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Artificial Intelligence

This guide is created for the UMGC community, with resources and information about Artificial Intelligence that can help students, faculty, and the greater community.

AI Literacy

Below are guidelines and tips for becoming "AI literate"--that is, gaining skills that enable you to use AI effectively, ethically, safely, and in a way that supports your learning.

In general, if you do use AI for any of your UMGC classwork, please keep these important considerations in mind: 

Be open and honest about your use of AI 

If you use an AI tool like ChatGPT for classroom work, acknowledge it, so that your professor knows. 

For example, if you use ChatGPT to draft a classroom discussion post for you, add a statement like this to the post, so you’re completely transparent about having used AI: “I used ChatGPT to write a first draft of this post. I critically evaluated the accuracy of ChatGPT’s draft, verifying facts and ideas, then I largely rewrote the AI draft in my own words and phrases.” 

If needed, you can even cite an AI tool like ChatGPT in your reference list for a writing assignment. Here are guidelines: APAMLAChicago.

Verify AI content 

AI tools like ChatGPT are imperfect. They are known to create content that simply isn’t true. 

If you use AI to generate a piece of writing for you, you have to critically evaluate everything that it wrote. Use a search engine like Google to check any facts or ideas generated by AI. 

The one thing you can never do is simply put a prompt into ChatGPT for a classroom assignment, then copy and paste the AI-created content and submit it to your professor as is. That is the opposite of the kind of engaged, active learning that helps students grow intellectually. When AI does the work for you, you miss out on the learning, which can have repercussions for your future classes and career.

If you use AI, think of it as an assistant who’s efficient but not a real expert on the subject matter. You have to carefully check what AI wrote before using it as a starting point for your work. 

Add your own research and ideas

Even if you acknowledge that you used ChatGPT and checked the content's truthfulness, you cannot (as stated above) simply turn in the ChatGPT content as your entire assignment. Use ChatGPT as a basis for classwork--for example, ask ChatGPT for good research topics, or have it help you create an outline for a paper--but do not use ChatGPT for an assignment without adding your own research and ideas.

ChatGPT can help you, but the essential, meaningful core of any paper or other assignment is your work and your thought, not whatever fundamental elements you prompted ChatGPT for.

Don’t overshare with AI 

ChatGPT and other AI tools are like any other website where you type in information. Be careful to keep your personal information safe. Use a secure computer network when interacting with AI so that hackers cannot intercept information. And never type in sensitive, personal information when you query AI. For example, if you use ChatGPT to research Social Security, don’t type in your own SSN!  


The UMGC library used ChatGPT to help write this section on AI Literacy! We typed in the prompt, "Write 2-3 paragraphs on how college students can ethically and safely use ChatGPT for research and writing.” ChatGPT responded with a brief essay that pointed out the three salient guidelines above: be open and honest, verify, don’t overshare. The library checked the accuracy of what ChatGPT wrote, and then we rewrote it extensively in our own words and phrases. We also included additional ideas, facts, and examples. 

Considerations when Using AI Tools

When we are doing research online, we need to think critically about the sources we use and if we want to build our research off these sources. Here are some questions we ask ourselves:

  • How relevant is this to my research?
  • Who/what published this? When was it published? 
  • Why was this published?
  • Where did the information in here come from? 

We also must ask ourselves questions when using AI software tools. The LibrAIry has created the ROBOT test to consider when using AI technology.







  • How reliable is the information available about the AI technology?
  • If it’s not produced by the party responsible for the AI, what are the author’s credentials or bias?
  • If it is produced by the party responsible for the AI, how much information are they making available? 
    • Is information only partially available due to trade secrets?
    • How biased is the information that they produce?


  • What is the goal or objective of the use of AI?
  • What is the goal of sharing information about it?
    • To inform?
    • To convince?
    • To find financial support?


  • What could create bias in the AI technology?
  • Are there ethical issues associated with this?
  • Are bias or ethical issues acknowledged?
    • By the source of information?
    • By the party responsible for the AI?
    • By its users?


  • Who is the owner or developer of the AI technology?
  • Who is responsible for it?
    • Is it a private company?
    • The government?
    • A think tank or research group?
  • Who has access to it?
  • Who can use it?


  • Which subtype of AI is it?
  • Is the technology theoretical or applied?
  • What kind of information system does it rely on?
  • Does it rely on human intervention? 


This guide was created by Julie Harding and Robert Miller, UMGC Library. 

Parts of this guide are adapted (with changes) or reused from a guide created by Bronte Chiang at the University of Calgary. The University of Calgary guide is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

References on this page:

Hervieux, S., & Wheatley, A. (2020). The ROBOT test [Evaluation tool]. The LibrAIry.