Academic Integrity,  Assessment and Evaluation,  Generative AI

ChatGPT and Academic Misconduct Regulations

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) text generator that has been trained on data sets of mind-boggling size.  It produces apparently “original” and coherent text responses in what is referred to as natural language. Tools of this kind have been in use in a range of sectors and have been on the radar of writing, technology, and academic integrity experts for at least two years.  The ChatGPT functionality and its open availability have leapt ahead in public awareness and reaction since November 30, 2022.

If you haven’t yet heard about ChatGPT, to find out more and to try it, go hereExperiment with the tool, including putting in some of your exam questions or essay prompts.

Use of the tool has many educators concerned about their assessments and the potential for academic misconduct.

Here are some relevant sections of the USask academic misconduct regulations to take note of and some advice for USask instructors to consider:


Unpermitted Assistance?

  • See p. 6, point g (i)
    • “Failure to observe any stated rule with regard to the procedures used in an examination, assessment, or an activity undertaken for academic credit where such a failure could result in the student gaining relatively greater credit”

ADVICE for instructors:

    • Make all the tools that are not permitted crystal clear; list them for students
    • Explain your reasoning


Missing or inadequate attribution? (i.e. plagiarism)

  • See p. 7, point l
    • “Adequate attribution is required. What is essential is that another person have no doubt which words or research results are the student’s and which are drawn from other sources. Full explicit acknowledgement of the source of the material is required”
  • See p. 7, point l (ii)
    • “The verbatim use of oral or written material without adequate attribution”

ADVICE for instructors:

    • Provide a format that you will accept as appropriate attribution or acknowledgement for text or answers created by artificial intelligence.
    • Clearly extend plagiarism beyond text created by a human being to include text generated by artificial intelligence.



Be aware that students get a range of instructions about academic misconduct and academic integrity from educators that reflect the contexts of the course, the discipline, the teacher.  Different instructors and programs and assessments have different requirements and expectations.  This can be confusing for students.

ADVICE for instructors:

    • Always be clear and provide examples of what you want and what you do not want.
    • Welcome students’ questions about academic integrity expectations as honest inquiries about rules in your context.