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The use of generative AI tools in coursework

We have prepared some information and example instructions to students relating to the use of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools that teachers can adapt for their course.

From the Education Office’s bulletin, read the University’s response to the emergence of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools in education. AI is moving at a fast pace so please consider that these suggestions are a moment in time.

What you should know

AI is here to stay, Prof Michael Witbrock (NAOInstitute) says we are still in early days of Artificial Intelligence, the output of LLM like ChatGPT gives no reflection or reconsideration to output but many Labs are working on far more complex reasoning, including scientific and legal reasoning. AI systems are going to become more competent quite rapidly.

There is no right answer or model for the use of generative AI tools. Each discipline and course is different and will need to decide how and what the best use of AI is.

Jason Lodge et al., suggests six options for redesigning assessment with two options, embrace and rethink being viable for the medium to long term.

Students will need to understand how to use AI for future employment, it has been suggested that AI may not replace a role but a person with AI skills will. Consider how AI is being used in the workplace and bring those skills into the course for students to learn.

AI will adapt and improve the more we use it. The language that it produces currently lacks human emotion or rationality. It can appear to reflect human thinking and therefore it is important to have an open discussion about the affordances and limitations of AI tools such as ChatGPT. Remind students not to rely on any information given by the tool.

What you should do now

  • Consider how AI is being used in the workplace within you discipline or industry and how you will incorporate and teach this in your course/programme.
  • Clearly communicate to students the decision and expectation of how AI should be used during your course. Use the templates found on the academic honesty declaration page to create your own instructions to students on the use of ChatGPT and generative AI.
  • Read the University’s guidelines for permitted use of software in assessment activities.
  • Consider the purpose of assessment, the ‘why’. Effective assessment design in the age of GenAI still focuses on principles of good assessment design.
  • Consider programmatic assessment, an arrangement of different assessment methods deliberately designed across the entire curriculum.
  • Decide what matters most in your discipline and what learning and skills students should be graduating with. Do the learning outcomes align with these skills, and therefore which assessment should be secure and which could be teaching collaboration and human skills.
  • Consider assessments that value and mark the learning journey rather than the end goal. Encourage feedback literacy in students. Boud and Carless (2018) Feedback literacy is based on social constructivist theory and focuses on students learning and sense making.
  • Danny Liu and Adam Bridgeman (UoS) make assessment suggestions that will have longevity even as AI advances. This article suggests to consider the humanness of teaching and learning. A full guide is available for download.

See also

What are we telling our students?

The University’s official word to students on using Gen-AI tools in coursework and how it may support their studies.

Example coursework instructions for students

A template for adding an academic integrity statement to your assignments, including instructions on the use of generative AI tools in coursework.

Examples of incorporating generative AI into teaching

Our colleagues have shared their ideas on how we might leverage Gen-AI tools for coursework and assessment tasks.

Page updated 18/04/2024 (moved the examples to a separate page)

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