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Te Whare Pukapuka Wāhanga Whakapakari Ako

Using AI tools

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Can I use AI tools when writing/researching my assessments? 

You may be able to, but you need to know what is acceptable use, what the risks are, and when use becomes inappropriate.
Make sure to read Open Polytechnic's key assessments information Using AI - Artificial Intelligence services
Always check with your tutor too, for their guidance on use of AI in Assessments.

What are the risks when using AI tools?

Incorrect information - Some of the information generated by an AI tool may be incorrect, irrelevant, out of date or biased. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy of information by verifying it with other reliable sources.

Bias - AI is created by humans and therefore can carry biases, e.g. showing gender or racial bias (flight attendants = female, company CEs = white, male).

Academic Dishonesty - If it is detected that you have used AI to write your assessment for you, this is considered a form of academic dishonesty/plagiarism and can result in serious academic penalties.
If you are specifically asked to use an AI tool as part of your assessment, make sure you follow the instructions carefully.

Hallucinations - AI tools can sometimes include made-up sources, i.e. the citations and references generated may not exist. These are called ‘hallucinations’. Use of these will also result in academic dishonesty.

Intellectual Property breach - You could inadvertently be using words that the AI tool has ‘written’, that are actually someone else’s intellectual property, also resulting in plagiarism.

So, how can I use Gen AI safely?

You may have tried or heard of a number of different AI tools such as Chat-GPT, Consensus, DALL.E, Rytr, along with many others. The quality and useability of these is rapidly changing and developing and there are many different thoughts and opinions on which tools are ‘best’ for a particular purpose.

Scroll down to see some examples of appropriate and inappropriate ways to use AI tools for your study. We are not specifying a particular tool here, but rather, things to consider when using any AI tool. As AI tools are constantly changing, the ways in which we use them will continue to change and evolve.

How should I reference content generated by AI?

Firstly, make sure to clarify with your course tutor whether use of AI as a source of information is permitted. If so, you must still cite this like you would any other source. See Referencing AI generated content to learn the correct APA format.

Contact us if you have any questions.

Examples of appropriate and inappropriate use of AI

Generating ideas / brainstorming

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Jia needs to choose a research topic for his Environment studies course. He is interested in water quality but is finding it difficult to narrow and refine his research question. He asks a GenAI tool to suggest five potential research questions related to his topic.

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Louisa is studying business. As part of her assessment, she is required to come up with five innovative ways to market a new product. She asks a GenAI tool to generate five ideas and then copies and pastes this into her assessment as her own work.

Finding sources of information

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Teumu needs some background reading on child literacy development. He asks a GenAI tool to give him some ideas of books to help him. The tool suggests a range of books. Teumu checks to see if these exist and finds that some are available in the Open Polytechnic Library.

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Alex is studying Psychology. She has written her essay but hasn’t included many references. She asks a GenAI tool to suggest three quotes from peer-reviewed journals that are relevant to three of her points. She inserts these quotes and citations into her assessment without going to the articles to read them, or to check if they exist.

Creating images

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Yuki is studying Communication. She is asked to use a GenAI text-to-image tool to create a series of images. The images are all to be on the same subject, but she must prompt the AI tool in different ways to compare results. She uses the tool to create the images and inserts these into her presentation, acknowledging the use of the particular AI tool used.

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Stefan is studying interior design. As part of his assessment, he is asked to re-design the interior of a living room by either hand-drawing or using CAD software. Stefan instead uses a GenAI text-to-image tool to draw the perspectives in a hand-drawn style and submits this as his own work.

* Note, some assessments may permit the use of generative AI tools to create images. Make sure you confirm with your tutor/programme area if this is allowed.

Assessment writing

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Simon is studying education. He needs to write an essay which explores cultural competencies for teachers working in New Zealand. He gives a GenAI tool his assessment question and asks the tool to write an essay on this topic. He makes a few changes and then submits the essay as his own work.

Last updated: 31 May, 2024