What are McMaster University’s plans for the use of AI in education?
New university task force works on clearer protocols around use of AI tools in the classroom, provides provisional guidelines ahead of the fall semester
The recent rise in generative artificial intelligence use has pushed universities to address the lack definitive and researched protocols for its use in the classroom.
On May 1, 2023, the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Excellence in Teaching launched their Generative Artificial Intelligence in Teaching and Learning Task Force. The task force’s goal is to better understand the impact of generative AI through an educational lens and develop recommendations for policies around its use for at McMaster University.
"Task Force members representing all six Faculties included faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, staff and senior administrators. The efforts of this diverse group of experts are summarized in a Final Report. . .The Final Report will also include recommendations for continued work across all areas of the University, which may include research, teaching and learning and staff work,” said Kim Dej and Matheus Grasselli, co-chairs of the task force, in a written statement.
On Sept. 10, they will submit their recommendations to Susan Tighe, provost and vice president (academic), after which they will undergo further review before being released.
Until this is completed the provisional guidelines have been released by the university to help guide the use of generative AI in the meantime.
As McMaster prepares to release its specific policies and guide for generative AI, everyone is encouraged to use the provisional guidelines and resources provided on the Generative Artificial Intelligence in Teaching and Learning website.
Transparency is at the core of these guidelines. Instructors are permitted to integrate generative AI tools, such as Chat GPT, into their courses, if they so choose, but they must communicate clearly with their students the extent to which these tools will be and are permitted to be used.
When it comes to student work and assessments, while instructors are again permitted to integrate generative AI tools into these tasks, unless told otherwise, students should operate with the assumption that the use of these tools is not permitted.
If members of the McMaster educational community have any comments or concerns about the Provisional Guideline provided and future guidelines they are encouraged to share through the task forces form.