If you are an academic integrity professional, or academic integrity expert on your campus, you have likely experienced what I’ve experienced the last 9 months: repeated calls for help in responding to the release of GenAI tools like ChatGPT, Bing, Bard, Midjourney, and CoPilot. Maybe those calls came from your institutional leadership or maybe they came from the faculty, but they all likely sounded a lot like this – “how do we assure academic integrity when students can outsource their academic work to GenAI?”

It can be self-affirming when our institutional colleagues turn to us for advice. Finally! They’ve noticed that I have some expertise and can provide support during these challenging times. It’s nice to be appreciated, after all.

However, when the calls come fast and furious (and desperate), it can also be very overwhelming. Especially when the situation that stimulated the calls keeps morphing and evolving, and the possible answers are complex. We can feel like a fraud if we are also GenAI novices; who am I to give advice in this area? What if I give advice that’s not sound? Shouldn’t they be asking pedagogical or instructional design specialists, not me?

This pull and tug between feeling affirmed and feeling like a fraud is natural during these turbulent times. After all, there is a lot to know and learn, and the pace at which we’ve been asked to respond is rapid. However, there is a way to respond that will help reduce those feelings of fraudulence – stick with your lived experience, what you know, and what you can do, but do it within the mission and scope of your role/office.

I’ve been struggling with this myself. The mission of my AI Office is to "promote and support a culture of integrity in order to reinforce quality teaching and learning." So, while I have knowledge and competencies in course and assessment design, and know that redesign is one of the solutions to the GenAI-academic integrity problem, it’s on the periphery of our AI Office mission. If I offer those ideas formally as the AI Office Director, I start to veer into lanes already occupied by our teaching center. I also am aware that I have read a lot more about GenAI than likely most of our faculty, and so likely have knowledge to share with them, yet offering that education really seems to fall outside the AI Office mission. 

So, I had to find a way to leverage our academic integrity expertise within our institutional responsibilities to help our faculty and administration. Here, I share my three lessons learned in the hope that they can inspire other academic integrity experts who may also be struggling. 

First, I think we should engage with our colleagues in the library, teaching and learning centers, educational technology offices, and instructional design units. What are they doing or planning to do for faculty? Is there a way you can collaborate on those projects to add the academic integrity perspective? For example, our Librarians were drafting a Generative AI guide and contacted my office to contribute to it. We were able to add the perspective that ethics/integrity should be mentioned throughout the guide, not just in a special section for academic integrity. For example, on the page where students are taught how to use GenAI, there is now an ethics reminder because of our collaboration. My office collaborated with our Teaching & Learning Commons to give a presentation to our Executive Vice-Chancellor’s Education Roundtable (made up of educational leadership) with our thoughts on what leadership could be doing to support faculty and students. We also collaborated with the Commons to create a series of Teaching Chats that provide a forum for faculty and educators to talk about the intersection of GenAI and education.

Second, I think we have an obligation to respond to what we are specifically seeing coming into our offices. For example, we were seeing an increase in faculty reports of student GenAI use where the only documentation was either the output from an AI detector or from ChatGPT itself. So, we released some guidance to faculty on how to respond to suspected GenAI use, and reminded faculty of an earlier document we released that offered alternative ways to respond to the impact of GenAI on assessments and learning.

Third, don't assume; ask. Ask them what they need or want from us. This seems obvious, but it took a while for it to sink into my dense mind. I was overwhelmed myself, and couldn't hone in on which project we should devote our limited time and energies. For my office, faculty are the easiest to ask because we have an extensive email list for instructors who have reported cases to our office. So, we sent out a survey to those faculty to ask them what assistance, advice, and materials the AI Office could offer that would help them teach in the era of GenAI. In case you’re interested, I’ll share the results. For themselves, faculty were most interested in receiving help with: Crafting a GenAI Class Policy, Talking with Students about GenAI & Academic Integrity, Rethinking their Assessments for GenAI, Identifying when GenAI Has Been Used, and Strategies for Dissuading Students from Using GenAI. For their students, faculty asked the AI Office to create educative materials focused on: Responsible Use of GenAI in Academic Work, Knowing the Difference between Cognitive Offloading and Cheating, and Ethical Considerations in Using GenAI. We also asked faculty to tell us which platform these materials/education should be delivered, and they responded with Google Drive for faculty and Canvas Commons for students. The results of that survey (with 50 responses) provides us with a focus for our time and energies, knowing what to develop and how to deliver it in time for fall term implementation.

By taking these three steps, I feel like my office is providing the needed assistance to our colleagues, while staying in the lane of our knowledge, experience, and competencies. And, as a result, I feel more affirmed and less like a fraud. If you too were feeling lost with how to help your campus in a way that honors your expertise, I hope that you now have some ideas for moving forward in a positive and proactive manner. 

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