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Artificial Intelligence

University of Phoenix Releases Generative AI Philosophy and Academic Guidance

Effective Sept. 1, 2023, the University of Phoenix has released a new Generative AI Philosophy and Academic Guidance statement. The document is available to students and faculty for review via their Blackboard accounts, the university said.

The comprehensive guidance document was generated by a cross-functional workgroup at the university, co-chaired by Emily Breuker, associate provost. After months of research and evaluation, including an AI survey the university conducted and examining approaches other universities have taken, the group formulated a statement on how students can use generative AI in a responsible and effective manner while maintaining academic integrity.

The new guidance has been incorporated into student resource materials in the online notification center; in course policies available in every online course; and in the Student Code of Conduct.

Breuker noted that its survey results showed only 35% of adults feel comfortable using generative AI in their work or school, mainly because of accuracy issues.

The statement makes clear certain expectations, restrictions, and consequences for the use of generative AI. It specifies that:

  • Students, faculty, and staff become familiar with generative AI tools to understand their use and limitations;
  • Faculty ensure that students understand when the use of AI is appropriate and not in order to avoid academic misconduct;
  • Assignments and assessments combine many approaches for learning and critical thinking;
  • The use of AI tools for completing assignments, and when not to do so, be clearly spelled out;
  • Reliable methods of detecting AI tool use be employed;
  • Academic integrity policies be regularly updated as generative AI tools evolve; and
  • Knowledge and understanding of trends, research, applications, and innovations in generative AI be kept current.

In addition, specific expectations are placed upon students. They must:

  • Do the majority of their own assignment work;
  • Disclose when they use generative AI tools in their work, and which ones;
  • Cite their AI information sources, using APA guidelines;
  • Verify the accuracy of the AI source information; and
  • Avoid using AI without disclosure or citation.

"At University of Phoenix, we see AI like any other new tool that has entered the arena of learning and has potential to enhance a student's access to data and information, or to help process knowledge more quickly," Breuker said. "AI tools are already interwoven into our daily lives and many career fields, and so we view it as our responsibility to offer supportive guidance regarding appropriate adoption of AI wherever they may encounter it."

The university said that as this technology evolves, it plans to "integrate learning activities into its curriculum that enable students to develop their skills with these innovative technologies responsibly and ethically, empowering them to navigate the ever-changing technological landscape in their chosen career field."

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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