submissions are not permitted and will be considered as plagiarism.
A statement encouraging the use of AI:
This course encourages students to explore the use of generative artificial intelligence (GAI) tools such as ChatGPT for all assignments and assessments. Any such use must be appropriately acknowledged and cited, and it is each student’s responsibility to assess the validity and applicability of any GAI output that is submitted - you bear the final responsibility. Violations of this policy will be considered academic misconduct. We draw your attention to the fact that different classes at Harvard could implement different AI policies, and it is the student’s responsibility to conform to expectations for each course. (Source: Harvard University)
Examples from Tufts Courses
An Engineering 1 Course (from Ethan Danahy)
Responsible Use of AI Statement
In this course, we encourage the responsible use of AI, including generative AI systems like ChatGPT, as a tool to assist in your assignments. AI can be a valuable resource to enhance your learning experience and engineering projects. However, it is essential that you use AI responsibly and ethically, ensuring that you remain actively engaged in the learning process and engineering work.
Guidelines for the Appropriate Use of AI:
Supplement, Don't Replace: AI should complement your efforts, not substitute for them. Use AI to brainstorm ideas, gather information, or enhance your understanding, but ensure that your final work reflects your own understanding and effort.
Understand the Output: When using AI-generated content, take the time to understand it. Don't blindly accept AI-generated text or code without critical evaluation.
Maintain Academic Integrity: Plagiarism is unacceptable. If you use AI-generated content, clearly distinguish it from your original work, and provide proper attribution.
Recommended Format for Citing AI in Assignments:
When you use AI in your assignments, include a clear citation to acknowledge its contribution. Here's a suggested example format:
For Textual Content (e.g., reports or presentations): "The following text was generated with the assistance of AI, specifically [AI System Name], on [Date]."
For Code or Algorithms: "The code/algorithm used in this project was generated or inspired by AI, specifically [AI System Name], on [Date].
Common Knowledge or Facts: When AI is used to provide information that is widely known or considered common knowledge within the field of engineering, citation may not be necessary. For instance, using AI to define well-known engineering terms or basic formulas may not require citation.
Standard Procedures and Algorithms: If the AI generates code or algorithms for well-established, widely taught procedures (e.g., sorting algorithms) that are standard within engineering, citation may not be essential.
Outlining and Organization: Using AI to assist in outlining or organizing ideas before writing a report is generally a preparatory step that aids the writing process. Citation is usually not needed for this type of assistance.
Grammar and Spelling Checks: Employing AI for grammar, spelling, and sentence structure checks is a standard practice to improve writing quality. These technical aids typically do not introduce substantial intellectual content and may not require citation.
When to Cite AI:
Unique Insights or Complex Analyses: If the AI generates content that offers novel insights, conducts complex analyses, or introduces innovative solutions relevant to your assignment, it's important to cite the AI system.
Substantial Textual Content: If the AI contributes a significant portion of the textual content in your report, presentation, or documentation, especially content that goes beyond common knowledge, proper attribution is necessary.
Creative Outputs: When the AI plays a role in creating creative outputs, such as generating artistic designs, innovative concepts, or unique engineering solutions, citing the AI's involvement is important.
Code or Algorithms: If AI-generated code, algorithms, simulations, or calculations substantially contribute to your engineering project, it should be cited to give credit to the AI's role in your work.
Always keep in mind that the significance of the AI's contribution to your assignment should guide your decision on whether to cite it or not. When in doubt, seeking guidance from your instructor is recommended.
Consequences of Unethical Use:
Failure to use AI responsibly, including plagiarism or misuse of AI-generated content, will be considered a violation of academic integrity and will result in appropriate disciplinary action.
Remember, the goal of this course is not just to complete assignments but to develop your engineering skills and knowledge. AI can be a valuable tool, but your active involvement and understanding of the subject matter are crucial. If you have any questions about the use of AI in your assignments, feel free to reach out to the instructor for guidance.
Portions of the previous text were generated with the assistance of AI, specifically ChatGPT, on August 20th, 2023.
An Introductory English Course (from Courtney Maloney)
In this course, you may use AI tools for your learning, just as you can collaborate with your peers for things such as brainstorming, getting feedback, revising, or editing of your own work. However, you may not submit any work generated by an AI program as your own. This is a violation of Tufts Academic Integrity policies. If you use AI in this course, please follow these guidelines:
Familiarize yourself with AI tools. Be aware that bias is embedded in the creation of these systems and in their output and you may encounter harmful language and ideas. AI platforms can produce inaccurate or false information with confidence (for example, it frequently invents false references). Text from AI may closely mimic human knowledge, understanding and even human emotions. Many of these tools retain the rights to use your information and the content shared with them in a variety of ways.
