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Artificial Intelligence and Your Learning

Guidance to help you responsibly engage with AI for your education by maintaining academic integrity.

At Newcastle University we are committed to supporting you to develop good academic practice and your critical awareness of generative AI. These pages aim to support you in:

  • thinking critically about how to generative AI tools responsibly and ethically
  • understanding when use of generative AI is inappropriate and when it could be considered academic misconduct
  • maintaining good academic practice by appropriately acknowledging your use of AI tools in the development of your work
  • providing accurate references when using AI outputs as a source of information in your work

AI and your education

As University students you need to be aware of the potential uses of AI, how it can enhance your learningwhile being cautious about becoming over reliant on AI to the detriment of your own academic development. It is important to be familiar with the limitations of the tools and the potential to slip into poor academic practice. Developing your Artificial Intelligence Literacy is going to be vital to successfully engage with these tools critically.

We've put together an AI for Learning Canvas course that provides practical advice, examples and resources to allow you to use generative AI productively and responsibly as part of your learning journey. It is a good place to start to learn more about AI and how you can use the tools in a way that supports good academic practice. 

AI and academic integrity

The Student Charter sets out the rights and responsibilities of all our students, regardless of location, level, mode or programme of study. The Charter describes your responsibility to maintain high standards of academic integrity, honesty and good academic practice throughout your studies and in your work. This includes the expectation that anything you submit for assessment will be wholly your own work, or that of your group where it is collaborative work.

What is academic integrity?

Academic integrity is an underlying principle of research and academic practice. Through your work and approach to learning you are expected to demonstrate your development as an independent learner, researcher and critical thinker, including maintaining good academic practice. This involves completing your studies honestly and ethically, having respect for the work of others and recognising your responsibility to ensure fair assessment.

Poor research and academic practice or misconduct such as plagiarism, collusion, fabrication, or falsification, undermine the advancement of knowledge and innovation that are at the core of the University’s vision.

In thinking about how you will use AI tools there is an important distinction to make between learning and assessment. What may be a valuable application of AI for your own learning, knowledge or academic development may be poor academic practice or misconduct in assessment. It's vital that when approaching any assignment you ensure that the work is your own or that you have followed any guidelines or expectations about the use of AI set by your module leader. 

AI and assessment

The purpose of assessment is to measure your progress against the intended learning outcomes for your programme and allow you to demonstrate your understanding and ability to analyse and apply the knowledge and skills gained through your learning. Assessments can take many forms, including examinations, essays, group tasks, written exercises, observation of practice, portfolios, performances and presentations. Assessments play a key role in supporting your learning by providing opportunities to reflect on your progress in developing the required skills and knowledge for your programme. Passing off someone or something's work as your own, whether this is copying in an exam, getting someone else to write an assignment on your behalf or claiming authorship of machine generated content (including text, code and creative works) means that you are not demonstrating your own skills and learning. As well as limiting your opportunities to develop as a learner, it is highly unethical.

When using AI tools to support your learning and in the development of your work you must maintain good academic practice. This will include:

  • abiding by any expectations set by your academics about how AI can be used within the study of a module or specific assessment
  • acknowledging AI sources through appropriate referencing where you have used content as an information source alongside your other reading
  • ensuring the work you submit represents your own effort and has not been extensively edited or edited by AI technology or another person
  • demonstrating critical use of AI tools be acknowledging how, why, and when you used AI as part

Acknowledging your use of AI

Generally speaking, if you are using generative AI to support you learning and academic development, you are unlikely to need to acknowledge it. However, if you are using it to support the preparation of an assessed piece of work, you will need to acknowledge in an open and transparent way how and why you have used AI for the development of your work.

If there is a suspicion that work you have submitted for assessment is not your own, including text, images or code, partially or wholly generated by AI, your work will be considered within the  and the Student Progress Service reserves the right to run work through an AI checker as part of an investigation into academic misconduct.

Referencing AI generated sources

As with all sources of information you use in your work, you will need to critically evaluate any content generated using AI. In addition to acknowledging how you have used AI more broadly in your work, if you think it is appropriate for the task you have been given to use this material directly in your work, perhaps as a verbatim quotation, embedded image or figure, or by summarising and paraphrasing the materials, you must include an in text citation and reference.