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Blended Learning Service


General Principles for use of Generative AI

When using AI tools and websites, please consider the following guiding principles:

  • Students should understand that it is not a replacement for developing their own skills in critical analysis, creative thinking, and rigorous research.

  • Generative AI tools produce answers that may contain social biases and stereotypes depending on the information it has access to and draws upon, as well as the prompts provided.

  • Detection of AI-generated content is possible, but difficult and not wholly reliable; the University does not currently offer a standard detection package.

  • AI tools like ChatGPT and others may be useful as a study aid, for inspiration or exploring concepts, for approaching complex tasks or content, or for supporting self-assessment and review.

  • Staff are encouraged to consider ways in which AI can be constructively used within their teaching; the Blended Learning Service can provide support where required.

  • Users should be aware of the potential privacy and data risks inherent in using tools such as these. Whether it learns directly from your input it still has access to this information and it may not be clear how it is being used.

It is important to understand the implications of generated information and proceed with caution when using outputs from these platforms without thorough analysis and critical reflection. Much like you would approach research of any other kind, users should continue to be diligent, skeptical, and validate AI output with other sources of data and information. 

Guidance for Students

Students are permitted to make appropriate use of artificial intelligence tools to support their personal study, research and formative work. Before using any AI, please check guidance provided by your Department or Faculty and discuss with your Supervisor where relevant.

A student using any unacknowledged content generated by artificial intelligence within a summative assessment as though it is their own work constitutes academic misconduct, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the assessment brief.

When using AI tools and websites, please consider the following guiding principles:

You can find out more about the University’s disciplinary procedures here.

Students are, however, permitted to use such tools for personal study, research, and a number of other scenarios, including but not limited to:

  • providing an overview of new concepts and acting as a collaborative coach to problem solve

  • reinterpreting information to present alternative ways of expressing ideas (e.g., personal lecture notes)

  • supporting time management and suggesting methods of approaching complex tasks

  • generating ideas or overcoming writer’s block assisting through design processes

  • making sense of complex information and prompting reflective questions to facilitate learning

  • dynamic self-evaluation offering structured Q&A or discussion topics to monitor own progress

Whilst we encourage students to explore how best tools such as these can support them in their own learning or personal life, you should continue to be aware of the limitations, inconsistencies, and potential biases that can exist within generative AI. It is also worth being aware of potential drawbacks from over reliance on these tools as they may limit your development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills and could cause you to miss embedded learning opportunities from independent study. 

If you are unsure about how to use it effectively for your own needs please do not hesitate to discuss with your Supervisor and, if there is any uncertainty, make sure to discuss the options for permissible use of AI with your Director of Studies or Director of Teaching.

Guidance for Staff

Generative AI and Natural Language Processing are likely to become more widely integrated in our personal and professional lives and all staff are encouraged to explore the possibilities, maintain transparent expectations for students, and above all continue to provide a supportive and discursive environment so students may make the most of these technologies whilst feeling comfortable to approach staff when questions or concerns arise. 

We understand that there are sound concerns over the potential implications the use of AI may have on academic integrity and authentic submissions of assessed work. Assessments should be designed to assess identified learning outcomes that engage higher-order skills that are currently more difficult for AI models to effectively respond to. For example, assessing a students ability to critically analyse, evaluate, and synthesise information and moving, where possible, beyond information recall and explanation. 

We do not recommend relying on AI detection software of any kind as results vary widely and are currently unproven in their effectiveness. Some reports also indicate the production of false positives leading to unnecessary investigations and further actions. Many of these may also be unverified sites which we do not have permission to share information with. 

To help you in your understanding and approach to the use of these tools, we recommend: 

  • designing assessments that test higher-order skills that are more difficult to be replicated by AI such as critical analysis and synthesis of new ideas 

  • aiming to ensure that questions asked in assessments are refreshed regularly to limit training of model answers 

  • to not rely on AI detection software as it is largely unproven and can often return unreliable results, including false positives 

  • engaging with other staff and students to understand how AI tools could be used effectively within a controlled teaching and learning context. This not only welcomes further discussion and develops trust in doing so, but can allow students to see the potential flaws and limitations further dissuading them from relying on them for submitted assignments. 

    • New networks to facilitate these conversations are being developed and details will be available here soon