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Washington State University
Washington State University Office of the Provost

PoliciesDetecting and Reporting Misconduct related to Generative AI

For instructors who wish to prohibit or limit its use, consider the following:

  1. Clearly communicate your AI policy. The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) covers AI as an academic integrity matter. Though the WAC is cited in WSU’s approved syllabus statement on academic integrity and students are expected to know what constitutes academic misconduct, the WAC does not explicitly mention the use of AI. We recommend that instructors avoid relying on the WAC to do the work of communicating their AI policy.Because the WAC doesn’t explicitly mention AI, and given the rapid evolution of AI and conflicting policies among instructors, we recommend that each instructor develop a clear and explicit policy regarding the (un)acceptable use of AI in their class. We also recommend reiterating the policy often in a variety of ways, and consider including the policy in assignment or verbal instructions in addition to the syllabus statement.
  2. Choices to violate academic integrity are complicated. Students engage in academic dishonesty for a variety of reasons. Students worry about their GPAs and have anxieties about their academic performance. The pressure to maintain GPAs for scholarships, for financial aid eligibility, to please their families, and for self-worth may lead students to take the risk of engaging in academic dishonesty over facing consequences like receiving a bad grade on an assignment or failing the course.
    Some students may engage in academic dishonesty because they have not yet learned how to manage their time and are still adjusting to college. Undergraduates may be balancing responsibilities to their families and working alongside attending school. Even students who are skilled at time management can find these competing responsibilities daunting. In high-stakes assignments, especially those without scaffolded check-in steps, students might procrastinate or feel unsure how to begin or complete the assignment. In a panic and under pressure to meet a deadline, students might make a poor decision to plagiarize and/or use unauthorized assistance.
    The possibility of academic dishonesty is best handled by proactive teaching and providing students with opportunities to develop and use authentic and appropriate strategies and processes throughout the semester. Connecting students with resources the university offers to support student learning can also reduce the likelihood of academic dishonesty.

Generative AI has prompted a discussion about the ethics of its use in education, with many instructors viewing it as a violation of academic integrity. Using Chat GPT or other AI text generators isn’t necessarily cheating or academically dishonest. Brainstorming, early research, revision guidance, editing, and so on are all areas in which AI might be used as a tool to support student learning. But there will be instances when some students might misuse AI or otherwise go against explicit instructions to not use AI.

Detection of AI-generated text is evolving. There are concerns with this detection software, include potential bias against non-native English writers and accuracy concerns. AI detectors are also known to produce both false positives and false negatives. This inconsistency creates challenges with the credibility of flagged text and impacts the weight that can be given to AI detection reports as evidence in an academic integrity case. Additionally, submitting work to AI detectors that aren’t institutionally reviewed creates potential privacy concerns. Turnitin does have a built in AI detector as part of Canvas. Currently, each faculty member needs to weigh those considerations and then determine if it is more likely than not, based on the evidence available, that the student violated course policy.

If an instructor chooses to Turnitin to identify the unauthorized use of generative AI, we recommend that the instructor develop an explicit plan for and communicate how they will use the detection tools to identify possible academic misconduct and carry out this plan as specified.

If an instructor suspects the unauthorized use of AI, we recommend consulting with the Center for Community Standards for additional information about evaluating your concern and reporting it. Additionally, the Center for Community Standards requires that an attempt to meet with the student to discuss the concerns be made prior to submitting an academic integrity report.

Violations of the academic integrity policies must be reported to the Center for Community Standards. If a faculty member suspects that a student mis-used artificial intelligence, they must:

  • Gather the evidence and notify the student of the date and nature of the allegations
  • Make a reasonable attempt to meet with the student
  • Submit a report with all documentation to the Center for Community Standards

After meeting with the student, if the instructor finds that it is more likely than not that an academic integrity violation occurred, they must submit a report to the Center for Community Standards. The Center for Community Standards provides the student an opportunity to appeal the instructor’s decision to the Academic Integrity Hearing Board. If a student appeals their instructor’s decision to find them responsible for an academic integrity violation, the instructor will be invited to attend the Academic Integrity Hearing Board. The Center for Community Standards highly recommends that instructors attend to provide the hearing board information about their decision-making process and how they established the expectations for the course. The most up to date information about the reporting process can be found here: