Instructors should set expectations for students in the syllabus, discussions in class and for assignments by defining when and how generative AI can be used from the beginning. Four examples for content-generating AI could be: 

  • It's not allowed: Only content done by a student or as part of an assigned group is accepted. 
  • It's allowed with appropriate attribution: AI-assisted work on some assignments is allowed when students clearly identify what parts of the assignment were AI generated and how it helped them. 
  • It's allowed in limited instances: AI can be used to prepare for assignments by brainstorming, but students must show how it helped them reach the result. 
  • Use is encouraged broadly or required: Students can use AI but must identify what parts it generated.  

(Source: Jeff Budlong, Some Guidance for Using AI in the Classroom, Inside Iowa State, February 09, 2023)  

Below are some examples of course expectations and policies around generative AI depending on what level of student use that you decide for your course and assignments.

***Please note these are not official MSU policies around generative AI use but give faculty a sense of how to create policies and expectations for their individual courses***  

The following example syllabus language may be used as guides or starting points as you develop your own AI usage policy for your course. 

In this course, you may utilize AI language models, including ChatGPT, as a resource to support your writing assignments. AI language models are powerful tools developed to generate text based on the input provided. It can provide suggestions, offer alternative phrasing, and help brainstorm ideas for your written work.

While the AI language models can help refine your writing, it is important to remember that it is an AI system and not a substitute for your critical thinking and creativity. If you choose to use this tool, apply it as a supplement to your writing process and not rely solely on its suggestions. Ultimately, you are responsible for the content and quality of your written assignment. Therefore, you should critically evaluate ChatGPT outputs for accuracy, potential bias, and relevancy.

When utilizing AI language models, it is essential to ensure that your writing remains original and properly attributed, including citing outputs or text generated by ChatGPT. Please see the How to cite ChatGPT in APA Style resource.

I encourage you to use AI language models to enhance your writing skills, experiment with its capabilities, and learn from its suggestions. If you have any questions or concerns regarding using AI language models for writing assignments, please discuss them with me.

By acknowledging and understanding the appropriate use of AI language models, you can effectively incorporate this tool into your writing process, harnessing its potential to improve your written work while maintaining academic integrity and originality.

This class will strive to create an environment that fosters learning, critical thinking, and effective communication. To achieve these goals, I have decided to prohibit the use of ChatGPT or similar tools during this course.

While ChatGPT and other language models can be powerful and useful tools in certain contexts, I believe that relying on them for this course undermines the learning objectives. I want you to develop your skills in independent thinking, problem-solving, and engagement with the subject matter. By restricting the use of AI language models, you will utilize your knowledge, creativity, and critical analysis to complete your assignments and actively participate in class discussions.

I understand that technology plays an increasingly prominent role in various aspects of our lives, and I acknowledge its potential benefits. However, in the context of this course, I believe that relying on personal effort and intellectual exploration will enhance your learning experience and contribute to your long-term development as a knowledgeable and well-rounded individual.

It is important to note that this requirement applies to all aspects of the course, including assignments, exams, and any form of communication related to the course content. Any use of AI language models, including ChatGPT, during these activities will be considered a violation student code of conduct.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this course expectation, please feel free to discuss them with us. I am here to support and guide you throughout this educational journey.

This course will encourage the use of artificial intelligence language models, particularly ChatGPT or similar platforms. As your instructor, I believe that leveraging the potential of such tools can greatly enhance your learning experience, critical thinking skills, and overall engagement with the subject matter. Therefore, I have decided to make the use of ChatGPT a requirement throughout this course.

ChatGPT and other AI language models offer valuable assistance in generating ideas, expanding perspectives, and exploring complex concepts. By integrating these tools into your coursework, assignments, and discussions, we are cultivating a learning environment that embraces the possibilities offered by cutting-edge technology.

At Montana State University, we acknowledge that technology plays an increasingly significant role in our lives, and we seek to empower you with the necessary skills to navigate and leverage these advancements effectively. Using ChatGPT, you can expand your research capabilities, tap into diverse knowledge sources, and collaborate with your peers in innovative ways.

It is important to note that this requirement applies to all aspects of the course, including assignments, exams, and any form of communication related to the course content. Applying AI language models, including ChatGPT, will be an integral part of your learning process and will contribute to your overall evaluation and assessment in this course.

I understand that adapting to new technologies may present challenges. I am committed to supporting you every step of the way. I will provide guidance, resources, and assistance to help you effectively utilize ChatGPT and maximize its benefits within the framework of this course.

I value your commitment to learning and exploring new frontiers in education. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this requirement, please feel free to discuss them with me. I am here to ensure that you have a rewarding and impactful learning experience.

*These suggestions were generated by ChatGPT and edited by CFE staff (ChatGPT, personal communication, July 10, 2023).

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (July version) [Large language model].

  • More examples of generative AI syllabus language and statements from
    • Utah Tech: 
    • Stapleton-Corcoran, E. and Horton, P. (2023). “AI Writing Tools.” Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence at the University of Illinois Chicago. Retrieved [June 19th, 2023] from  

Responsible Use of AI

Another strategy that can establish and clarify use is to partner with and engage students in an initial discussion around the responsible use of generative AI. This strategy can promote transparency with students and give them some agency in how it will be used, while making some students less likely to misuse it when they have input over this process and are aware of the consequences. Furthermore, this process can be an opportunity to point out and discuss Open AI’s limitations, including issues with inaccurate information and/or biased content that students could be accountable for. Here is an example of a policy and expectations created collaboratively between faculty and students Boston University Faculty of Computing and Data Sciences. This policy also requires students to show how and give credit to AI tools when they are used and expectations for how instructors will assess and possibly penalize merely reproducing AI output use by students and emphasizes using AI tools wisely and intelligently with the aim of deepening understanding of subject matter and to support learning.  

How to Cite Generative AI

If you decide to allow limited or full use of generative AI, provide resources and teach your students how to cite their use of content produced by the tool to avoid any misuse and misunderstandings. Just as you would with traditional sources, normalize this requirement with your students. The MLA and APA recommend citing AI in the following ways: