Artificial Intelligence Draft Policies

The availability of generative artificial intelligence (GAI) and large language models (LLM) to the general public has created opportunities and challenges in education and, of course, much else. During the Fall, 2023, semester, the Provost tasked the Faculty Center for Learning Innovation (FCLI) Associate Dean with forming a committee of ACC faculty to develop a draft consideration for policy language from the faculty perspective regarding the use of artificial intelligence in the classroom. The committee included adjunct and full-time faculty who were already using GAI in the classroom and the language includes three options for the use of GAI: Prohibited, Permitted, and Required. This draft language is meant to be a starting point for the college to consider when developing an institutional policy. The committee was then tasked with developing a draft for syllabus language meant to be a starting point for faculty to consider placing in their syllabi.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE POLICIES AND EXAMPLE STATEMENTS ARE IN THE DRAFT STAGE AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY OFFICIAL APPROVAL THROUGH THE REGULAR COLLEGE PROCESSES. At this point, they are provided solely for the purpose of helping faculty develop what they feel to be the best approach for integrating the use of AI into their own courses if they wish to do so. Despite some of the language used in the draft statements below, there are no requirements for faculty to include these elements in their syllabi at this point. But for those who do wish to incorporate language regarding AI in their syllabi and course policies, the framework below can provide a useful guide, which is why it is being made available here. What follows is the draft policy statements and examples.


This policy outlines the guidelines and principles for the ethical and responsible use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) in all departments and programs within Austin Community College. GAI is a powerful tool that can enhance education and research, but its use must adhere to transparency, fairness, and ethical conduct principles. This policy is subject to periodic review and revision to align with evolving ethical standards and technological advancements.

Departmental Policy Framework

Each department/program will engage faculty in developing a policy related to GAI. Within departments/programs, faculty will have flexibility regarding how they incorporate GAI. However, individual instructor policies must incorporate the following required elements in the course syllabus:

A syllabus statement on the GAI course policy

  1. Introduction – Introduce your policy on GAI use in the course
  2. Rationale – State why GAI is prohibited/permitted/required to be used in the course
  3. Definition of GAI – Define what GAI is in the context of the course
  4. Resources – In courses that permit or require GAI, provide resources that guide students on how to properly use GAI in the course
  5. Assessment – In courses that permit or require GAI, clarify if and how its use will be assessed in the completion of activities
  6. Penalties – Clearly state the consequences of violating the GAI policy
  7. Exceptions – Explain any conditions under which there may be an exception to the GAI policy in the course
  8. Usage Permissions –
  • Prohibited – Clearly state what GAI activities are not allowed
  • Permitted – Clearly state what GAI activities are allowed
  • Required – Clearly state what GAI activities are required

Example 1:

This course incorporates Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI), including large language models and image generators. GAI is defined as artificial intelligence systems capable of creating new content based on patterns learned from existing knowledge. As responsible members of the academic community, we should use AI with consideration and intention. To use AI responsibly, students are encouraged to schedule a meeting with the instructor for guidance, understanding, and obtaining usage permissions; and critically reading available resources. Key considerations include citing AI as a source, preventing misinformation, avoiding plagiarism, and ensuring fairness while avoiding bias and discrimination. We must also respect intellectual property rights, maintain ethical authenticity, prioritize data privacy and security, and promote transparency and fairness in AI usage. These principles uphold academic honesty and integrity while engaging with AI technology in this course. The assessment of AI-generated content evaluates the quality, authenticity, and relevance of AI-produced content while considering student review and verification, comparison to human generated content, consistency, bias and fairness, appropriateness and relevance to the subject matter, plagiarism review, ethical and legal compliance, cross-validation against multiple AI models, AI transparency and explainability, and feedback from users, such as your professor.  Penalties for academic dishonesty will be enforced, following approved College Guidelines, with exceptions granted only on valid grounds as approved by the instructor.

Example 2:

  1. Introduction: In this course, the use of generative AI (GAI) technologies is strictly prohibited to preserve academic integrity and ensure the development of student competencies.
  2. Rationale: The prohibition is in place to encourage original thought, manual problem-solving skills, and to maintain equity in educational opportunities and assessments.
  3. Definition of GAI: Generative AI refers to artificial intelligence systems that can generate text, images, or other content based on minimal input. This includes chatbots, image generation tools, and code assistants.
  4. Usage Permissions: Prohibited: Students are not allowed to use GAI for completing assignments, projects, tests, or any form of assessment in this course.
  5. Penalties: Any violation of this policy will result in academic penalties which may include a failing grade for the activity, reporting to academic affairs, and further disciplinary action.
  6. Exceptions: Exceptions to this policy will only be made under specific circumstances approved by the instructor, typically where technology is used to accommodate learning differences.

