Generative AI Guidelines

Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tools have been growing rapidly. When used appropriately, GenAI can positively impact the way we work and learn.

As instructors, staff and students are exploring these new tools, we must consider how to best prepare students for their future studies and careers. This includes fostering knowledge and skills that support academic integrity while protecting student privacy, and embracing change in the way we work and learn.

Guiding Principles

Advantages and Benefits

  • Future professions: GenAI tools are rapidly evolving and becoming commonplace across various industries, businesses and disciplines. It’s crucial to prepare students for their future professions by teaching them to use GenAI tools ethically, effectively and responsibly.
  • Enhanced learning: GenAI can support and enhance the learning process, helping to develop students’ digital literacy and achieve learning outcomes. This enables students to discern the quality and reliability of AI-generated content and uphold principles of professional and academic integrity.
  • Accessibility: Gen AI has the potential to enhance accessibility in education.
  • Skill Improvement: GenAI tools can be useful for students to practice and improve their knowledge and skills in various subjects and topics. They provide opportunities for personalized learning, making education more interactive and engaging.
  • Efficiency: GenAI can automate certain tasks, freeing up time for instructors to address other teaching related activities. This can lead to more efficient use of resources and improved learning outcomes.

Challenges

  • Bias and inequity: Be mindful of biases in GenAI tools. Strive to ensure that these tools are used in a way that promotes equity among all students.
  • Privacy: Prioritize student privacy when using GenAI tools. Ensure that personal information is not improperly stored or used.
  • Access: Ensure that all students have equal access to GenAI tools. Consider factors like socio-economic status, geographical location, internet connection and hardware that might affect a student’s ability to access and use these tools.
  • Ethical practices and misuse: Encourage ethical use of GenAI tools. Design assessments that promote original work and discourage misuse of these tools.
  • Accuracy and reliability: Be aware of the potential for GenAI tools to spread false information and understand their limitations. Verify the accuracy of information generated by these tools and recognize the need for human oversight and intervention.

Expectations

  • Clear expectations and transparency: Instructors are to lead by example and are to provide students with clear expectations and comprehensive guidance on  GenAI tools in their courses. This can include an open discussion about the role and use of these tools in the course and graded activities, as well as their potential benefits, limitations and potential impact on professional and academic misconduct. 
  • Course outlines and policies: In the absence of specific statements about GenAI use in course outlines, policy # 8618, as well as relevant program policies, will be enforced.
  • Evaluation and assessment methods: To reduce the misuse of GenAI within assessments and evaluations, consider the use of authentic assessments. Encourage the use of thinking skills that ensure meaningful learning and discourage the over-reliance on content generated by GenAI tools.
  • Collaborative learning: Foster a collaborative learning environment where instructors and students share resources, best practices, and experiences related to GenAI tools. Always consider the rapid development of GenAi to ensure their effective use.

Responsibilities

  • Design authentic assessments: Consider the creation of assessments that align with learning outcomes and where the use of GenAI is of benefit to student learning. For instance, assignments could require students to apply concepts in real-world scenarios, those which can’t be easily completed by GenAI tools.
  • Prepare students for professional use of GenAI: Equip students with the skills and experiences for professional use of GenAI in program-related work settings. This includes teaching the ethical and effective use of GenAI.
  • Protect data and privacy: The personal use of GenAI tools by students does not involve Selkirk College's collection of personal data. However, the use of GenAI within courses requires instructors to inform students about the responsible use of these tools. This involves adhering to legal requirements under FIPPA, PIPEDA, and College policies, and obtaining informed consent.
    • Students should not be expected to provide personal information to an AI tool that Selkirk College has no contractual control over. 
    • Signing up for a third-party tool, like GenAI, needs to be optional, especially if the tool requires personal information. 
    • If the tool requires personal information, consider the provision of alternative sign-up options such as aliases (check the terms of use).
  • Consider a privacy impact assessment (PIA): Instructors may want to consider conducting a PIA to assess potential privacy risks when using Third Party Tools to address informed consent and answer students' questions. Use this resource to determine when a PIA is required. 

Questions? 

Get in touch if you have questions or want to further discuss these guidelines.

Access an expanded version of the guidelines.