GenAI: Educate

As students interact with GenAI tools at university, and in their professional and personal lives, it becomes the responsibility of higher education institutions to educate students about relationships between GenAI and its ethical use across their academic, civil, professional and personal lives (Dobrin, 2023).

Learning opportunities, including assessment, should foster student capabilities in using emerging technologies, paralleling what is available in the real world. In addition to traditional academic skill development for information and digital literacy, skills around GenAI literacy need to be developed, such as critical evaluation as well as effective and responsible use (Rudolph et al., 2023).

At Southern Cross University we use an educative approach to encourage staff and students to use GenAI productively and responsibly. Embedding GenAI use into the teaching and delivery of a unit can model good practice and demonstrate the positives of using GenAI, helping to destigmatise such tools. For SCU students, the educative approach needs to include how to avoid academic integrity breaches and academic literacy skills development, and for staff, the sharing of effective practices, ideas and resources among the teaching community (Academic Quality, Standards and Integrity Policy, Principle 7 [44]).

There are four guiding principles to apply when teaching students how to use GenAI technologies in their academic work:

  1. Encourage students to understand that the work they submit must be their own and follow academic integrity principles.
  2. Students must know that the use of content generated by a GenAI tool in their assessment must be appropriately referenced.
  3. Students need to follow the Unit Assessor’s guidelines on what evidence needs to be collected and shared and how they acknowledge general use of GenAI tools.
  4. Students should understand the recurring flaws in GenAI content and the risks of using such content, such as bias, inaccuracy and obsolescence (Dobrin, 2023).

The library has resources to use in educating students on these principles. SCU Library provides a guide to support and educate students on Gen AI:

Within this guide, you will find information on:

The SCU Library Guide resources are a great starting point and resource for students but should not be the only opportunity students have to learn about how to use GenAI within the context of their discipline, assessments and studies.

Where acceptable use of GenAI in assessment has been defined, try to provide opportunities for students to practise working within these limits, getting feedback and thinking critically about prompts and output from the tool. Also, provide opportunities for students to ask questions to clarify acceptable and nonacceptable use.

Students from the University of Sydney have created a Creative Commons resource for students, which educates on ways you can use GenAI productively and responsibly as part of learning in university. This resource may be one you would like to share with your students.

AI in Education by the University of Sydney is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

Once you have considered the Educate aspects of your assessment, continue with the rest of the assessment design process by clicking on Check, Evaluate, Analyse, Design, Act and Inform.  

Dobrin, S. I. (2023). Talking about generative AI: a guide for educators. Broadview Press.

Rudolph, J., Tan, S., & Tan, S. (2023). ChatGPT: Bullshit spewer or the end of traditional assessment in higher education? Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching, 6(1).

Note: Given the rapidly evolving nature of GenAI technologies and largely opinion-based and low-level evidence on emerging practices for use in higher education, this resource represents the status quo at the time of writing (Aug 2023). As changes to policies and technology develop and evidence for best practice emerges, practice recommendations as outlined here are likely to continue to change and develop.