Cite all AI tools when used or referred to in assigned work. In an AI citation, provide (1) the prompt you used, (2) the name of the AI tool and, if available, the version, (3) the company that provides the tool, (3) the date you used it, and (4) the AI url. Note that the AI tool is NOT an author. See also “How to Cite Generative AI” from the MLA.
Identify the way it contributed to your work. For example, you can include a statement that you asked an AI to “identify any grammatical or spelling errors” in your writing, or you used it to get started in thinking about topics for your paper. Any statement directly generated by an AI system should be in quotes. If you have questions please ask via email, in office hours or during class!
A Public Health Course (from Meera Gatlin)
Policy on the use of AI
I recognize the use of AI in academia but believe it should be used responsibly and ethically to maintain your integrity. AI tools can be beneficial for various tasks, including research, idea generation, overcoming writer's block, and grammar editing, but solely relying on AI-generated content without proper attribution can lead to automated plagiarism. And it is arguable that automation is the antithesis of authenticity. To promote the responsible use of AI in this class and align with the academic integrity policies at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tuft University and Tufts School of Medicine, here are my requirements:
Identification and Citation: As with any other tool, use of AI in your writing must be explicitly identified, citing the tool/generator, date of query, and text of query. Use in-line or footnote citations, depending on your citation style. For example: ChatGPT-4 (July 15, 2023) “Text of your query”. Generated using OpenAI. https://chat.openai.com/
Transparent Attribution: Be transparent in how you used AI tools in your work by distinguishing what was AI-generated and what is your original writing. At the end of your submission, create an “AI Acknowledgment” section and in your own words, answer the following:
how AI was utilized
what prompts you used to obtain results
how you revised AI outputs
what you learned by using AI
Compliance: Take full responsibility for ensuring the use of AI tools does not infringe upon copyright or intellectual property laws and does not plagiarize without citation. Verify the accuracy and reliability of any AI content, and do not assume what is generated is automatically correct. I recommend you cross-reference with credible sources. Exercise sound judgement to ensure the integrity and impartiality of your work prior to submission.
Detection: Written submissions are subject to evaluation by AI detection tools to verify compliance with the above guidelines. Violations will be grounds for reporting, in accordance with the relevant academic integrity policies and overseeing departments.
Throughout the course, there may be instances where AI tools will be used, abiding by these guidelines. It is my hope that we recognize the potential of AI and collectively foster a learning environment where AI is used critically alongside our human integrity. Note that this policy may be revised to adapt to future technological developments with AI.
I wrote this and asked chatGPT to “review this text for grammar and spelling and suggest 3 revision recommendations”. The output found two spelling errors and edited it with US English spelling. There were suggestions to improve the introduction, create bullet points for the requirements, and emphasize the learning aspect. One suggestion made no sense and one suggestion did not convey the message I wanted, but I took the suggestions to simplify the introduction sentence structure and create requirement bullet points and adapted them in my own words. I enjoy using AI to help me overcome writer’s block or to find more suitable English words to convey my message.
An Advanced Engineering Course (from Erica Kemmerling)
You are allowed to use ChatGPT or other AI tools to help you with any homework assignment or lab. You are NOT allowed to use AI assistants for quizzes (including miniquizzes.) If you use an AI to help with your work, turn in a copy of your conversation with it to the “AI conversations” assignment on Canvas. Every time you upload a new conversation, you will receive one bonus point applied toward your participation grade. There is no limit to the number of AI conversations you can upload.
A Nutrition Course (from Ana Maafs)
Policy on the Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In this course, the use of AI is encouraged to enhance your learning. We are hoping that you adopt a growth mindset around AI, continuously exploring new technologies and best practices on how to apply them. You should feel free to use AI tools to deepen your understanding of learning materials, brainstorm, get feedback, synthesize, revise and/or edit your work. However, it is important to emphasize that AI is a supporting tool rather than a replacement for human creativity and critical thinking. Hence, emphasis should be placed on integrating AI-generated outputs thoughtfully into your work, particularly for course assignments and deliverables. Submitting any work generated by an AI program as your own is a violation of Tufts Academic Integrity policies.
