Using Artificial Intelligence Ethically and Responsibly: Best Practices in Higher Education

Using Artificial Intelligence Ethically and Responsibly: Best Practices in Higher Education

DOI: 10.4018/979-8-3693-0205-7.ch002
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


Within the 21st century technology explosion, higher education is facing its greatest challenge to managing students' ethical conduct in completing course assignments. This challenge, known as artificial intelligence (AI), is also one of higher education's greatest assets. This chapter will introduce AI, explain its tools and resources, and its positive contribution to education. It will also identify how students are using chatbot resources unethically, which has become a topic of concern for faculty, with the increased usage and inability to detect plagiarism. The chapter will also explain how faculty education in AI can promote the positive aspects of AI innovation and at the same time help to mitigate student ethical issues. The chapter will showcase an actual course redesign using AI best practices. Finally, the chapter will identify future research needed to explore how AI innovations partnered with course design can increase student learning while ensuring attention to ethical standards.
Chapter Preview


Artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of a chatbot is a powerful change agent that bolsters a human’s capacity to solve complex problems (Abdous, 2023). AI tools such as ChatGPT, BingAI, and Chatsonic, to name a few, are freely available with a simple search on Google. Chatbots provide ease in conducting research and help to automate tasks. However, these resources, without the proper understanding and usage parameters, can also put academic integrity at risk (Honorlock, 2023). In a recent BestColleges survey, 43% of undergraduate students surveyed use AI tools, and over half of those students (51%) admit to using AI tools specifically for cheating. Also identified in the survey was the lack of faculty engagement in discussing AI resources with their students about how to utilize them to avoid cheating (Welding, 2023).

Chatbot resources are born from AI, based on algorithms, and are considered the best of current emerging technology. The main benefit for higher education students when using chatbots is the ability to simulate a human’s response to any question using AI resources found in machine learning, natural language understanding, and natural language processing (Shweta, 2022). Chatbots provide positive results for timely completion of assignments, but since AI output is not always reliable and students are copying and pasting without revision, plagiarism is cited as a critical problem and a chief outcome of college students’ use of AI technology.

This chapter will explain how, instead of prohibiting the use of AI tools, educators become proficient in understanding how to utilize these tools to support student learning outcomes, especially since AI resources offer strategies that improve cognitive ability and promote interactive learning (“How ChatGPT and Other AI Tools Can Maximize the Learning Potential,” 2023; Liu et al., 2022). The use of these tools also provides faculty with a professional development opportunity to recognize and appreciate the value of AI technology and increase their skill in course design and course execution. Faculty who understands and embrace AI innovation offer their students a better learning opportunity that is applicable to real world applications and be able to provide insights into the importance of ethical behavior. According to Stachowicz and Amann (2020), to successfully use AI for positive outcomes for students and faculty, educators must “rethink, retrain, and redesign” (p 1).

This chapter has four objectives:

  • Introducing AI in the form of chatbots and explaining its practical applications in higher education.

  • Providing information on the rise of plagiarism on college campuses, how AI has contributed to the problem, and explaining how bolstering ethics training can act as a solution to deter cheating practices.

  • Demonstrating the use of best practices in applying AI resources to an actual redesign of a higher education course.

  • Identifying research needed going forward to add to the literature on how to evaluate and validate best practices in integrating AI into course design and to educate the students on the ethical principles involved in plagiarism.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Learning Management System (LMS): A digital learning platform used to manage course requirements.

Pandemic: COVID 19 epidemic that forced the closing of all academic institutions for in class instruction. All course work was moved to the online environment.

ChatGPT: An AI chatbot brand that mimics human responses.

ChatBot: A computer software program that simulates human conversations.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL): An approach to teaching that affirms the need for equality for all students when accessing educational materials, and includes accommodations for learning style, culture, and disabilities.

Turnitin: Software that higher education institutions use to check for ethical violations in writing assignments.

Institutional Review Board: A peer group that reviews research studies to ensure that they meet ethical standards, follow institutional procedures, and protect all participants from harm.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: