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New Year, New Opportunities

Center for Instruction and Research Technology

As we usher in a new year, I find myself reflecting on the profound impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) has had on education. Last year, we witnessed AI’s remarkable ability to transform teaching methodologies and learning processes, from personalized learning algorithms to AI-assisted research tools. Alongside these impressive innovations, we’ve also faced new challenges, particularly in maintaining academic integrity and redefining our traditional views of teaching and learning. These developments have necessitated reconsidering how we uphold and enforce academic standards in an AI-integrated environment. In response, my New Year’s resolution is to maintain an open mind and foster thoughtful engagement with these transformative technologies, focusing on preserving the integrity of our academic practices.

As we navigate the new digital era, I am resolute in approaching the integration of AI in education with a blend of curiosity, openness, and a commitment to responsible and thoughtful use.

The emergence of AI detection tools like Turnitin’s AI Detection feature, ZeroGPT, and Copyleaks marks a significant development in our ongoing adaptation to AI. These tools, promising high accuracy in identifying AI-generated text, have generated interest and skepticism. Our analysis at CIRT indicates a more complex scenario. While innovative, these tools are not without flaws, often yielding false positives and negatives. This revelation aligns with UNF’s cautious stance on AI-detection tools, recognizing the significant risk of inaccuracies and reaffirming that they are not yet reliable enough to be the sole arbiters of academic integrity.

For 2024, my resolution, echoing UNF’s perspective, is to advocate for a balanced approach towards AI in academia. I see AI detection tools as gateways to crucial conversations, not as definitive indicators of academic honesty. This approach involves engaging faculty and students in dialogues about ethical AI usage and its implications for academic work. By starting these discussions, we aim to navigate the appropriate use of technology in education, promoting an environment that values integrity and critical engagement with emerging technologies.

CIRT, in collaboration with various UNF units such as ITS, the Dean of Students, the Office of Faculty Excellence, the Writing Program & Center, and CIRT’s Instructional Design team, is working to develop comprehensive responses to the challenges posed by AI and AI-detection tools. This collaboration focuses on creating informed guidelines for UNF instructors, ensuring our approach to AI in education is thoughtful and practical.

We also provide resources to help faculty navigate this evolving technology landscape. Faculty members are encouraged to review materials from leading institutions like the University of Missouri and engage with their department’s Instructional Design Liaison for insights into new assessment strategies that consider student/AI collaboration. In cases of suspected Academic Misconduct, the Dean of Students remains a vital resource for support and guidance.

As we navigate the new digital era, I am resolute in approaching the integration of AI in education with a blend of curiosity, openness, and a commitment to responsible and thoughtful use. I encourage all to explore how AI can enhance instruction, ensuring our journey with this technology is grounded in understanding, meaningful dialogue, and ethical responsibility.

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Center for Instruction and Research Technology
Rozy Parlette
Rozy Parlette
CIRT | Director
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