Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Education

Assignments and Privacy Policies

Before assigning students to work on projects involving AI chatbots, make sure to review the privacy policy of the tool(s) you've selected. Also consider what benefit you may be providing the developer by requiring your students to conduct free labor to improve the tool's algorithm.

OpenAI (the company that designed ChatGPT) collects a lot of data from ChatGPT users. 

  • The privacy policy states that this data can be shared with third-party vendors, law enforcement, affiliates, and other users.

  • This tool should not be used by children under 13 (data collection from children under 13 violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule - COPPA).

  • While you can request to have your ChatGPT account deleted, the prompts that you input into ChatGPT cannot be deleted. If you, or your students, were to ask ChatGPT about sensitive or controversial topics, this data cannot be removed. 

TIP: Before asking your students to use ChatGPT (if you plan to do so), please read over the privacy policy with them and allow them to opt out if they do not feel comfortable having their data collected and shared as outlined in the policy.

This information is from "ChatGPT & Education" by Torrey Trust, Ph.D., and is licensed under CC BY NC 4.0.

ChatGPT and Free Labor

Asking students to use ChatGPT provides free labor to OpenAI. ChatGPT is in its infancy and has been released as a free research preview (OpenAI, 2022). It will continue to become a more intelligent form of artificial intelligence… with the help of users who provide feedback to the responses it generates. 

Consider: Do you really want to ask your students to help train an AI tool as part of their education? 

blog post from Autumm Caines (2022), Instructional Designer at the University of Michigan – Dearborn, outlines a few tips to mitigate this free labor, including:

  • Not asking students to create ChatGPT accounts and instead doing instructor demos;
  • Encouraging students to use burner email accounts (to reduce personal data collection) if they choose to use the tool;
  • Using one shared class login.

Caines includes some interesting thoughts on students working themselves out of future jobs by using ChatGPT. We currently cannot find research to support this.

This information is from "ChatGPT & Education" by Torrey Trust, Ph.D., and is licensed under CC BY NC 4.0.

Ideas to help design assignments

Move away from the five paragraph essay. Chatbots can follow this format easily. Encourage your students' originality by moving away from this formulaic format.

  • Tip: If you want to stick with the five-paragraph essay, test out your prompt on an advanced chatbot like ChatGPT. Greene (2022) writes, "If it can come up with an essay that you would consider a good piece of work, then that prompt should be refined, reworked, or simply scrapped... if you have come up with an assignment that can be satisfactorily completed by computer software, why bother assigning it to a human being?"
  • Sticking with essays? Warner (2022) suggests focusing on process rather than product. Scaffolding learning and allowing students to explain their thinking and make learning visible along the way are strategies that may help you confirm student originality: "I talk to the students, one-on-one about themselves, about their work. If we assume students want to learn - and I do - we should show our interest in their learning, rather than their performance."


In the short-term, you can have your students write essays in class and on paper

  • This isn't a good long-term solution for a few reasons:
    • For longer research papers, students will have access to chatbots outside of class.
    • Students may need to use online resources for their writing.
    • You won't be able to use the LMS feedback tools for annotation, rubric scoring, and grading.
    • Note: Some students may have accommodations to type their work rather than handwrite it. Make sure to follow student accommodations when assigning work. 


Use collaborative activities and discussions to mitigate the use of chatbot responses in your class. While students may generate ideas from a chatbot, they will need to discuss with one another whether they want to use the chatbot responses, if they fit the prompt, and if they are factually accurate.

  • These strategies can work for online courses with a few tweaks. For discussions, ask students to post a recording rather than text. While students may generate a response using ChatGPT, creating their video will require more interaction with the content than copy-pasting a text response would.


Engage your students in meaning-making activities to demonstrate their learning. This could include: Skits*, Drawings and Sketches, Concept Mapping, Infographics*, Digital Storytelling*, or Write* or revise Wikipedia articles (Wiki Education). Other ideas from:

* Note that a chatbot can provide an outline for these activities.


Brain dumps are an ungraded recall strategy. The practice involves pausing a lecture and asking students to write everything they can recall about a specific topic. Read more at:


During or after writing, students explain their process or thinking. Students could:

  • Use Comments in Word or Google Docs;
  • Create a video explaining their change history on a Google Doc;
  • Use Track Changes to show their revisions.


Consider using planned or impromptu oral exams. You may consider including phrasing in your syllabus about conducting oral exams if you suspect plagiarism through the use of a chatbot.


When selecting readings, consider sourcing more obscure texts for your students to read. Chatbots may have less information in their training data on obscure texts. As an example, the New York Times reports that, "Frederick Luis Aldama, the humanities chair at the University of Texas at Austin, said he planned to teach newer or more niche texts that ChatGPT might have less information about, such as William Shakespeare’s early sonnets instead of 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream'" (Huang, 2023). 

(Note that ChatGPT is currently trained on data through 2021. Some educators suggest using newer writings and research, but this strategy isn't foolproof since the training models for chatbots are updated frequently.)


Field Observations: Coordinate times to take your class to conduct field observations; students can note their observations and write a reflection about their experience.


Recommended readings

References for Assignment ideas

Aaronson, S. (2022, November 28). My AI safety lecture for UT Effective Altruism. Shtetl-Optimized: The blog of Scott Aaronson. Retrieved on January 11, 2023, from

Bowman, E. (2023, January 9). A college student created an app that can tell whether AI wrote an essay. NPR. Retrieved on January 10, 2023, from

Caines, A. (2022, December 29). ChatGPT and good intentions in higher ed. Is a Liminal Space. Retrieved January 6, 2023, from

Caren, C. (2022, December 15). AI writing: The challenge and opportunity in front of education now. Turnitin. Retrieved on January 10, 2023, from

Chechitelli, A. (2023, January 13). Sneak preview of Turnitin’s AI writing and ChatGPT detection capability. Turnitin. Retrieved on January 17, 2023, from

Ditch That Textbook. (2022, December 17). ChatGPT, chatbots and artificial intelligence in education. Retrieved on January 6, 2023, from

Hick, D.H. (2022, December 15). Today, I turned in the first plagiarist I’ve caught using A.I. software to write her work [Facebook post]. Facebook. Retrieved on January 10, 2023, from

Huang, K. (2023, January 16). Alarmed by A.I. chatbots, universities start revamping how they teach. The New York Times. Retrieved on January 17, 2023, from

Greene, P. (2022, December 11). No, ChatGPT is not the end of high school english. But here’s the useful tool it offers teachers. Forbes. Retrieved on January 9, 2023, from

Kelley, K.J. (2023, January 19). Teaching Actual Student Writing in an AI World. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved on January 19, 2023, from

OpenAI. (2022, December). ChatGPT FAQ. Retrieved January 6, 2023, from

Trust, T. (2023). ChatGPT & education [Google Slides]. Retrieved on January 6, 2023, from 

Warner, J. (2022, December 11). ChatGPT can't kill anything worth preserving: If an algorithm is the death of high school English, maybe that's an okay thing. The Biblioracle Recommends. Retrieved on January 11, 2023, from

Watkins, R. (2022, December 18). Update your course syllabus for chatGPT. Medium. Retrieved on January 6, 2023, from

Wiggers, K. (2022, Decemer 10). OpenAI’s attempts to watermark AI text hit limits. TechCrunch. Retrieved on January 10, 2023, from