Online tools that can conduct research, synthesize course materials and other content, and produce coherent writing have become a focus of discussion in higher education. ChatGPT, Magic Write, and similar tools are powerful algorithmic language models that use artificial intelligence to generate writing. They have been trained on a vast amount of data, allowing them to generate convincing responses to a wide range of prompts. Due to ChatGPT’s capabilities and accessibility, many students are starting to use it and other AI-based tools to complete or contribute to assignments in various fields of study, from composition to computer programming. As these tools are already being integrated into word processors, we can expect them to become ubiquitous in the years to come.

Guidance and Recommendations

Here we provide some guidance for instructors related to these emerging technologies: 

  • Communication: Clearly communicate and establish a policy for the use of AI-generated text in your course through the syllabus and assignment prompts and outline the steps to be taken in case of suspected academic misconduct involving AI tools. 

  • Explanation: Clarify with students that struggle, challenge, and uncertainty are an integral part of learning and that the use of AI tools as a shortcut or workaround to such learning may undermine their goals of becoming informed, critical thinkers. Emphasize the value and relevance of the skills and knowledge being taught in the course, and how they are integral to a liberal arts education. 

  • Writing as Process: Emphasize to students the value of writing as a process that yields learning outcomes beyond the end product itself (and which AI use can undermine): learning to generate and draft ideas, editing and clarifying text, revising and refining the final draft. 

  • Intentional Assignment Design: Design assignments that require students to connect in novel ways to course content, class discussions, and personal experience, making it more challenging for AI tools to generate appropriate responses. Consider in-class assignments, oral presentations, and question-and-answer sessions that accompany/support written assignments (however, keep in mind how different assessment methods can potentially create barriers for students with disabilities). This collaborative document contains a number of additional suggestions for assignment and assessment.

  • Assessing Process: Consider ways to prioritize assessment of the learning process over (only) the end product by implementing low or no-stakes formative assignments to encourage students to build their skills over the semester, and using in-class writing to establish benchmarks.

  • Incorporate AI: Consider productive ways to incorporate AI-based tools into your teaching to prepare students for the use of technology in their future personal and professional lives. AI writing tools are increasingly impressive in their capabilities, but are still limited — familiarization with them can help encourage critical thinking about digital literacy, sources of evidence, writing style, tone, and what constitutes effective written communication.

Academic Honesty
One of the main concerns many faculty have with the use of ChatGPT and other AI-based tools in academic settings is the potential for academic misconduct. As these tools are constantly evolving and students may use their text in different ways, it is challenging to accurately identify AI-generated student submissions. Because AI writing detectors are easily subverted by light editing of the text, we recommend focusing on the strategies outlined above to build assignments and assessment approaches that emphasize academic honesty. 

Violations of Academic Integrity
At Puget Sound, violations of academic integrity are taken very seriously as they threaten the atmosphere of trust, fairness, and respect essential to learning and the dissemination of knowledge. Claiming the work of others as your own, whether created by another human or an artificial intelligence, is regarded as plagiarism, and as such is a violation of academic integrity. In situations involving suspected violations of academic integrity, procedures and sanctions established for the Hearing Board will be followed. Students are expected to be aware of and to abide by the university’s Academic Integrity Policy. Additionally, faculty members are urged to review university and course policies regarding academic integrity in their classes to ensure students clearly understand them.


This document was developed by the Office of the Academic Deans in robust collaboration with the Center for Writing and Learning, the Faculty Development Center, Collins Memorial Library, Educational Technology, and the Academic Standards Committee. It will be updated if and when any relevant policies change, as well as to add new resources and guidance. Image produced with OpenAI's DALL-E 2.