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Generative Artificial Intelligence and Assignments

Once you've chosen the policy framework for students' use of generative artificial intelligence (GAI) in your course, you will need to extend that guidance to your assignments and assessments.

Generative AI framework











(Framework inspired by Forbes, M. & Brandauer J. "What’s my stance on genAI in this class?" Gettysburg College Johnson Center for Teaching and Learning. Retrieved 8/20/2023 from


If you choose to "close" a particular assignment to the use of GAI, you may want to articulate your rationale. Closing the assignment may mean that you will need to redesign it. You might consider using guidelines for the assignment that ask students to do what text-generating Large Language Model (LLM) tools such as ChatGPT, Bard, or Claude do not do well. For example, you could:

You might also follow the guidelines of the Universal Design for Learning and focus on multiple means of expression. Students could:

While in-class written work and high-stakes assessments can effectively "close" assessments to GAI, keep in mind that these practices may put  students with accommodations through AccessibleNU at a disadvantage and can exacerbate student stress. 

Conditional or Open: Permitting or Requiring GAI Use

If your course is open or if you choose conditional use of GAI for your course, consider the following elements when permitting or requiring students to use GAI on assignments:

Some ideas for having students use LLMs as a starting point for an assignment include:

As part of the assignment, students could be asked to explain their use of GAI: 

Example: Ask ChatGPT to write an essay on your topic

"You have been researching a particular topic for your final presentation. I'd like you to ask ChatGPT 3.5 to write a 500-word essay on the historical importance of your topic. Copy that essay into Word, along with the prompt you gave it. Then turn on Track Changes in Word and edit the essay: correct any errors, verify any facts that ChatGPT cited by putting a comment on the fact and showing at least one other source for it, improve the writing to make the essay clearer and more interesting. Then write a paragraph or two titled "Feedback" that explains your overall assessment of the ChatGPT essay and give it a grade. Submit your Word document to Canvas."

Rationale: This assignment falls part way through a course, after students have developed expertise on a topic. By engaging with ChatGPT, students will:

Consider the following examples of assignments that have been adapted to make use of GAI in ways that will advance learning:

Example 1: A communication and marketing plan

Part of the original assignment asked students to develop a communication and marketing plan, which took about three weeks.

The revised assignment instructed students to ask ChatGPT to draft multiple communication and marketing plans. Next, the students are required to analyze the results; identify, with justification, the best elements of the various plans; and adapt these into a single plan.

Rationale: This assignment may shorten the amount of time devoted to the nuts and bolts of the assignment - developing the plan - allowing the students more time to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize.

Example 2: A lab report

Part of the original assignment asked students to gather data and write a lab report detailing the purpose, methods, and findings of their experiment.

In the revised assignment, students were given an editable, ChatGPT-generated lab report as an example of "C" quality work.  In addition, they were familiarized with the rubric for evaluation. Students were asked to update the lab report with their own results, edit its analysis, and try to improve it from "C" to "A" quality work.

Rationale: This assignment will not shorten the amount of time devoted to the laboratory work, but it may deepen students' analysis and editing skills. 

Video Examples

See the Northwestern University Writing Program AI Resources site for an extensive list of ways to incorporate generative AI into writing assignments.


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