Artificial Intelligence Guidance for Students
We’ve all heard about the on-going and exciting developments of artificial intelligence (AI) in the media, including the capabilities of sites such as ChatGPT and Google Bard. These are fascinating tools which have the power to change the way we think and work.
However, as an academic institution, we need to ensure they are used responsibly. We’ve created this AI guidance for students to help you understand BNU’s position on AI tools and their use.
BNU holds the view that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be a useful tool for learners in their studies and for future employability. Nevertheless, it is important that the work you present is original and authored by you, ensuring it is underpinned by the principles of academic integrity. To facilitate this, we provide the following guidance to clarify what we define as the appropriate use of AI at BNU.
At BNU we define appropriate use of AI tools within your studies to mean that you may use AI software as a tool to assist you in the development of your ideas (please see below for some examples). However, the work you create and submit needs be your own. Improper use of AI tools during assessments could result in academic integrity investigations about the authenticity of your work which could result in penalties.
AI can be used appropriately as a tool to support you in creating your own work. Examples:
- Assistance in exploring ideas for your essay/assessment.
- Assistance in developing a plan for your essay/assessment.
- Assistance with spelling and/or grammar.
- Assistance in time-management for your assessments during your modules.
What we mean by ‘your work needs to be your own’
Any work that is awarded marks or credits within any module must be created by you. Learners should not use AI as a tool to paraphrase your work. Learners can use AI-generated materials to assist with your assignments, like adding images to a presentation (as long as the image is not a graded part of the assignment). All elements of your work that are assessed as part of the module (e.g. a piece of art or a musical score) must be created by you and not be AI generated. It is recommended that you talk to your module leader before submitting your work to ensure any plans to use AI generated material are acceptable.
Any work you submit must be entirely your own, this has not changed. Work that is considered to be plagiarised will be investigated as academic misconduct and could be subject to penalties. For further information you can access BNU’s policy on academic integrity and the academic assessment regulations.
When you are researching for an assessment, it is important to consult a variety of academic sources. In the same way that you should not rely on one book to complete an assessment, you should not rely on AI platforms as a main source. Learners should use the recommended module reading lists via keylinks as their initial sources of research, followed by a library search. When used correctly, AI can enrich your learning experience, but using AI-generated content as your own work is a serious violation of academic regulations and could result in penalties. BNU employs the plagiarism detection software known as Turnitin, which currently has an AI identification feature. As a result, all submitted assignments will undergo analysis to identify any potential use of AI.
AI tools are limited, and learners must critically evaluate any outputs from AI software as they are generated based on the patterns and limitations of the AI training data. BNU recognises that the AI tools currently available may also be subject to bias. If you are looking for support in academic writing, structuring essays, and/or how to reference, you can contact your module leader, course leader, personal tutor, and Student Learning Achievement (SLA).
Take care to check all AI generated content, including references, as the material generated by AI may not be based on factual information. At BNU we recognise that AI is a fast-developing platform, and we will continue to monitor and review the best practice available for our learners and staff. Any updates will be communicated via MyBNU and your university email account in addition to updates being made available on our website.
Your work and its main content must be created and written by you. Make sure you do not ask AI to create content for you. An important component of your degree is the demonstration of your skill in the English language at the suitable level for your course. Therefore, you must not use AI to write your ideas for you, although it can be used to suggest ways of improving your writing.
If you use AI at any stage in the development of your work, you are required to provide a link to your AI chat in your reference list. To link to your AI generated chat, you can create a shareable link as per the example below. Click on the ‘share’ button and copy the link from your AI chat.
You should then paste this shared link into your reference list using the following format:
Title of AI Source, version, Company, First Prompt, Date accessed, shared URL link.
Example of the way you should list AI in your reference list:
Bard, (Version 1.0.0), Google, ‘Who is the most influential band of all time?’, date accessed: 17th August 2023. https://g.co/bard/share/4548a06861d3
ChatGPT, (Version 3.5), OpenAI, ‘Who was the most influential band of all time?’, Date accessed: 16th August 2023. https://chat.openai.com/share/d4dd510b-4a11-44c0-9351-cd2b657bc5e0
Any work generated by AI should not be copied and pasted directly into your assignment. Although it is generally discouraged to include quotes of AI generated text within your work, if it is appropriate to then please follow the example below for how to do this.
Although not recognised as a peer reviewed text, an AI data source identified that “The Beatles: Widely regarded as one of the most influential bands ever, The Beatles revolutionised popular music in the 1960s” (ChatGPT, 2023). This will be debated within this essay.
Not all countries allow the use of AI generative software. Make sure you're aware of the law and the potential consequences of violating it, such as disciplinary action or even criminal charges. In 2021, the UK government introduced new laws that make it illegal to commission someone else to write work for you that you then submit as your own in higher education. This includes using essay mills or similar services to obtain work. Always ensure that the work you submit is your own and that you haven't tasked someone, or something, else to write it for you.
If you have any questions or concerns about the use of AI, we recommend you speak to your module leader, course leader, personal tutor or Student Learning Achievement (SLA@bnu.ac.uk). If you have any concerns about assessments you have already submitted or are concerned about meeting future deadlines, please contact your course team, the SLA or Academic Registry who are all here to help you.
Your wellbeing is the most important thing and if you are concerned or feeling stressed, please speak to someone in our Student Hub. There are a number of teams around the University on hand to support you. Read this guide to find out which team is best placed to answer your query or concern and how to contact them.