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ChatGPT message to faculty

T. Chase Hagood

AI generative tools are a class of algorithms that generate new and unique outputs, such as text, images or music, based on input data or parameters. These tools can be used in various disciplines to create new and innovative products, automate tedious tasks and make predictions or simulations.

Recently, a new set of tools using these algorithms has become much more widely available. One of the most commonly discussed and popular is ChatGPT, which was developed by OpenAI and provides text output based on a prompt. However, many other AI generative tools automate content generation across all different fields, music, voice, imagery, computer code, etc. The University of Utah, in partnership with the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), is developing and revising policies regarding using AI tools like ChatGPT in courses. These innovative and rapidly developing tools have the potential to transform higher education. We see this as an opportunity for U faculty to remain at the cutting edge of instruction as well as research.

With the rise of availability and popularity, we see the usage of these tools by students to complete assignments, provide answers to tests, generate creative content, etc. For sure, many possibilities exist for using these tools within higher education. However, across the country, instructors and institutions are anticipating a rise in cases of academic misconduct due to improper citation or attribution when using tools like ChatGPT.

The CTE has developed an AI Generative Tools resource page devoted to using AI tools like ChatGPT, with guidance for new pedagogical approaches, suggestions for assignment design, links to detection systems and other AI-related resources. Though not new, widely accessible AI is a rapidly developing innovation, and the page will be updated as new information becomes available. If you are interested in taking part in the campus conversation on AI generative tools, please click here to join the CTE’s AI listserv.

The University of Utah is developing and revising policies regarding using these tools for our students. We are communicating to students the following:

  • Students should seek guidance from their instructors before utilizing AI generative tools for assignments.
  • If students choose to use these tools in some capacity related to creative work, they must make evident any portion of the work generated by the AI tool and which AI tool they used.
  • An individual faculty member may craft specific policies and communicate via syllabi and/or Canvas relating to the use of such tools in their courses. Please note that this is interim guidance as we continue to explore and understand the possibilities and challenges of these tools.

Please refer to the CTE’s AI Generative Tools Resource page for more strategies and resources about the use of these tools in pedagogical practice.

The U anticipates new waves of remarkable creativity and curiosity among faculty, staff and students in this brave new world of AI development and use—there has never been a more exciting time to be a part of an R1 university.

T. Chase Hagood
Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dean of Undergraduate Studies