To the Faculty and Staff of Case Western Reserve University:
As we approach the start of the new academic year, the implications of AI in the classroom are on the minds of many of us. An important component of a Case Western Reserve education is for students to experience the learning process to its fullest and to take risks as they become increasingly competent in their field(s) of study. Therefore, those students who use unapproved AI tools may be shortcutting the learning process to their ultimate disadvantage. On the other hand, it is important for us to explore and to adapt to new technologies to better serve our students, since they will likely live in an increasingly technological world of the future.
Therefore, I would like to offer some guidance on how to approach AI integration into the classroom.
- Faculty members have complete discretion regarding the extent to which they will allow AI tools to be used by their students. This could range from (a) completely prohibiting the use of AI tools, (b) asking that students consult with instructors for permission to use AI tools, to (c) allowing students to use all AI tools, but with the expectation that students will properly cite their usage of such tools (and other variations). The University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education offers tips for teaching and learning with AI.
- Faculty should clearly communicate expectations regarding the use of AI tools to students in all course syllabi. Please visit the AI resource page for sample statements for syllabi.
- Faculty must enforce high ethical standards for students’ academic conduct. The university’s various Academic Integrity policies prohibit academic dishonesty, including misrepresentation of a student’s own work.
- Faculty may take advantage of software tools that can detect the use of AI by students in their work. Find a list of resources.
Please also know that my leadership team and I are working with the Faculty Senate to form a committee to explore the broader implications of AI on teaching. This committee's charge and its membership are forthcoming. I anticipate we will explore questions such as:
- How do we best prepare our students for success in an AI world (and beyond)?
- How are the career outlooks of students changing due to AI?
- How will AI affect the ways that students learn, how they interact with information, and how they experience CWRU?
- How will types of assignments and evaluation of work be affected by AI?
As always, I look forward to engaging with faculty on this committee and many others, along with seeing you at various activities and events that are planned for this fall. I continue to be humbled by all that I learn from this community each day.
Joy K. Ward
Interim Provost and Executive Vice President