Example 3:

  1. Introduction: The use of generative AI (GAI) is permitted in this course under certain conditions to enhance learning while maintaining academic integrity.
  2. Rationale: GAI is permitted to foster technological fluency and to leverage advanced tools for research, as long as it does not substitute for critical thinking and learning.
  3. Definition of GAI: Generative AI encompasses technologies that create content through learned patterns and data without direct human input.
  4. Usage Permissions: Permitted: GAI can be used for initial research, idea generation, and learning coding practices. It is not to be used for final submissions unless explicitly cited and discussed.
  5. Resources: Guidance on the ethical and effective use of GAI will be provided through designated course materials and office hours.
  6. Assessment: Contributions of GAI must be clearly cited and will be assessed on the student’s ability to critically analyze and integrate the AI-generated content.
  7. Penalties: Misuse of GAI, including a failure to cite, will be considered a breach of academic integrity, with consequences including a failing grade for the assignment and academic review.
  8. Exceptions: Should the technology be required as an accommodation, exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Example 4:

  1. Introduction: This course requires the use of generative AI (GAI) to complete certain assignments and activities as part of its curriculum.
  2. Rationale: GAI is integrated into the course to ensure students are proficient in cutting-edge technologies and to enhance the scope of their academic exploration.
  3. Definition of GAI: Generative AI includes any software that uses artificial intelligence to generate content, code, or other outputs from user prompts.
  4. Usage Permissions: Required: Students are expected to use GAI for specific tasks, which will be clearly outlined in assignment guidelines.
  5. Resources: Resources, tutorials, and guidelines for using GAI will be provided. Students are expected to utilize these to ensure responsible use.
  6. Assessment: The use of GAI will be part of the grading rubric. Students will be evaluated on how effectively they use and integrate GAI in their work.
  7. Penalties: Failure to appropriately use GAI as required by the course will impact a student’s grade and may result in a need to retake the assignment or activity.
  8. Exceptions: No exceptions to the requirement of GAI use will be made without a formal accommodation request approved by the instructor.

A syllabus statement on data privacy and security

In courses that permit or require GAI, syllabi will inform students that in many cases, content shared with or produced by GAI platforms is available for use by the parent company of the technology platform. Thus, students should not share personally identifiable or otherwise confidential or sensitive information, such as student IDs, social security numbers, passwords, or medical and financial information.

Example 1:

In accordance with our dedication to privacy and security, students are advised to refrain from sharing any sensitive or personally identifiable information on GAI platforms. Given that content inputted into or generated by these platforms may become accessible to the platform’s operators, caution is advised. Always sanitize your data before interacting with these technologies.

A syllabus statement on academic honesty

In courses that permit or require GAI, syllabi will affirm a commitment to academic and personal integrity by requiring that student work reflect authentic (student-generated) effort and original critical thinking when GAI is used. Syllabi will advise students that, unless otherwise specified, use of GAI to produce the bulk of the thinking, writing, or other output for an assignment constitutes a breach of academic integrity. Syllabi will require that GAI-generated content or data sources must be cited and credited appropriately, just as any other source would be. Syllabi must specify any disciplinary actions or academic consequences that result from violations of academic honesty standards.

Example 1:

This course upholds the highest standards of academic integrity. When utilizing GAI, students must ensure that the work submitted reflects their understanding and capabilities. Any GAI assistance must be properly cited. Failure to do so will result in academic consequences consistent with the college’s policies on academic dishonesty.

A syllabus statement on bias, discrimination, and falsehood

In courses that permit or require GAI, syllabi will inform students of dangers associated with the use of GAI, such as the production of false and/or biased information.  Syllabi will inform students that information from GAI platforms that cannot be traced to its source cannot be considered accurate without verification.

Example 1:

Students are cautioned that GAI may inadvertently produce biased or inaccurate content. It is incumbent upon the student to critically evaluate and verify the information provided by these platforms. Relying on unverified GAI content for academic work is unacceptable and may lead to disciplinary action.

Departmental Employees and Staff

All department/program employees and staff will maintain the highest ethical standards in producing work of any kind for use within or outside the College. GAI should only be used transparently and with attention to dangers such as inaccuracy, privacy violations, copyright infringement, and perpetuation of bias and discrimination.

Authors: Amber Sarker, Christine Berni, Curtis Eckerman, Herbert Coleman, Job Hammond, LaKisha Barrett, Sara Farr, Susan Meigs, Thomas Samuel, and Stephanie Long

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