How to Teach in a Brave New World of AI - for Non-Techies

Ian Hartley


May 18, 2023

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At the same time last year, we were still concerned about COVID-19 in classrooms, and would have never expected that widespread use of AI could be something on the near-term horizon. Now - everything is different, and ChatGPT, Bard, and a variety of other AI tools are being used rampantly by students to complete assignments - whether educators like it or not. While the lack of apparent solutions for educators to create and enforce policies that delineate when AI is acceptable and when it is not acceptable to use on assignments, has created a 'if you can't beat them, join them' mentality that suggests we must upend the entire pedagogy and deeply integrate AI into our classroom, we believe that the existence of AI shouldn't come at the cost of our full and robust human education.

To give an analogy, the existence of powerful scientific calculators (shout out to our colleagues at Texas Instruments) doesn't mean that we should stop teaching how mathematics are done by hand. Likewise, the existence of powerful AI language models, could be compared to an 'english calculator', and doesn't mean that we should stop teaching how essays are written without the use of these calculators. Instead, there are assignments where calculators are permitted, and where they are not permitted. And, just like scientific calculators, 'english calculators' have the potential to provide learning assistance and empower students to learn more, faster. Instructors must create academic policies that make clear when AI can, and cannot be used, and must be empowered with the tools to enforce these policies.

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We've often written about the reason why 'detector' tools like Turnitin or GPTZero don't actually work despite their claims, and cause more harm than good. However, 'prevention' tools like Authoriginal create a simple and convenient writing experience that has no loopholes to use AI, regardless of how good AI gets. Our free tier is designed to get the solution into educators hands as quickly as possible. If you want to learn more about Authoriginal, send us an email at, or fill out one of the lead forms on our site, and someone will be in touch shortly.

A policy that you cannot enforce is as good as no policy at all. But, once you have a solution that allows you to enforce a policy, what should the policy be? There are a variety of thoughts on the topic, and an active discussion, ranging all the way from educators who believe that no AI should be used on anything in the classroom at all, to those educators who believe that AI should be used on everything. Finding what's right for your class often goes back to identifying what your educational goals are for the class. For an english or writing specific course, maybe it's the english and grammar that you aim to focus on teaching. For a history course, or the humanities, maybe it's both. Understanding what's important about your class can help you identify where AI can be responsibly used by students.

Any policy should consider ethics and equity in using AI in the classroom, as some students are more technologically literate than others and have more access to technology both in and out of the classroom. Allowing the use of AI on an assignment may unfairly benefit those students who are able to use AI, often those students who come from a more affluent socioeconomic background and have more access to and familiarity with technology. While school computer and Chromebook programs have done a lot to level the playing field for technological literacy, it's important to remember that just because a student has a computer, doesn't mean that their home environment allows for private time to explore and use this technology. Likewise, schools that see 'banning' ChatGPT or other AI systems from their school computers with on-device software are unfairly benefitting students who have multiple computers at their home. Another example of inequity caused by policies, can be seen with 'detector' tools like Turnitin or GPTZero, which can be accessed by anyone - including students. Technologically savvy students will write their essay with AI, and scan it with Turnitin or GPTZero and make edits prior to submission to ensure that it isn't flagged - and that's even if the detector was able to successfully flag it in the first place. This phenomenon is more an indictment of the 'detector' tools in general, but also demonstrates how policies must be designed with equity in mind.

Educators must create policies that structure how AI can be used in the classroom, and these policies must be enforceable, and equitable. Using detector tools, or not having a policy that is enforceable (i.e. the 'do nothing' strategy) create significant equity concerns and potential for a great deal of learning loss. Meanwhile, the noble pursuit of changing the pedagogy to deliver education that is immune from the powers of AI, is something that will likely take a great deal of time to materialize and standardize, if it is even possible. Authoriginal is the first of the 'prevention' tools which create an even playing field for everyone and empower instructors to set any policy they like surrounding how AI can be used in the classroom. Reach out to us to learn more at, or fill out one of the lead forms on our site and someone will be in touch soon!

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