updated January 4, 2024
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an artificial intelligence text generator which gathers information from online sources like textbooks, websites, and social media to respond to human questions. It can produce a variety of texts including short essays and computer code based on user prompts. ChatGPT-3 mimics natural writing styles and learns from extended questioning by the user.
- Read more about ChatGPT from its creators, OpenAI.
- Watch this video, ChatGPT explained in 5 minutes via Youtube which includes examples of what ChatGPT can and cannot do.
Recommendations for teaching writing
As ChatGPT and other AI writing tools evolve, a focus on the connection between writing and learning becomes even more crucial. To help combat misuse, CWP encourages instructors to highlight the ways that writing is a vehicle for learning content to establish a culture of academic integrity that prioritizes critical thinking. ChatGPT and other AI writing programs produce essay frames, but they do not include the discipline-specific elements of writing–i.e., voice, appropriate evidence and citation, and deep analysis–which make WI courses powerful learning experiences.
Practically, instructors can take ChatGPT into consideration by:
- Designing assignments that involve producing and analyzing AI-generated writing to examine the strengths and weaknesses it displays
- Engaging students in the process of writing by requiring students to submit steps of the essay generation process (e.g., proposal, outline, essay introduction, source summary/comment on use) and receive feedback on those steps to build the complete draft
- Increasing use of in-class writing–both informal writing for learning and formal writing for assessment
- Requiring students to include specific evidence (ex: course readings, peer-reviewed articles, or a specific set of sources provided to students) in their writing assignments.
- Expanding the genres and modes of assigned student writing. Consider asking students to produce a multimodal or multimedia text (ex: podcast, infographic, map, animation)
These resources contain other useful considerations and suggestions for instructors adapting writing assignments:
- AI and the Student Code of Conduct Syllabus Information (Missouri Online) – The information contained here was put together by Missouri Online staff to help instructors with the information they need to consider for their students and what they may need to include in Syllabus statements.
- Generative AI (Missouri Online) – This resource looks into how generative AI affects teaching and learning. While this toolkit does not include instructions for everything related to generative AI in teaching, it will help you think about how generative AI might fit into your teaching and how to adjust to it.
- AI Text Generators and Teaching Writing: Starting Points for Inquiry (WAC Clearinghouse, Colorado State) – A crowdsource document of all things ChatGPT from writing program administrators across the world.
- Tea for Teaching Podcast: Chat GPT (Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, State University of New York at Oswego) -“Since its release in November 2022, ChatGPT has been the focus of a great deal of discussion and concern in higher ed. In this episode, Robert Cummings and Marc Watkins join us to discuss how to prepare students for a future in which AI tools will become increasingly prevalent in their lives.”
- ChatGPT Advice Academics Can Use Now (Inside Higher Ed) – “Resist asking conservative questions such as, ‘How can we minimize negative impacts of AI tools in writing courses?’ Instead, go big. How do these tools allow us to achieve our intended outcomes differently and better? How can they promote equity and access? Better thinking and argumentation? How does learning take place in ways we haven’t experienced before?”
- ChatGPT and the AI Writing Arms Race (Powernotes) – “If AI detection software is destined to lose the arms race to cheaters, what then becomes of the college essay? The college essay can live on, but it requires a shift from focusing on examining the essay’s content for clues as to its authenticity.”
ChatGPT Information Sessions & Workshops
Join CWP’s own Christy Goldsmith for a three-part virtual workshop on AI and WI. CWP will be offering a second round of updated AI in WI workshops in Spring 2024. More information and links for registration are included below:
- AI in WI #1: Understanding the Current State of AI. REGISTER
- Friday, January 19th, 2024 10:00-10:55 am on zoom.
- In this session, we’ll share updates about the ever-evolving AI landscape. Specifically, we’ll report up-to-date information concerning the functionality and application of AI tools in the writing classroom. Please note: This workshop is an updated version of the session by the same title that ran in Fall 2023.
- Access the original slides here: AI in WI #1 Fall 2023
- AI in WI #2: Navigating Students’ Use of AI/ChatGPT to Support Critical Thinking. REGISTER
- Wednesday, January 31, 2024 11:00-11:55 am on Zoom
- In this session, we’ll discuss ways college students engage with Generative AI (ChatGPT, BingAI, etc) and consider how to adapt WI assignments to foreground the critical thinking that can’t be outsourced to AI programs. Please note: This workshop is an updated version of the session by the same title that ran in Fall 2023.
- Access the original slides here: AI in WI #2 Fall 2023
- AI in WI #3: Teaching Writing with ChatGPT. REGISTER
- Tuesday, Febrary 20th, 2024 110:00-10:55 am on Zoom
- In this session, we’ll share strategies for productive use of AI tools (ChatGPT, BingAI, etc) to enrich Writing Intensive teaching and learning. Join us to explore ways to engage GenAI in developing learning outcomes, creating student models, and analyzing formative assessments. Please note: This workshop is an updated version of the session by the same title that ran in Fall 2023.
- Access the original slides here: AI in WI #3 Fall 2023
The Campus Writing Program and Teaching for Learning Center have put together the following sessions to learn more about ChatGPT and the college classroom.
- AI/ChatGPT: What is it? How does it work?
- Recording link: https://youtu.be/vsOI3RMXqFY
- How to Develop and Implement Meaningful Writing Assignments.
- Recording link: https://youtu.be/kGH9AZ4_2uc
- “Here there be Dragons”: Teaching with ChatGPT
- Presentation link: Google Slides
- Access future CWP training events here: CWP events
AI Integration Policy Statements
In the syllabus and/or assignment descriptions, Writing Intensive instructors will address the use of Generative AI in the course. Below are sample AI use statements that WI instructors may adjust and adopt.
AI Integration Allowed Policy
We encourage the use of AI software in this writing-intensive course, allowing students to leverage these tools for drafting and editing their assignments. However, students must provide transparent notes regarding the AI’s suggestions and corrections. This policy aims to foster collaboration between students and AI while emphasizing the importance of maintaining academic integrity and acknowledging external assistance.
Limited AI Policy
In this course, AI software is permitted solely for brainstorming and idea generation purposes. Students are allowed to use AI tools to explore creative concepts, develop outlines, and generate initial ideas for their writing assignments. However, the actual writing, drafting, and editing processes must be completed without AI assistance to ensure that the final product reflects the individual student’s skills and understanding.
AI Usage Prohibited Policy
This course maintains a strict policy against the use of AI software in any aspect of the writing process. Students are expected to rely solely on their own cognitive abilities and academic skills when drafting, editing, and revising assignments. The course policy is in place to uphold the principle of individual academic achievement and to ensure that assessments accurately reflect each student’s independent learning and writing capabilities. This policy aligns with the UM System Student Code of Conduct 200.010.
*These draft statements were generated by ChatGPT and adapted for WI courses by Julie Birt *
Reach out to the Campus Writing Program at https://cwp.missouri.edu/contact and we’d be happy to sit down with you and chat about what ChatGPT means for your classroom.