Your Top Questions

This section is based on the questions that were asked during the AI Corner Conversation series.

In accordance with UBC-V Senate Policy V-130, instructors must provide a course syllabus to students in their course section “about the requirements and expectations of a course or course section.” The minimum content areas to be covered (e.g., course structure, schedule, materials, assessment) are listed in the policy. The language about copyright and the sharing of course materials, as mentioned in the UBC academic integrity syllabus statement, can be included, such as:

We are working hard to provide all the materials you need to succeed in this course. In return, please respect our work. All assignment instructions, exam questions and answers, discussion questions, announcements, PowerPoint slides, audio/video recordings, Canvas modules, and any other materials provided to you by the instructor or in the course materials are for use in this course by students currently enrolled in [course/section]. It is unacceptable to share any of these materials beyond our course, including by posting on file-sharing websites (e.g., CourseHero, Google Docs). It is unacceptable to copy and paste sentences from the textbook (e.g., definitions) into for-profit software (e.g., Quizlet) for use in studying. Respect the instructor’s and authors’ intellectual property, and follow copyright law.

Course instructors may want to familiarize themselves with the various options for Creative Commons license information, which can be added to your syllabus. For example, if you want to limit, but not entirely prohibit, the sharing of syllabus information, you could use a “CC BY-NC-SA” license, which “lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.”

For the syllabus a section on academic integrity, instructors can write their own section or use the following paragraph:

The academic enterprise is founded on honesty, civility, and integrity. As members of this enterprise, all students are expected to know, understand, and follow the codes of conduct regarding academic integrity. At the most basic level, this means submitting only original work done by you and acknowledging all sources of information or ideas and attributing them to others as required. This also means you should not cheat, copy, or mislead others about what is your work. Violations of academic integrity (i.e., misconduct) lead to the breakdown of the academic enterprise, and therefore serious consequences arise and harsh sanctions are imposed. For example, incidences of plagiarism or cheating may result in a mark of zero on the assignment or exam and more serious consequences may apply if the matter is referred to the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Discipline. Careful records are kept in order to monitor and prevent recurrences. For more information, visit Academic Integrity for Students.

For explicit language about encouraged, permitted, and prohibited uses of ChatGPT and other generative AI in course assignments and classroom activities, the instructors may visit Syllabus Statement on AI or use the following language:

The use of ChatGPT and/or other generative AI tools is prohibited for any assignments in this course. Use of these tools will be considered academic misconduct.


The use of ChatGPT (or a similar AI tool) is permitted in this course only to generate ideas for a draft of assignments. If you use such a tool, you must declare that you have used it, and describe the extent to which it was used. You must also submit the AI-generated text together with your assignment so that the instructor can assess your original contribution.

No. While there are many AI writing detecting tools (GPTZero, AI content detector), they lack accuracy and are therefor not reliable. With few changes in the text, the tools can be easily misled.  These detectors are found to be biased against the non-native English writers. Moreover, because the AI chatbots do not have a knowledge of the content they generate, asking chatGPT to confirm if it has produced certain writing is neither recommended nor practical, and is a practice discouraged by OpenAI - the makers of the tool.

For these very reasons, Turnitin’s new AI-detection functionality has not been enabled at UBC. And the use of third-party tools for detecting AI writing is discouraged. As per the UBC academic integrity guidelines:

If instructors still choose to use AI detectors, they should be aware and understand their limitations and issues they can raise. None of the detectors has undergone a UBC Privacy Impact Assessment, and as such there may be privacy and security concerns with submitting student work to them, particularly without their knowledge or consent. Instructors should not use these tools to evaluate any student work that contains the name of the student or any other personal information of the student or third parties. If student work may be submitted through one or more AI detectors, instructors should be transparent with students and let them know at the beginning of the term, such as in the syllabus.

Finally, it is recommended that AI detection tools not be used as the sole factor in decision-making around an allegation of academic misconduct. If an instructor suspects that an assignment or assessment has been completed with unauthorized use of AI tools, they should proceed as they would for any other potential allegation of academic misconduct. An overview of the academic misconduct process for instructors is available on the academic integrity website.

The Financial Times article AI Generative AI exists because of the transformer  explains the basics of Generative AI through visual storytelling. This resource can be a good starting point to understand the basics of generative AI.

Additionally, the following are free open courses that students can take.

  • The Algorithmic & Data Literacy project - A course on fostering digital literacies and critical thinking skills, offered in collaboration with Digital2030, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO), and UNESCO.
  • Ethics of AI - A free online course created by the University of Helsinki, aimed at nurturing a thoughtful, ethical approach toward AI technology.

To brush up their prompt engineering skills, Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT is an open online course by Vanderbilt University hosted on Coursera.

You can refer to American Psychological Association's resource How to cite ChatGPT. University of Waterloo's ChatGPT and Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI-generated content and citation is another helpful resource. UBC library has also published guidelines on how to cite AI content.

UNESCO released Guidance for generative AI in education and research in September, 2023. This report highlighting various way in which AI can be used in education emphasizes human-in-the-loop approach. The same approach was encouraged by the U.S. Department of Education earlier in their Artificial Intelligence and Future of Teaching and Learning: Insights and Recommendations released in May, 2023. Additionally, for assessment design, The University of Queensland's Assessment reform for the age of artificial intelligence makes a good read.

If you are looking for pedagogies using AI Tools, you may consider the following:

As the instructor, you have the best understanding of your students' needs and the course's learning outcomes to make a decision that best supports learning. The decision of whether or not to permit the use of generative AI tools in your course is at your discretion. At this time, there is not a central UBC policy that dictates how generative AI may or may not be used in courses. It is strongly recommended that you clearly communicate your expectations and parameters for generative AI tool use in your course syllabus. For guidance on crafting your syllabus statement, please visit Syllabus Statement on AI.

If the use of generative AI tools is not permitted in your course, any unauthorized use of generative AI tools, as outlined in your syllabus, would be classified as academic misconduct. If a statement on generative AI use is absent from a syllabus, it is then likely considered as prohibited. However, students should always consult their instructors if they are unclear or uncertain. Read more under "Is the use of AI tools considered to be academic misconduct at UBC?" in Academic Integrity's ChatGPT FAQ.

Privacy matters @ UBC has released Interim PIA Guidelines for Generative AI Tools. These guidelines detail the acceptable use of publicly available generative AI tools from a privacy and information security standpoint and will evolve as related concerns and understanding develop. This guidance addresses several basic use cases and extends to: Student academic use, Classroom uses by instructors and Employee use in business contexts.

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