There are specific recommendations on how to use or not use AI on each assignment. In addition, please consider the following guidelines if/when using AI:
Familiarize yourself with how AI works and its limitations, including bias and production of false or inaccurate information.
Identify and cite the AI tools you use. If the AI tool you use allows you to generate and/or share a link to the conversation, you should include it in the reference. Here is an example without the conversation link:
Be transparent about how you used it, and include an acknowledgment section and/or as footnotes. Here is an example:
AI Acknowledgment: We collectively authored this text and used Bard to 'review for cohesion, grammar and spelling, and suggest 3 revision recommendations.' The AI's review corrected our grammar and spelling, and it provided us with a few ideas on how to structure our introduction and conclusion sections. We didn’t agree with one suggestion, but incorporated the other two into our writing, as it made the content clearer.
A Graduate+Undergraduate Course on Cyber Security (from Dave Lillethun)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Policy
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently gained academic attention both for its ability to facilitate cheating and it’s potential to facilitate learning. Tufts University does not have an institution-wide policy on AI used in classes, on assignments, etc. Therefore, each class may have its own policies. These policies apply to Prof. Lillethun’s classes only, so you must also be aware of the differing policies your other classes may have.
“Generative artificial intelligence” (GAI) includes, but not limited to, ChatGPT, GPT-3, GPT-4, any other large language model (LLM), DALL-E, Midjourney, any other stable diffusion method, and other algorithms/models/methods that can generate text, images, program code, or other things. Submitting work created by a generative AI in any assignment is considered plagiarism, and therefore an academic integrity violation, just the same as copying work from any other source. (The only exception to this is if the assignment instructions explicitly tell you to.)
However, it is permissible to use AI-generated content in ways that citing and using other types of content is allowed (e.g., quoting, paraphrasing, etc.), but as with other works, the AI-generated content must be properly cited (and if a quote, must appear withing “quotation marks”). In other words, the entire policy on using AI-generated content is the same as the policy on using any other content that you didn’t personally create yourself. Here are the MLA guidelines on citing AI-generated content.
Using AI tools to help you on your assignments, studies, etc. is otherwise allowed, as long as its output is not actually submitted without citation (and as long as that assignment doesn’t forbid it, either expressly or implicitly, such as an exam that “disallows using electronic devices”).
However, generative AI tools that are able to produce factual information (e.g., ChatGPT) do not always produce correct information. In fact, they often sound very confident while being wrong, making them all the more deceptive. These AI tools do not actually know (or care) if the things they say are true. If you use such a tool, it is your responsibility to determine the quality of the information it is giving you. If you make a mistake on an assignment because of bad information you got from an AI tool, that mistake is still your responsibility.
Therefore, you may not cite an AI tool as a source of factual information (e.g., statistics, research outcomes, or other “simple facts”). In an essay or paper, you should find human-created information that comes from an appropriate, credible source to cite in order to assert factual information, and you are personally responsible for ensuring that that source does support the claim you are citing it to make. In a short answer or lab or homework question, you may cite the AI-generated information and provide an explanation of how you personally verified that the AI’s output is correct.
An Introduction to Computation for Engineers Course (Ethan Danahy)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently gained academic attention both for its ability to facilitate cheating and its potential to facilitate learning. Tufts University does not have an institution-wide policy on AI use in classes, on assignments, etc. Therefore, each class will have its own policies; it is your responsibility to be aware of the differing policies amongst your classes.
“Generative Artificial Intelligence” (GAI) includes, but not limited to: Bing Chat Enterprise, ChatGPT, Google Bard, any other Large Language Model (LLM), DALL-E, Midjourney, any other stable diffusion method, and other algorithms/models/methods that can generate text, images, video, music, voice, program code, or other things. Submitting work created by a Generative AI as your own in any assignment is considered plagiarism, and therefore an academic integrity violation, just the same as copying work from any other source. (The only exception to this is if the assignment instructions explicitly tell you to.)
While there is potential for GAI to benefit learning, just as you would in collaboration with peers (brainstorming ideas, getting feedback, revising or editing your work, etc), the concern is the output of GAI replacing your own voice and thoughts, reducing your ability to analyze ideas, and shortcoming the learning process. Because of the difficulty in self-determination of when GAI is facilitating-vs-hampering your own learning, the current rule in this class is to NOT allow the use Generative AI on assignments. If a more refined approach is determined, this statement will be updated and an announcement will be made in class.
Links to collections of example syllabus statements guiding the use of AI: