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Teaching and ChatGPT

Resources to help SJSU Faculty and Teaching Assistants learn how to address ChatGPT in their classrooms and assignments.

To Adopt ChatGPT or Not?

While policies and disciplinary norms may evolve, right now the decision to embrace generative AI as a teaching and learning tool in your classroom is entirely up to you!

Here are some things to consider as you think about whether or not to incorporate the AI tool into the classroom.

Some of these were generated with ChatGPT:

Pros Cons
  • Can help students and faculty with tutoring and synthesizing complex information
  • Can be adapted to individual student needs and learning styles, allowing them to grasp concepts more effectively.
  • Can make learning more enjoyable because it is an interactive tool that engages students. 
  • Students may already be using it, and it could be a learning opportunity to show students how to think critically about the technology and apply the technology tool to the course material.
  • It may inspire creativity and help students with creative projects.
  • Raises privacy concerns: Conversations, location details, and IP addresses may be stored to improve responses and be reviewed by Open AI staff.
  • It is not a search engine. It only knows internet data that it has been trained on. 
  • Not all students have access to ChatGPT. 
  • The technology may not always be free and accessible.
  • Can produce inaccurate information and bias
  • May hinder creative thinking if students become dependent on using the tool for answers.

ChatGPT says, "Incorporating ChatGPT into education requires careful consideration of its benefits and limitations. It can be a valuable tool when used as a supplement to human instruction, helping students learn more efficiently and access information conveniently. However, it's important to balance its use with active teaching methods that encourage critical thinking, personal connection, and a holistic learning experience."

Be Clear about ChatGPT Expectations & Guidelines

Whether or not you decide to use ChatGPT, it's important to:

  • Consider Having a ChatGPT/LLM Usage Policy
  • Encourage students to disclose when they are working with ChatGPT on an assignment.
  • Have an AI use statement available for students to include it in their work if they use it. 
  • Provide students with the Ethical AI Use Checklist.
  • Most importantly, state your AI usage expectations for what the students can or can't do in regards to the technology. State whether or not you have an Open ChatGPT Policy.
  • Remind students that AI detector tools are getting better at identifying text produced by AI.

Example Assignments

  • Assign personalized assignments that require thoughtful reflection on their thoughts about the class material.
  • Assign assignments that require critical thinking skills.
  • Require analysis that draws on class discussions.
  • Require analysis of recent events. As of now ChatGPT doesn't know things after January 2022.
  • Assign in class-writing.  (Note: In-class writing, whether digital or handwritten, may have downsides for students with anxiety and disabilities).
  • Ask students to submit audio/video reflections.


  • Requiring handwritten submissions: Some students may find it difficult and limiting to write out responses.
  • Adopting surveillance tools that may be intrusive and unethical.

Sources & Additional Links:


  • Make fact-checking part of the assignment. Instruct students to verify sources and quotations suggested by ChatGPT, since ChatGPT can fabricate these sources. Require students to verify information from multiple sources and think critically about the information they are using.
  • Have students compare AI-generated text with their own text.
  • Teach students how AI tools work. ChatGPT and other upcoming Language Learning Models(LLMs), do not understand language the way that humans do. They are run by statistical models and algorithms that rely on massive amounts of internet data that they have been trained on. This is why LLMs can often mimic harmful and wrong information, misconceptions, prejudices and bias since those can also be found on the internet.
  • Teach students to develop critical awareness of AI tools, how they work and where they fail. Show examples of inaccuracy, bias, logical , and stylistic problems and discuss potential and actual harms that AI may cause.
  • Explain why accepting or perpetuating bias is wrong and can pose real-world social, intellectual, and political problems.

Sources & Additional Links: