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DKU Guide for Teaching and Generative AI

August 2023


Generative AI exhibits capacity and sophistication that is likely to increase dramatically with each academic term. ChatGPT is but one instantiation of a technology that is advancing in diverse and surprising ways. This page connects DKU faculty to resources that support their efforts to adapt their pedagogical and assessment strategies to the rapid proliferation of this new technology. To begin, Duke Learning Innovation has provided a number of helpful brief guides that we encourage you to consult. Your role is critical in providing explicit guidance to your students about your expectations regarding the use of AI.

Generative AI and DKU

DKU’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is ready to provide you with advice and support as you begin to teach in this dynamic environment. Here you will find a repository of resources curated specifically for DKU faculty, featuring concrete assessment strategies, sample policies, and ideas for pedagogical innovation. CTL is also ready and willing to provide individual consultations, and you should reach out by sending a request to Generative AI is surely a disruptive technology within higher education. While disruption can inspire both fear and hope, we judge the best strategy is an intentional and open exploration of Generative AI, governed by appropriate circumspection. As always, CTL is eager to facilitate this engagement in support of excellence in teaching and learning.

The capacity and the limits of this technology are not defined. Because DKU is a community of innovative teachers, scholars, and learners, this is a tremendous opportunity for us to expand our own understanding of the world and the possibilities inherent in this technology. Of course, we must do so while by developing better ways to bring materials derived from Generative AI under the long-standing conventions of the academy.

The document is not a policy, but a set of general recommendations for effective teaching in the age of generative AI. It builds heavily on the work done by the staff of Duke Learning Innovation, as well as the careful thinking carried out by different groups of DKU faculty and CTL staff, who were, true to DKU’s innovative spirit, deeply interested in this emergent technology at an early date.

CTL’s role as a facilitator of early discussions about Generative AI places it in an excellent position to assist you as you begin to adapt your assessment and pedagogies to this new technology—either by employing it in your classrooms or by designing assessments that deter its use effectively. If you have questions about how to implement strategies, please consult the linked resources above or reach out to to schedule a consultation.

Because we understand DKU faculty are innovative and dedicated teachers, we do not prescribe any single way forward: much of this document consists of links to external guidelines, policies, model assessments, and teaching strategies that we encourage you to explore. We acknowledge the uncertainty of this dynamic technology and will seek to update these resources as we learn more about how we can ensure generative AI can be managed through long-standing academic norms and a commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.

Challenges to Higher Education, Including DKU

Generative AI, when used without reference or attribution, is a potential font of unoriginal work that is especially difficult to identify as unoriginal. AI detection services are not sufficiently reliable, and at their worst, can result in false positive results. Consequently, we need to accept that on one level, generative AI clearly lower students’ barrier to plagiarism. It will also relieve students (and faculty) of the merely mechanical intellectual work that has been the foundation of traditional teaching and learning. While the academy has always encountered novel technologies that might thwart our academic integrity conventions, Generative AI might seem to possess this ability to an extreme degree.

While AI will have an impact on higher education around the workd, there are also good reasons to surmise that this technology will pose particular challenges to the DKU international community of teachers and learners. DKU students’ basic understanding of academic integrity norms varies widely. Grade pressures, cultural differences, and varied English language ability of our students increase the possibility that this technology might be used without proper attribution.

While the limits of Generative AI are not yet adumbrated, we do know that artificial intelligence exhibits many limitations, including bias, error, fabrication, and a tendency to reinforce its own results without the critical thinking or creativity of which humans can be capable. Any introduction of Generative AI in the DKU classroom ought to offer a critical disclaimer concerning this technology.

The complexity of these challenges—the way this technology accomplishes its work, its ubiquity, and its adaptability—means that no general policy will effectively constrain its use or abuse. In the classroom, a faculty member’s approach to this technology needs to be contextual and nuanced; ultimately, DKU faculty will need rely on pedagogical and assessment practices that best support learning: active engagement, authentic assessment, delivered in our immersive classes. These are techniques many of you already implement.

Opportunities Offered by Generative AI

The rise of Generative AI opens more opportunities for active learning and authentic assessment, which we know allow faculty to teach and assess students more effectively than by traditional methods. Asking students to apply and demonstrate their knowledge in real-world scenarios, in class, is a good way to limit their reliance on this technology—and we know that these strategies help students learn. With its seven-week terms and attention to pedagogy, DKU is uniquely positioned to engage in these best practices.

The second set of opportunities are to explore how this technology might be used to improve the way we teach and assess our students. DKU faculty are already beginning to implement this technology in their classrooms; engaging in a robust debate with CHATGPT, using generative AI as a tutor to help students understand difficult scientific concepts, and generating ready outlines of intellectual and scientific debates as background materials for student research projects are all ways to use this technology to improve student learning. As with any new technology, the academy will adapt to generative AI and teach students how it is encompasses by existing academic integrity policies. It is an exciting moment to be at an institution that welcomes this opportunity.

Speaking to Students about Generative AI

As our colleagues at DLI have noted, faculty ought to consider adopting three broad strategies when discussing this technology in their courses. 

First, DKU faculty have an opportunity to improve AI literacy among their students. All faculty should acknowledge its existence and equip themselves to explain to students what this technology means for the course they are teaching. This might include an appraisal of its value to a particular field but should definitely entail a detailed set of statements in the syllabus articulating when students may—and may not—use generative AI tools. Faculty need to update their assignments and articulate clearly their expectations regarding the use of Generative AI for each assignment.  In all cases, faculty are encouraged to require attribution and full citation of anything derived from these tools.

Second, the rise of generative AI is an opportunity for faculty to remind students of why original thought matters in the academy—and in the world. In this way, our discussions with students about generative AI are an extension of our typical conversations about academic integrity and the way human beings build knowledge. Current DKU policies can accommodate this new technology, and it is your job as a faculty member to explain clearly how you expect students to use and cite generative AI tools in their work.

Finally, we encourage faculty to engage in a frank discussion about AI’s limits. Students need to learn better what it can and cannot do—and as experts in your fields, you are in a great position to communicate its limitations.

Where to Turn for Help

First, we encourage you once again to review carefully the work done by Duke Learning Innovation to support teaching and learning in the age of generative AI. Second, in addition to the linked resources curated by CTL, staff at CTL [] are ready and willing to offer individual consultations on this subject, helping you translate the general guidance and apply specific strategies to your assessments.