Assessment and Academic Dishonesty

Developments in AI technology will require instructors to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to ensuring tests and assignments are resistant to being completed by AI technologies. This page will serve as a repository for ideas, strategies, and resources to help ensure students are not utilizing AI in inappropriate ways. 

Potential uses and misuses of AI: 

AI Can be a powerful tool for students and instructors alike to help with idea generation, organization, essential information. Here are some ways AI might be usful to students, as well as ways that they might use AI inappropriately. 

Potential Benefits

Potential Downsides

Brainstorming ideas for a paper topic Writing an entire paper

Creating math problems to practice with

Solving math problems for a homework assignment
Providing basic definitions or information Creating discussion posts that can be copy/pasted
Developing a study plan for an exam Answering multiple choice questions during an exam

Providing additional examples or explanations for difficult topics

Replacing the course textbook or other instructor-approved materials with potentially incorrect or incomplete information

Strategies to prevent the use of AI in your course assignments: 

In general, AI struggles when asked to make leaps of logic or fill in context when none is given. In your course, you can make assignments more specific to take advantage of this weakness in AI. 

  • Ex: Instead of: "Compare and contrast the definitions of Nominal GDP and Real GDP", consider: "Compare and contrast the definitions of Nominal GDP and Real GDP using examples from our in-class discussions". 
  • Ex: Instead of: "Discuss Piaget's theory of Cognitive Development", consider "Discuss Piaget's theory of Cognitive Development using specific references from our class textbook". 

Additionally, AI technologies are often not trained on current events or personal information of students. This can be used to customize assignments for students. 

  • Ex: Instead of "A hiker leaves at 7 A.M. and travels at a speed of 1 mph to the top of a mountain. Another hiker leaves at 8 AM and travels at a speed of 1.5 mph to the top of the same mountain. Assuming the trail is 12 miles long, which hiker will arrive first?", consider: "Create a word problem describing how you and a friend travel to the same place. How fast are you traveling? How fast is your friend traveling? What is the distance between you and the place you are traveling to? Which one of you will arrive first?" 
  • Ex: Instead of: "Describe a famous object in great detail" consider "Describe an important object to you in great detail. What makes it important to you?" 

While an AI text generator may be able to answer questions like the above, lack of specificity and/or irrelevant information will often indicate that it was not written by a student.

Strategies to prevent the use of AI in exams: 

  • Frequently change up exam questions to prevent them from entering into AI databases
  • Use Zoom or similar technology to proctor online exams (note: students will need a webcam). See the tips for online proctoring webpage for more information. 
  • Require students to demonstrate a skill that cannot be AI-generated as part of their exam. 
  • Consider holding the exam in-person on one of the COCC campuses- contact your department admin to book a room. 

What do do if you suspect a student is using AI to cheat: 

1. If you suspect cheating of any kind in your course, use the COCC incident report form to report the suspected incident. 

2. You may use any number of AI detection software to try to determine how much of a text or image has been AI-generated. However, keep in mind the following: 

  • AI detection software can lag behind AI generators, meaning that they may not always be reliable. 
  • AI detection software may flag some writing as having been written by AI when it in fact was not. This can be especially true for writers who may not have English as their first language or who have limited vocabulary in English.