- Frequently asked questions about ChatGPT for USask Instructors -

Click on the questions below to expand the accordion for more information.

11 FAQs - Last updated Aug 30, 2023

ChatGPT is a tool that is a form of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) that was released in November 2022.  It uses “large language models” and predictive technology to create and revise written products of many kinds. GenAI tools are producing increasingly coherent responses that are difficult to distinguish from those produced by people.  

Currently, ChatGPT 3.5 is free and accessed as a “research preview.”  Subscription models have been introduced that provide access to more advanced features in ChatGPT 4.

Read these Educatus articles: 

   Recommendations for ethical use of artificial intelligence 

   Need to learn more about ChatGPT? 

To use the ChatGPT service, you are required to set up an account with personal information such as an email address and phone number.
Input to ChatGPT is not protected by the Privacy Policy or the Terms of Use, and is used in providing and maintaining the service. This may mean that it is used in providing output to others. You should not enter personal, confidential, or proprietary information as input.   
Inputting any substantial amount of copyrighted text into ChatGPT could constitute a copyright infringement if done without permission of the copyright owner.  
The copyright status of AI-generated content is currently unclear. While many copyright scholars posit that the output cannot be protected by copyright, the ChatGPT Terms of Use include requirements and restrictions for use of the output (implying somewhat that it is copyright-protected). Further, output from the service could contain copyright-infringed text. The users of ChatGPT are responsible for the output and ensuring it does not violate any applicable law.

ChatGPT can be accessed via the website  (Direct:

If you’d rather not interact with the tool directly, you can search for demos on YouTube, including those more specific to your discipline or assessment types. 

If you want to test it,

  • Try out the questions you might use on assignments or exams, see how well it does.
  • Interact with it and imagine you are a student in your course needing clarification on a key concept or topic. See how well it responds to a series of related questions.
  • Try it for your own work needs and personal interests.
Current limitations that have been noted include the following:
  • Some inaccuracy--but it does make things sound/read as factual including when it has the facts slightly or completely wrong.
  • Begins to repeat itself in longer responses and lacks “voice”.
  • Biased content in that it has been trained on content that contains bias and cannot distinguish or make decisions about appropriateness.
  • Citation of sources can be incomplete, unreliable, or fabricated (also called hallucinations).
This tool and those like it will only get better.

This depends on what an instructor has indicated the authorized forms of assistance are and how a student presents the authorship of the assessments they submit.

See the USask syllabus tools, template and guide for suggested language related to permitted and unpermitted uses of GenAI. 
Some relevant sections of the USask Academic Misconduct Regulations

   - Regarding unauthorized/unpermitted assistance: [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”

   - Regarding plagiarism: [P. 7, point l] States that plagiarism is

“the presentation of the work or idea of another in such a way as to give others the impression that it is the work or ideas of the presenter.   

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." 

  •  And, specifically, one example of plagiarism appears (ii) 
“The verbatim use of oral or written material without adequate attribution”  


Read these Educatus articles:

   Make your “ChatGPT” and other artificial intelligence expectations clear

   ChatGPT and Academic Misconduct Regulations

It has been widely agreed in the international research community that no GenAI or other large language model tool, including ChatGPT, will be accepted as a credited author on a research or scholarly paper. This agreement has been reached on the basis that authorship carries accountability for the work, and tools like ChatGPT cannot take such responsibility. 
You could take this opportunity to teach students about authorship practices in your discipline, field, or profession.

Instructors working with student researchers using GenAI tools should advise them to document this use in the methods or acknowledgements sections. If a paper does not include these sections, the introduction or another appropriate section can be used to document the use.   
Check with journals commonly referenced in your field. Journals and disciplinary communities are taking positions on ChatGPT that may be informative.

The American Psychological Association (APA), the Modern Language Association (MLA), and the Chicago Manual of Style have all provided recommendations in this area.  

You could take this opportunity to learn about any new expectations along with your students and to model appropriate responses to a shifting technology landscape in the discipline, field or profession.

Educators are making intentional use of ChatGPT in their teaching and assessment.   

You may find strategies are being shared in your specific disciplinary communities.  

If you use ChatGPT in your course, do provide an alternative to setting up an account for students who do not want to share their email or phone number with a third-party service.  An alternative, depending on how you are permitting students to use ChatGPT, is to provide them with the text from the tool directly.   


Read this Educatus article:  Will you allow ChatGPT? 
Plus, 8 Ways to Engage AI Writers in Higher Education, shared by McKnight (October, 2022). 
And, for even more ideas about how to use ChatGPT, see this resource.

  • Require students to complete the new module on Understanding GenAI in the Academic Integrity Tutorial - Read this Educatus article, New Module on GenAI added  
  • Teach students about appropriate use. Show them exactly what you permit it to be used for and what you do not. Encourage students to ask you questions. 
  • Set up more assessments to be completed in class and using in-class groups. This reduces the likelihood of access to unauthorized assistance of many kinds.
  • Ask for a first draft or scaffold the sections of major assignments to be submitted in stages.  This helps students with their time management and may prevent last-minute academic misconduct of many kinds. 
  • Explain the shortcomings of ChatGPT and the learning-centred and ethical reasons you want their process and product for assessment to represent what they have learned, not what ChatGPT can do.

Experts are agreeing that these tools are increasingly undetectable.

At this point, the use of artificial intelligence detectors on student work continues to be discouraged. The quality of detectors has not been demonstrated and there are issues related to their capacity to keep pace with advancements.  

Important: If you, as the instructor, do not acquire permission from each student for submitting their work to AI or plagiarism detectors, doing so could be a copyright infringement issue and/or a violation of the University's Use of Materials Protected by Copyright. Further, the usefulness of detection tools as evidence for academic misconduct proceedings is likely to be limited.

To detect ChatGPT, watch for the kind of limitations noted in FAQ #4. Talk with students about what you observe in their assignments.


Read these Educatus articles:

Yes, there are many and more all the time. 

This website provides information on thousands of artificial intelligence tools in over 50 categories and updates the list daily. Most days, the site adds 20 or more tools to its lists. 

For example, Perplexity is a GenAI chat tool with a powerful search engine, where ChatGPT 3.5 does not searchPerplexity has the ability to produce references more reliably than ChatGPT.  

If you do not permit ChatGPT, you would be wise to familiarize yourself with other GenAI tools you may want to identify to students for similar reasons.


Support and Help

For teaching support, contact:

For advice on suspected academic misconduct,

  • see the USask Regulations on Student Academic Misconduct
  • contact administrators in the College of the course you are teaching. This contact person is often the Associate Dean, but may also be a faculty designate or staff person who manages academic misconduct processes.
For more in terms of scholarly and practitioner conversations in Canada: 

Directing students to support: