“Writing is thinking” asserts compositionist John Warner in a 2023 column on AI in Inside Higher Ed. “If text is produced without thinking, that’s not writing. That’s something else.” 

If you agree with Warner, it follows that the best way to respond to the rise of generative AI may be to continue or expand the use of common practices in writing pedagogy. As Warner notes, “The route to thinking is rooted in process and experience, rather than forms and artifacts,” and so too are best practices in writing  pedagogy—for example, teaching writing as an iterative, interactive process and asking students to regularly reflect on their writing experiences. Process and experience are also central to recent developments in writing pedagogy such as labor-based writing assessment and other alternative approaches to grading

At the same time, writing instructors need to be aware of and adapt to new writing technologies–and help students do the same. The wide availability of generative AI tools may require us to learn and teach the rhetorical skills necessary for effective prompt creation. It may provoke us to teach collaboration and information literacy in new ways and to engage new ethical questions around language difference and power with our students. The resources collected here offer ideas for teaching about and with generative AI in the BU writing classroom. All of these resources focus on process, experience, and critical thinking. Instructors will learn alongside students, and we’ll need to revisit these suggestions as the technologies continue to evolve.

Teaching Students About AI-Mediated Writing

Teaching recommendations to help orient students to generative AI and college writing, including to the CAS Writing Program’s current guidelines for authorized uses

Generative AI & Writing Assignment Design

Guidance on crafting assignments that discourage AI use or incorporate AI and on responding to unauthorized uses of AI for writing

Teaching Writing with Generative AI

Ideas for using generative AI to teach language, peer review, information literacy, genre awareness, argumentation, and more

For more information and teaching ideas, we recommend Vee, Laquintano,  & Schnitzler’s open-source collection TextGenEd: Teaching with Text Generation Technologies, published by the WAC Clearinghouse.

Recommendations for further reading are available at The MLA-CCCC’s Quick Start Guide to AI and Writing.

If you have an AI-related idea or resource you’d like to share, please complete the following form.

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