ChatGPT: Introduction and First Steps

This page offers a brief introduction to ChatGPT, including suggestions on how it might be used in the classroom and an overview of its more problematic aspects. It also provides guidance on how to develop academic integrity and appropriate use policies for ChatGPT, as well as practical suggestions on how to mitigate plagiarism and cheating.

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Problems with ChatGPT and Generative AI (currently)

Possible Classroom Uses of ChatGPT and Generative AI

Even given these issues, instructors may want to incorporate AI tools into their teaching, and it is likely our students will want to develop skills working with such tools. Here are some approaches you might want to experiment with in your classroom:


Use ChatGPT to brainstorm and generate ideas. This can help students with the “blank page” problem when beginning an assignment.

Prompt Engineering

Have your students experiment with “prompt engineering” by writing different prompts on a topic and evaluating the different outputs from ChatGPT. Try to develop best practices in prompt writing that generate more useful and less biased outputs.


Conduct a dialogue on a course topic with ChatGPT. What does this reveal about the strengths and limitations of AI? Does it pass the Turing test?

Writing Assistance and Analysis

Ask students to write a paper using ChatGPT as a “writing partner” and to consider what insights this process gives them regarding AI-Human collaboration. Have them reflect upon what AI does well and what it cannot do. What aspects of the assignment might remain uniquely human? How much AI assistance is too much?

Get Meta

Seattle University’s Strategic Directions call upon us to prepare our students to respond to the great challenges facing our society, including “rapid technological change and its societal and economic impacts”. Explore how using tools like ChatGPT might impact your discipline and different aspects of our society.

These are just a few early suggestions. Check out CDLI’s Generative AI and Education Padlet for more. We will continue to post suggestions for classroom activities with ChatGPT as we work with faculty and more research becomes available.

Recommendations Regarding Academic Integrity and Syllabus Policies

While Seattle University has revised its Academic Integrity Policy to account for the misuse of ChatGPT and generative AI, it is up to you to decide what tasks you would like students to accomplish without AI assistance and what tasks you think appropriate for ChatGPT.


Seattle University’s Academic Integrity Policy has been revised to define plagiarism as: “The use of the work or intellectual property of other persons or the outputs of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs (e.g., ChatGPT, DALL-E, Github Copilot) presented as one’s own work without appropriate citation or acknowledgment.” You should ensure your students are aware of these changes.


Seattle University’s Academic Integrity Policy has added this special note on cheating: “Faculty members may have specific policies regarding the use of AI programs, including prohibiting their use, and such policies should be included in the course syllabus.” Given that different instructors will have different views about the acceptable use of AI in their classes, you should be very clear about your policy.

Acceptable Use and Policy Statements

Whether you allow the use of AI or not in your classes is of course up to you, but you should include a policy statement in your syllabus stating your expectations regarding student use of AI. Look over these Classroom Policies for AI Generative Tools and the resources in CDLI’s Padlet for examples of what instructors at other institutions have come up with.

If you’d like to explore ChatGPT and its possibilities a bit more before developing your policies, attend one of CDLI’s ChatGPT workshops or schedule an individual consultation.

Practical Suggestions to Pre-empt Plagiarism and Cheating

While ChatGPT is very good at some learning tasks—like summarizing, comparing and contrasting, and writing five-paragraph essays—it falters when asked to perform more complex tasks. Getting creative with your assignment design can go a long way towards pre-empting cheating in your classes.

Forget about Detection Software

CDLI does not endorse or support any AI Detection software. We do not recommend making decisions regarding academic integrity based upon the outputs of AI Detection software.  While faculty can use such software, they should be aware that it is unreliable and probably won’t get much better. Not only does it regularly produce false negatives and positives, it is also very easy to beat—either by slightly altering the output, copying output from one AI text generator to another, or simply asking the AI to revise its output.

Test ChatGPT against your assignments and assessment rubrics

This will allow you to determine what AI does well and what it does not; focus your assignments on those tasks that AI has difficulty successfully completing. Evaluating AI outputs against your own rubrics or resources like the AACU VALUE rubrics will give you a good idea of AI’s limitations.

Design assignments around the higher-level educational objectives in Bloom’s taxonomy

ChatGPT excels at retrieving data, comparing and contrasting, and summarizing knowledge—tasks associated with the lower-level domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Design your assignments around the higher-level domains of analysis, evaluation, and creation. 

Use Authentic Assessment in your assignments

This goes hand-in-glove with the suggestions above. Check out Resources for Faculty on Academic Integrity for more on authentic assessment.

Require the use of resources ChatGPT cannot access

Asking students to cite or respond to an academic article behind a paywall will prevent ChatGPT from successfully completing the assignment, though it will generate remarkably authentic-sounding nonsense. Requiring them to engage with recent developments or research in your field (post-2021) will also help prevent cheating with ChatGPT.