Academic Integrity and Use of Generative AI

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As of 2022, the definition of Academic Integrity at Durham College includes the unauthorized use of generative or other artificial intelligence. Principles and policies guiding academic integrity are relevant and applied to GenAI tools and their use. Anyone authorized to use GenAI to contribute to or complete academic or other work are expected to attribute that use through appropriate citation methods. See How to Incorporate Generative AI.

Cognitive offloading tools – tools that are used to reduce the mental demands of a task – are already widely used in education and industry (e.g., calculators, translation software, textbooks, templates). GenAI tools, when used thoughtfully, purposefully, and with appropriate instruction and direction, can be used as cognitive offloading tools, thereby mitigating concerns around breaching academic integrity while still enhancing student learning.


It is the responsibility of the faculty to determine and communicate the authorized or prohibited use of GenAI in the completion of any academic work or assessments. See How to Incorporate Generative AI. In cases of unauthorized use, faculty are to follow the academic integrity procedure as outlined in policy ACAD 101 – Academic Integrity. Please see ICE for resources to support this procedure.

In this section

Encouraging academic integrity

Academic integrity is built on six (6) fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage. While artificial intelligence tools may present online integrity concerns specifically, the principles and practices that we can use to promote academic integrity remain the same:

Awareness of academic integrity

Why is academic integrity important? Why should it be important to students? These are conversations worth having. You can also ask your students to complete DC's SALS ONLINE Academic Integrity D2L Course.

Applying to GenAI

Inform students that the unauthorized use of generative or other artificial intelligence tools to complete academic or other work is considered a breach of academic integrity as per policy ACAD 101 – Academic Integrity. Faculty will investigate suspected use of GenAI and apply the policy and procedure for a breach of academic integrity accordingly. Discuss ways to avoid unauthorized use and the potential repercussions for doing so.

Transparency in assessment

Communicate with students so they know how and why they are being assessed and why this is important for their learning. Provide marking rubrics in advance so that students can see and ask questions about how they are being evaluated.

Applying to GenAI

Clearly communicate whether GenAI is permitted or prohibited in your course, and if it is, under what circumstances or for which activities or assessments (see How to Incorporate Generative AI). Discuss this at the very beginning of the semester and provide direction in written format as well. Be sure to reiterate that direction when issuing assessments or relevant activities.

Alignment in assessment

Ensure that assessments are aligned with the content and activities used in the course.

Applying to GenAI

Be sure that the GenAI tool(s) that you select are relevant and appropriate to meet and achieve task and course outcomes. Discuss and demonstrate how GenAI may be used during an assessment and, where relevant, show students how it mirrors what might be expected of them in their job or career journey. Provide students with assessment support through specific instruction, sample prompts, and exemplars.

Feedback and learning support

Quality and timely feedback helps students learn what they need to succeed.

Applying to GenAI

Provide students with feedback on their use of GenAI, in addition to the feedback on the assessment itself. This will support development of GenAI literacy and skills, which will allow for greater success the next time they use the tool and reduce the likelihood that they will use it incorrectly or in an unauthorized way inadvertently.

Please reach out to CTL if you would like further guidance on academic integrity.

Citation and acknowledgement

Durham College’s Library provides up-to-date resources on how to cite ChatGPT and other Generative Artificial Intelligence sources. It is recommended that faculty provide students with an exemplar of the citation if the students are permitted to use GenAI in their academic work.

Along with citation, faculty should request students acknowledge if any ideas were generated by AI, acknowledgement might look like this:

I acknowledge the use of ChatGPT for generation of three key ideas that I then researched to ensure accuracy and further developed.

Prompts used:

  • What are the advantages of...
  • How can we improve cost effectiveness when...
  • What ethical challenges relate to...

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) Detectors

GenAI detectors are becoming a tool educators are attempting to use to determine if a student has used a GenAI tool, such as ChatGPT, to complete academic work. However, detectors are unreliable and are known to produce significant false positive rates, frequently misclassify non-native English writing samples as AI-generated (Liang et al., 2023), may collect and re-use student data and can be easy for students to beat.

As a result, Durham College’s stance on GenAI detectors is that the AI detection percentage cannot be considered as the sole evidence to indicate the student has used a generative AI writing tool (such as ChatGPT) - it may be used to initiate a conversation with the student to gather further information in an attempt to ascertain if they did, indeed, use GenAI in an unauthorized manner.

Dr. Sarah Eaton, highlights the ethical principles for detecting AI-generated text in student work, such as checking policies, departmental checks (program coordinators, Executive/Associate Deans), declaring use of detection tools within your course outline, and talking to your students.

Screenshot of Ethical Principles for Detecting AI-Generated Text in Student Work
Ethical Principles for Detecting AI-Generated Text in Student Work by Dr. Sarah Eaton. This image is CC-BY-NC-SA.

It is important to note that the report indicates a percentage of likelihood that the submission was generated by AI or written by a human. It does not indicate an absolute percentage or confirmation, and often that percentage of likelihood varies between different detectors, using the same submission.

Please reach out to your Associate Dean or CTL if you would like further direction on detecting the use of GenAI in academic work.

Key to Academic Integrity with GenAI

Let your students know when and how GenAI may or may not be used in your course and assessments, while modelling best practices