As a pioneer and national leader in engaged and experiential learning, Elon University prepares ethical, resilient, and agile graduates who are active and responsible citizens who shape the future. In line with our mission, we recognize the importance of equipping our students with the necessary skills to embrace technology for enhanced learning and engagement in their personal, professional, and civic lives. Generative AI technologies hold immense potential for accelerating the co-creation of knowledge, enhancing effectiveness and efficiency. However, they can also introduce novel challenges to student engagement; pedagogy design and assessments; diversity, equity, and inclusion concerns; ethical considerations; and honor code expectations.

The decision to incorporate these technologies into teaching and learning is at the discretion of the Elon faculty. While some faculty members may choose to utilize generative AI in their instruction in select instances, others may opt to refrain from its use. It is the responsibility of faculty to make their course policies clear and explicit and to discuss them openly with students. It is the responsibility of students to adhere to the guidelines established by their faculty. Employing the output of these technologies in violation of the policy set by the faculty will be considered a violation of the academic integrity policies of the Elon University honor code.

Elon University AI Principles

  • The use of AI at Elon should begin with the primacy of human health, well-being, dignity, safety, privacy and security.
  • The use of AI is appropriate and effective in some applications and inappropriate and ineffective in others. Faculty should decide whether, when and how AI should be used in courses and clearly communicate those boundaries to students. Staff should incorporate the use of AI in their work with full awareness and support of their supervisors. In all situations intellectual honesty and transparency about the use of AI is paramount.
  • We see AI as a tool to enrich and enhance teaching, learning, creativity and human development. We believe the role of AI should be to augment, not fully replace the vital human relationships between teachers and learners, or within groups of peer learners.
  • We see digital and AI literacy as an essential part of an Elon education. Since AI is a multidisciplinary field, students should learn about AI’s intersections with philosophy and ethics, social sciences, health sciences, business, communications, government and legal studies, creative arts and many other fields. We should strive to help learners gain critical thinking and analysis skills appropriate for functioning in an AI-assisted world, including concepts such as social responsibility and citizenship, information literacy, how AI might reinforce human bias and discrimination, its implications for personal privacy, intellectual property and the ways it can abet deception through fraud and fakery.
  • Everyone in our community should have the opportunity to access and engage with AI systems, including physical access as well the skills and capability to use these systems efficiently and equitably.
  • AI systems used at Elon should never compromise the privacy of students’ personal information. While AI systems may be utilized, faculty and staff should maintain a primary role in the evaluation of students’ learning progress, behaviors and outcomes.
  • AI systems used at Elon should be transparent and neutral – they should disclose the positionality of their data and models and should not manipulate learning processes in unethical, deceptive or subliminal ways.
  • The use of AI in research must be done within the bounds of rigorous ethical standards. Researchers should take all necessary steps to understand the likely benefits of AI-enabled research, the limits that should be imposed on its application, and the risks (known and unknown) and potential negative consequences that might emerge from these technologies.