How Temple University Created an Artificial Intelligence Policy

Academic Integrity Tools Offer Mixed Results

It’s hard to talk about generative AI in the classroom without mentioning academic integrity, and for good reason: When used to its full potential, generative AI can complete assignments for students. There are a number of tools on the market designed to spot AI-generated content in student work, but these can be problematic.

In response, we are trying to reframe the narrative around cheating. Instead of leaning on AI content detectors, why not address cheating at the source? We talked with faculty about what causes cheating, how we can prevent it, and how we can encourage students to do the work.

At Temple, faculty must complete an asynchronous training course before they are given access to the AI detection tool. The course explains how the AI detector works, why it can fail to give accurate results and what potential problems that can arise from using it. The course also provides suggestions on how to set clear expectations for the use of generative AI for class work and how to talk to students if cheating is suspected. We want to be sure faculty are fully informed and, if they choose to use an AI detector that they do so responsibly, with a clear understanding that AI detection results are not incontrovertible evidence of academic misconduct.

RELATED: How AI could impact student success in higher education.

Establishing a Blanket Policy Sets a Universitywide Standard

After gathering information, experimenting with potential assignments and activities that utilize AI, and providing faculty resources, we advocated for a temporary blanket policy for the 2023-2024 academic year.

We felt that the decision to allow the use of AI belonged to faculty, but we also knew that they needed breathing room to make this decision. Therefore, the policy states that AI is not to be used in classes unless an instructor explicitly notes in the syllabus that it is allowed.

As the technology advances, our policy will likely evolve, as will our faculty training. It’s up to our instructors to determine whether they will allow AI in their classes, so we will continue to provide resources such as blog posts, videos, drop-in clinics and workshops designed to help them make this decision.

When used with intention, AI can be a useful teaching and learning tool. Our goal now is to ensure that our faculty are prepared to introduce it to their students, and that they understand its potential and pitfalls so they can make fully informed decisions about whether or how it can be used.

UP NEXT: Important security considerations for embracing AI.

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