Information on using Generative Artificial Intelligence Tools (GAIT), such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, to support your studies.
What is the University’s position on GAIT?
The University is committed to taking a positive, educational approach to the use of GAIT as part of the teaching, learning and assessment activities you undertake. It aims to support the use of such tools – seeing their value as a useful aid to learning and their potential to enhance your educational experience and employability - while also maintaining the high academic standards and integrity of our assessments and awards.
In some modules and assessments, your module leader may permit the use of GAIT or even set tasks and assignments where using these tools is part of the challenge. Don’t use GAIT unless you have been told by your module leader that you can. If you’re unsure, check with them beforehand.
What are the risks of using GAIT as part of my studies?
AI systems lack understanding, reasoning and may produce inaccurate or biased content. They generate responses by identifying patterns in their training data, not through deep understanding. So, while they may seem intelligent, their results can be flawed, and they cannot replace human critical thinking and analysis. The key risks of using AI are:
•These tools store and learn from information submitted to them. Do not input personal or sensitive information as it may become publicly accessible.
•GAIT can produce content that is inaccurate or contains false information (so-called “hallucinations”) so cannot be relied upon for factual accuracy.
•They perform better in subjects which are widely written about, and less well in niche or specialist areas.
•Often the outputs of GAIT are overly general and of poor quality, so cannot be relied upon as a learning tool.
•Misleading references that are made up or out of date
•Data bias which results in the creation of material that reflects stereotypes and prejudices.
•Some systems will generate code - that code should be carefully checked before running it on University systems.
How might I use GAIT as part of my studies?
GAIT can provide helpful information and a useful starting point for your research, writing and further study. This could include:
•Beating writer’s block by using techniques like writing based on prompts, rearranging sentences, and thought mapping
•Drafting ideas, planning essays and exploring ways to structure written work in a way that allows you to easily compare all the options before deciding which you prefer
•Improving grammar and writing structure
•Producing graphics, images and visuals to support your work.
•As a resource to develop your critical analysis skills of AI generated text
•Generating, explaining, executing, debugging, and optimising code.
•Generating exam-style questions to practise.
Assessments are designed to test your learning and check you have achieved the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the module’s learning outcomes. So, while it might be OK to use GAIT to support your planning and research, it must not be used to create the assignment.
Resist the temptation to copy or shortcut assignments with GAIT; passing off GAIT content as your own work constitutes academic misconduct. This is taken very seriously, and any such misuse of GAIT would be treated as a breach of discipline, punishable by a range of sanctions.
Use GAIT as a learning tool, not an assessment writer
You’ve come to university to develop critical thinking, writing and evaluation skills; use GAIT to help you but don’t rely on them to do your work for you. Use GAIT as a starting point, not for quick answers, and focus on developing your skills so you can demonstrate that you have met each module’s learning outcomes through your assignments and exams.
Champion academic honesty
Plagiarism and cheating harm your learning and academic integrity and, more widely, damage the reputation of the University. Promote academic honesty by encouraging your peers to use the technology ethically. By prioritising integrity, we can harness AI's potential without undermining its value.
Follow guidance from staff on your modules and assessments
Follow your Module Convenor’s guidance on what tools, if any, are allowed in the context of your own assignments. If you are unsure about whether you can use GAIT, drop your Module Convenor an email.
Cite and acknowledge GAIT use as per guidance from your Module Convener.
Use of AI in a way that is not consistent with policies and guidelines can result in a finding of academic misconduct.