AI for Teaching and Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to gain traction in the ever-evolving field of education and is a pivotal concern in course design. 

As we continue to learn about AI together, let's share insights and help each other understand and use it in a responsible, ethical, and innovative way. Do you have some great resources or ideas to share? Contact the ATS Instructional Design team at and let us know!

AI is poised to help educators and instructional designers better anticipate classroom needs and address the wide variability in student performance and learning. Artificial Intelligence:

  • Enables new forms of interaction. Students and teachers can speak, gesture, sketch, and use other natural human modes of communication to interact with a computational resource and each other. AI can generate human-like responses, as well. These new forms of action may provide support to students with disabilities.
  • Helps educators address variability in student learning. With AI, designers can anticipate and address the long tail of variations in how students can successfully learn—whereas traditional curricular resources were designed to teach to the middle or most common learning pathways. For example, AI-enabled educational technology may be deployed to adapt to each student’s English language abilities with greater support for the range of skills and needs among English learners.
  • Supports powerful forms of adaptivity. Conventional technologies adapt based on the correctness of student answers. AI enables adapting to a student’s learning process as it unfolds step-by-step, not simply providing feedback on right or wrong answers. Specific adaptations may enable students to continue strong progress in a curriculum by working with their strengths and working around obstacles.
  • Enhance feedback loops. AI can increase the quality and quantity of feedback provided to students and teachers, as well as suggest resources to advance their teaching and learning.
  • Supports educators. Educators can be involved in designing AI-enabled tools to make their jobs better and to enable them to better engage and support their students.

Integrating AI into the classroom has potential benefits and pitfalls if not navigated with care.

  • Dependency on technology. There is concern about how AI impacts students’ abilities to problem-solve and overall academic performance. When using AI tools, users can get answers to many complex questions and have the tool do the research for them. AI has been known to pass various exams that can be challenging for humans to pass. The AI’s ability to pass these challenging exams raises the question of how effective the exams truly are and poses problems for assessment design.
  • Reliability. AI trains on vast amounts of data to generate responses. AI will always provide an answer to any prompt, but it has been shown that the response may not be the correct answer. The possibility of misinformation that AI can provide means that users will have to be aware of potential incorrect or made-up answers and examine the responses carefully.
  • Ethical and Security Concerns & Intellectual Property. When prompting generative AI tools, users may unintentionally upload sensitive information to the AI’s database, which raises questions about privacy, security, and ethical use. AI can also collect creative content like art and music and generate content that is based on a person’s work; it's important to be mindful of the potential for intellectual property loss as laws protecting content generated by AI are still evolving.

AI Detection in Canvas
When students submit assignments in Canvas, instructors can check for originality using Turnitin with AI Detection. Turnitin can also be used to check whether or not AI was used to generate content in written work.

Note: Before challenging students about the originality of work, please review these links on what certain indicators mean, how false positives are handled, and some FAQs:

For students

Here are some suggestions for introducing AI in your classroom to benefit students.

Teach students how AI is applied in a professional context: 

  • Have students research companies in different industries to find out how they are using AI and share examples in class.
  • Ask colleagues in different industries about how they are applying it to their daily work and invite them to speak in class.
  • Ask ChatGPT to research how AI can be used in different fields or have students ask similar questions using ChatGPT.

Engage students in brainstorming activities for your class using ChatGPT:

  • Assessment questions
  • Assignments
  • Discussion prompts
  • Concepts applied to the real world

Teach students about the current limitations of AI tools:

  • AI doesn’t provide sources; use this as an opportunity to review how to properly cite research.
  • AI can be inaccurate and even invent information.  There are plenty of examples of AI getting the answer wrong; share amusing stories to illustrate this. 
  • AI can be used unethically.  Fake news, deep fake videos... unfortunately, there are many examples.

Teach students about the societal implications of AI:

  • AI has the potential to shape the information we consume and the way we work and live....just like many other technological advances we have adapted to like the printing press and the internet!  A great history lesson!
  • People may have shorter attention spans due to the abundance of short-form content we engage with.   

Ask students to sign a pledge document committing to limited or non-use of AI for a course or assignment. Review these sample documents:

Provide a statement in your syllabus:

  • Be specific and let students know what class activities are permitted and not permitted for the use of generative AI tools.
  • If you are prohibiting the use of generative AI tools, it is important to think about the appropriate level of penalty for first-time offenders and those who repeatedly violate your policies on the use of generative AI tools.
  • Follow the guidance provided in this document: Optional Syllabus Statements for the Acceptable or Unacceptable Use of AI Tools in Your Course [PDF]